Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping Pastors International The Person of God
What Should a Right Knowledge
Of God Do For You?
Fourteen messages ago we began our study on the Person of God as He is revealed in the Scriptures. In the first message I said that in our generation the Father is the hidden person of the Trinity. I trust that through this study you now know God better and have had your appetite whetted for a deeper study on your own. All any pastor-teacher can do is give people some motivation for further study.
We have seen that God is self-containing, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign, eternal, immutable, holy, just, gracious, merciful, wrath and love. This study should have had a great impact on your life. You have been exposed to God and now you are held more responsible to Him, for an unchanging biblical principle is that with much light comes much responsibility.
A RIGHT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD SHOULD GIVE YOU AN ATTITUDE OF REVERENCE AND WORSHIP
Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Seeing God as He really is gives us a sense of awe at His majesty and glory. We begin to see Him as high and lifted up and in no way a man’s equal. When we see God aright, then we also see ourselves aright—sinful, depraved, vile and odious. We feel a sense of humanness and worthlessness. This is good, for only when we see our real selves will we ever cling to the Savior who forgives and sanctifies poor, vile, guilty sinners. When we view the God of Scripture, we are humbled and remember that we are creatures and He is the Creator. There are many biblical characters who got a glimpse of God, and this experience caused them to see their own humanness and fall down and worship the true God of heaven and earth.
When Abraham walked with the Lord he exclaimed, “Now that, I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes.” (Gen. 18:27) In this context, Abraham is arguing with God to spare the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah which was about to be judged. He says to God, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25) Abraham felt himself but dust and ashes because he came face to face with the righteousness and justice of God.
When Job went through terrible sufferings which he had no control over, he knew God was in them somehow. He saw God in these tribulations, and at the end of his book he says, “I am unworthy” (Job 40:4) and again “I despise myself” (Job 42:6). Job saw the sovereignty of God.
When Isaiah had his vision from God, he saw the throne of God and angels proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty” (Isa. 6:3). Being in the Divine presence, he cried out, “Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips!” (Isa. 6:5) Isaiah saw God’s holiness.
The Apostle Paul, years after his conversion to Christ, said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners— of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim. 1:15) Paul could not get over his salvation, for he knew it was all of God. Paul saw God’s mercy, grace and love.
These people saw glimpses of God and they felt their sinfulness and humanness, and they fell down and worshipped the God of heaven and earth. We are to serve God “with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28-29), for the Psalmist said, “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him” (Psa. 103:17).
A RIGHT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD SHOULD GIVE YOU AN APPRECIATION OF YOUR SALVATION
The Bible says, “Salvation comes from the LORD” (Jonah 2:9), for a man’s salvation has its final cause in God. To begin our salvation with God gives Him all the glory. The Bible teaches that God saves sinners, for salvation is a work of the Triune God. The Father planned our salvation in eternity; the Son purchased our salvation at the cross, and the Holy Spirit applied our salvation when we believed. The Scriptures are insistent that sinners do not save themselves in any sense at all, but that salvation, first and last, whole and entire, past, present and future is of the Lord, to whom be glory forever.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (1 Cor. 1:30-31)
Realizing that our salvation is from God should give us a deep appreciation of His grace, mercy and love. Electing love of the Father, redeeming love of the Son and the regenerating love of the Holy Spirit should produce a heart of love in the true people of God. Many of God’s people do have an appreciation of salvation because they understand God, and many have expressed this appreciation in poems.
“Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, --
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me Lord, on earth to show,
By my love how much I owe.
Pause, my soul! Adore, and wonder!
Ask, “Oh, why such love to me?”
Grace hath put me in the number
Of the Savior’s family:
Thanks, eternal thanks, to Thee!”
A RIGHT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD SHOULD GIVE YOU ACCELERATION FOR SERVICE
When a person really grasps that his salvation is purely by the grace of God, he will be motivated to serve out of love for God. It was a deep appreciation of God’s love for him that caused the Apostle Paul to go out in the world to be a witness for Christ. He exclaimed, “For Christ’s love compels us.” (2 Cor. 5:14) Paul was hemmed in on every side by the love of Christ for him. Realizing that God had purposed to save him through Christ, Paul was broken by the love of God for him. Filled with God’s love for him, Paul went into a rebellious world proclaiming the good news that God loves sinners in Christ and those who turn to Christ will be saved from the wrath to come.
Christian, have you come into a deep appreciation of God’s sovereign purposes in salvation, and have you been broken by the love of Christ as was Paul?
Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. Salvation is caused by God’s grace and is appropriated when a person trusts in Christ. When you believe that Christ died for your sins and was resurrected from the dead to declare you righteous, then you will come to understand that your decision to receive Christ was all by God’s grace.
God has purposed to save every person who receives Jesus Christ. I challenge all of you who do not know Christ as your Lord and Savior to trust Him and enter experientially into God’s plans and purposes in salvation.