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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : November 3. Life-Giving Knowledge

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"And this is life eternal, that they might know you — the only true God; and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" John 17:3

Anyone, therefore, who truly knows God — has eternal life. Knowing God, however, is more than knowing about Him. One may have all the doctrinal knowledge of God's character, attributes, and works which the Bible reveals — and yet not know God at all in the way that gives eternal life. We may know all about some great man biographically — and yet not know the man at all personally. But suppose we then meet him, and become intimately associated with him, and he becomes our dear friend, and we learn to love him and trust him; then we really know him. It is this personal knowledge of God, which is meant in these words. We first learn about Him, and then we seek Him and find Him; and He receives us into His family, and sheds abroad His love in our hearts, and gives us His Spirit. Then we learn to trust Him and to love Him. This is the knowing God which gives eternal life.

But how can we meet God, and get personally acquainted with Him, and form this intimate friendship with Him? There is another word in this verse which helps us to the answer. "That they might know you . . . and Jesus Christ." We are clearly taught elsewhere that we can know God only through Jesus Christ. "No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matthew 11:27

Jesus Christ is the revelation of the Father to men: "He who has seen Me has seen the father." We can get acquainted with Christ in His humanity, and thus know God, and have Him for our nearest Friend. M'Cheyne said: "I seem to know more of the Lord Jesus Christ than of the most intimate friend I have on earth." Should we not all seek after Christ's personal friendship? The more we trust Him — the more shall we know of Him, and the better shall we love Him.

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