We understand life and the things which pertain to life through our intellect and we study the knowledge of this world academically. The knowledge of God, however, is not understood through our intellect, neither should it be studied academically, it should be obtained from God through his Spirit.
If we through our mind or intellect conceive an idea, teaching or ideology, then it is logical to conceive that such an idea, teaching or ideology will be perceived or understood through the intellect or mind of someone else. This is the mind of humankind being understood by the mind of humankind.
The knowledge of God is not conceived with the mind of humankind or itellect, but through the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2v11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Paul the apostle was a well educated man, a theologian, an itellectual, before he came to Christ, but when he received the Holy Spirit he realised that all of that learning was of no worth in understanding God, he referred to it as dung, refuse.
Philippians 3v7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
As an example, Nicodemus was an intilectual, an academic, a theologian, but for all his study and learning he did not know who Jesus was. He saw him as a Rabbi (teacher or master).
John 3v2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Peter (who became an apostle), on the other hand was not well educated, not an intellectual or an academic, but a fisherman, know who Jesus was, because God had revealed it to him.
Matthew 16v13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
God has hiden his knowledge from those who seek to understand it through their own intellect.
Matthew 11v25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
God reveals his word to babes, the childlike, the humble, those who are open to him.
We see the warning of those who are religious and constantly learning, but never able to obtain the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3v5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Preaching the gospel
When the gospel is spoken, it is not the onslaught of knowledge and explanation, neither the way the message is packaged that brings a person to Christ, but rather the simplicity of God’s spoken word. When that word is spoken, God reveals (to the humble hearer), who Jesus is.
John 6v44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
This is God’s new way, foretold in the Old Testament
Jeremiah 31v31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers…
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
In the Old Testament, an Israelite would seek out God’s knowledge from the priest.
Malachi 2v7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
But, in the New Testament (Covenant), all of God’s people will be taught by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2v12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2v9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
John 14v26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
1 John 2v27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
To the natural mind, the intellect, the knowledge of God seems foolish, because it cannot discern or understand these things.
1 Corinthians 2v14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
The knowledge we have in the Lord is a gift to the individual and to the church. Therefore, there is no room for boasting as it has not been acquired through our own ability, but has been given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 4v7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
Galatians 1v11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The knowledge of God isn’t how many scriptues you can quote, but a knowing of God himself, his ways, his plan, taught by his Spirit. A personal experience of receiving God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ.
You can have this experience today and know God.
Acts2v37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2v4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
© Carl Gibbard 2020. This study may be freely used for personal study, teaching and distribution as it is with no changes, alterations, additions or deletions.