I read a book in 1999 that impacted my life like (probably) no other book I’ve ever read. It’s titled, “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer. Here’s the book that I have….
What has been said about this book is,
“While many books and authors have passed through Christian awareness over the centuries, periodically a book comes along that strikes a cord deep in the Christian community. Knowing God by J.I. Packer is one such example. This insightful book has stood the test of time and has challenged Christians not only to know about the God they profess, but to get off the balcony of observation and get onto the road of discovery and come to know their God intimately and personally.”
As I read in the book, I discovered that there is a big difference between knowing about God and knowing OF God. There were questions throughout the book that caused me to dig deep into my heart heart and soul; questions like:
In what two ways does Packer describe people showing great energy for God?
What would having “great energy for God” look like in your life?
Describe in your own words what it looks like to “have great thoughts of God”. How does that work out in your own life? What would “great boldness for God” look like in your life? Does this depend on what others are doing?
As I’d read and apply what I was reading, I would also fully recognize that it was all pointing to Jesus, too. God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three in One. And as I’d learn more of God, I was actually learn more of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit. BUT, yet, there is this radical Love, this radical grace that, because of JESUS, and His life on this earth, that I am even allowed, you are even allowed, to be brought into a real and personal restored relationship with God.
So, who is Jesus?
Let’s first look at John 1:1 – “In the beginning (before all time) was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.”
Who is the Word according to John 1:1?
The Word is Jesus.
How can the Word be “with God” and be “God Himself?”
Read Genesis 1:1 and Isaiah 9:6 to discover the answer. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, ____…” What name goes in the blank. And then read Genesis 1:26 we read, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” The us and the our are referring to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity. They were all present at the creation of mankind.
Then we read in Isaiah 9:6, the name of Jesus –
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
So Jesus is the Word. And Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor – where else do we find mention of our Counselor? We find it in John 14:26 when Jesus was speaking to His followers. He said, “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.”
But what I really want us to do in this small time of bible study is look at Jesus. Yes, He is the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World, the Messiah, our Living Water, our Living Hope…but one of the most profound titles of Jesus is this – Jesus is the Light of the world.
Please take 39 minutes to listen to this powerful message from John Piper.