In my teaching through the letter of 1 John, I’ve been reminded that knowing God is a big deal to Him. It is a thunderous message in the epistle and it is the heart of biblical revelation—the why? of everything God tells us about Himself and the history of humanity. God is a self-revealing God. He wants us to know Him.
It is the ultimate reason behind the exodus—God’s rescuing His covenant people from Egyptian slavery. “And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Ex 6:7). And, too “…the Egyptians shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Ex 7:5).
God used Jeremiah the prophet to tell us that if we accomplish anything at all with our lives and energy, be sure we know Him: “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD” (Jer 9:24).
The apostle Paul said his highest quest was “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…” (Phil 3:10).
And in 1 John, the Bible talks of knowing God experientially (ginosko) 24 times: 2:3, 4, 5, 13 (twice), 14, 18, 29; 3:1 (twice), 6, 16, 19, 20, 24; 4:2, 6 (twice), 7, 8, 13, 16; 5:2, 20 and knowing Him intellectually (oida) 15 times: 2:11, 20, 21 (twice), 29; 3:2, 5, 14, 15; 5:13, 15 (twice), 18, 19, 20.
The interesting this about the perspective in 1 John is that this knowledge of God manifests itself in action. It isn’t a passive, philosophical knowledge. It is an active, integrated knowledge. It really is an echo of the book of James. Don’t just talk about faith—show it.
So, how much of God do you know?