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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 09   That They Might Know???

 

I’m sometimes asked why I teach inductive Bible Study, or why I write a blog, and my answer is usually the same; I teach and write because it is what God called me to do, and for the most part I love doing it. Which is not to say that I don’t get tired, weary, or sometimes discouraged just like you do, but I know that the gifts and calling that God has extended to me are a joy and delight to my soul. But there is another purpose that goes beyond my comfort or even my assurance that I am walking in personal obedience, it is the clear scriptural teaching that God wants the world to “know” Him! Jesus, His disciples and the prophets, remind us again and again that God is at work “that the world may know”!

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,

Father,

the hour is come;

glorify thy Son,

that thy Son also may

glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power

over all flesh,

that he should give eternal life

to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal,

that they might know thee

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

whom thou hast sent.” John 17:1-3

This beautiful prayer is Jesus’ petition to The Father for Himself and the cross that lay before Him, as well as for us who are His own; as well as for those would come to “know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”! While the ‘model prayer’ that Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6 is often called “The Lord’s Prayer”, this prayer of Jesus’ in John 17 is truly “The Lord’s Prayer”, and what God wants us to “know” IS Him, and The Son whom He sent to die for our sin (See John 3!). God wants us all to know Him personally, to come into an intimate love relationship with Him both now and for all eternity!

When Solomon dedicated the Temple that he had built for God he prayed:

Hear thou in heaven

thy dwelling place,

and do according to all

that the stranger calleth to thee for:

that all people of the earth

may know thy name,

to fear thee,

as do thy people Israel;

and that they may know

that this house,

which I have builded,

is called by thy name.” 1 Kings 8:43

While Solomon had his issues later in life, he was committed to build the Temple that God had promised his father, David, that he would be privileged to build. He also understood that “this” house was built unto God not for his own glory, and his prayer was that “all people of the earth may know” who God was and that this was “His” house. We also need to learn that our ‘work’ and ‘service’ for God The Father and Jesus The Son, is His work through the power of The Holy Spirit in us, not for our promotion, advancement or wealth! Some today are often far afield when it comes to serving God for HIS glory and not their own!

The Psalmist reminds us powerfully of our purpose, much as the Apostle Paul told us to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”!

Help me,

O LORD

my God:

O save me

according to thy mercy:

27 That they may know

that this is thy hand;

that thou, LORD,

hast done it.” Psalm 109:26-27

Our goal ought to be to reflect the glory, work, grace and love of our Lord—not seeking to claim the credit for God’s work in us, but being more focused on our own “glory” than on God’s glory; for as Jesus reminds us:

I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth

much fruit:

for without me

ye can do nothing.”   John 15:5

Isaiah is replete with references to God’s wanting people to “know” HIM—all people! Our goal ought to be that others will come to know Him as Savior (and not have to face Him as Judge when there is no recourse for salvation, for every “knee will bow”—either to the Lord and Savior in this life, or before Judge Jesus when He returns!)! Are you sharing what YOU know? Do you know HIM? Don’t keep it a secret!

I will plant in the wilderness

the cedar,

the shittah tree,

and the myrtle,

and the oil tree;

I will set in the desert

the fir tree,

and the pine,

and the box tree together:

20 That they may see,

and know,

and consider,

and understand

together,

that the hand of the LORD

hath done this,

and the Holy One of Israel

hath created it.” Isaiah 41:19-20

Oh that we would share the burden of God—that “they may know” the wonder and beauty of the cross. The God who not only loved us so much that “He gave His only begotten son”, but who wants people to know that very love and salvation!

Isaiah had told the people that idols were futile, for they “see not, neither do they hear” yet God wanted them to see that HE IS the only true, sovereign, Almighty God of the universe.

I am the LORD,

and there is none else,

there is no God beside me:

I girded thee,

though thou hast not known me:

6 That they may know

from the rising of the sun,

and from the west,

that there is none beside me.

I am the LORD,

and there is none else.”   Isaiah 45:5-6

No matter “who” or “what” we set up as our ‘god/idol’—God Almighty is telling Isaiah, his audience and us that “I am the LORD, and there is none else”—no matter whether that is the popular message of the day or not—it is the truth and we will never bring people to genuine, life-changing salvation apart from the Gospel of Jesus, which clearly proclaims that there is no other way.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.” John 14:5-6

Jesus IS the only way, and when we go back to His ‘High Priestly’ prayer in John 17, we find the same message repeated again by our Lord Jesus as He faced the cross!

Neither pray I for these alone,

but for them also which shall believe

on me

through their word;

21 That they all may be one;

as thou, Father,

art in me,

and I in thee,

that they also may be one

in us:

that the world may believe

that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me

I have given them;

that they may be one,

even as we are one:

23 I in them,

and thou in me,

that they may be made perfect

in one;

and that the world may know

that thou hast sent me,

and hast loved them,

as thou hast loved me.”    John 17:20-23

When we are born again by the Spirit of God, we become a testimony to the world (good or bad!):

that the world may know

that thou hast sent me,

and hast loved them,

as thou hast loved me”!

We are HIS witnesses—witnesses with ONE message—for we have only ONE Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ The Lord! And prayerfully the world we see that we have “been with Jesus

Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him doth this man stand here

before you whole.

11 This is the stone

which was set at nought

of you builders,

which is become the head

of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.

13 Now when they saw the boldness

of Peter and John,

and perceived that they were

unlearned

and ignorant men,

they marvelled;

and they took knowledge of them,

that they had been with Jesus.”   Acts 4:10-13

Jesus IS the only way! We have only One message and Jesus is HIS name—Jesus and His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for our sin is the only way to God!!!

For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ

died for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas,

then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

We are changed by His saving power—“the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”!!! Amen and Amen. And when we are truly born again, cleansed “from all sin”, it ought to be seen in our living.

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”   Romans 12:1-2

Our call is to seek HIS face, being transformed by renewing our hearts and minds in HIS Word, being a reflection of our Lord to a lost and dying world in need of the Gospel of The Savior who loves them.

So may we take it to heart and be HIS testimony?

That they may know

from the rising of the sun,

and from the west,

that there is none beside me.

I am the LORD,

and there is none else”!!!

Amen and Amen!!!