The Christians Knowledge of God
A Sermon on Ephesians 1:17
17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Where does one begin in describing their knowledge of God? Do they begin with propositional or theoretical knowledge? While propositional knowledge of God is good and necessary for the Christian life, there is another knowledge that is just as important. As a matter of fact, it is a knowledge which the apostle Paul prays for in Ephesians. It is the kind of knowledge which is immediate and intimate. It is a personal knowledge of God the Father. Such knowledge is at the heart of the evangelical message. The Christian can have personal fellowship with God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. In the new covenant, the Holy Spirit comes into hearts so that the Christian can have direct knowledge of the love of God and the glory of God. In this sermon on Ephesians 1:17 titled “The Christian’s Knowledge of God,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones follows Paul’s prayer for ordinary Christians to have this exact and experiential knowledge of the true and living God. Listen to this passionate appeal to know Him.
The apostle Paul prays for the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:15-17. His prayer is that God would give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
There is a tendency today to divide the Christian life into two parts: being saved from the guilt of sin, and being delivered from the power of sin or sanctification. However, that is not what Paul prays for here. He prays for knowledge of God.
Knowledge here does not mean a casual acquaintance, but an accurate, exact, certain, experimental, and profound knowledge. It is knowledge of God the Father, though it is only possible through Jesus Christ.
This knowledge is not merely theoretical or intellectual. It is not knowledge of the blessings God gives. It is personal, immediate knowledge of God - encountering and meeting with Him.
This knowledge means God is real to us, and we are conscious of His presence and glory. We know and experience His love personally. We have fellowship with Him.
Examples of this knowledge include Job saying "Oh that I knew where I might find Him!", and "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You."; Moses saying "Show me Your glory."; the Psalmist saying "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God."; Isaiah saying "I saw the Lord sitting on a throne."; and Jesus saying "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
This knowledge is possible for all Christians, not just certain "mystics". It was promised in the New Covenant, where God says "they shall all know Me".
The only requirement for this knowledge is realizing it is possible, and desiring it. We must hunger and thirst for God.
We must ask ourselves if we really know God, have met Him, and know we have been in His presence. This is eternal life.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.