YOU THINK YOU KNOW GOD?
(Permission granted from Narrow Gate
"Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you,
will seek to enter and will not be able.
-JESUS CHRIST, The Word of God, Luke 13:24
If you know that God is your Creator, Sustainer,and Ruler who
requires that you love, worship, and serve Him alone, you should also know
something very basic about yourself. You are a sinner who fails to fulfill
your obligations to God.
DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW
Do you know the only true God? Not the God of your imagination
but the God who is described in the Bible? Do you know Him with an intimate
knowledge so that you love, obey and serve Him? These are very important
questions. The Bible tells you that eternal life is obtained only by knowing
God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus says, And
this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God,and
Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3). If you are to have eternal
life and live with God forever in heaven, you must know God and His Son,
Jesus Christ, like the Bible says you must.
Carefully consider the following.
Who God Is
The Bible teaches that God is very great and
glorious. He is the Most High God. The Lord
is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the
Lord our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the
things that are in heaven and in the earth (Psalm 113:4-6)?God is
so great that no one is like Him. There is no one or thing in all the world
that can be compared to God. God is three persons in one divine being: Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite, self-sufficient, unchangeable, and
sovereign. He has infinite power, knows everything, andis present everywhere.
The God of heaven and earth is the only holy, righteous,and just God and
can only do good. He is full of love, grace, and truth. He is so great that
His glory is above all nations and even above the heavens.You are nothing
in comparison to Him. All the nations are as nothing
before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless
God's greatness can be seen in the wonderful works which He performs.The
Bible says that God is the Creator of all
things.Genesis 1:1 says In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth.The universe did not come into being by some kind of process
of evolution.It was created by God in six days. God merely spoke His all-powerful
word and the world came into being. By the word of
the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their
host.For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm
33:6,9). God is so powerful that He made the world out of nothing.
The Bible teaches that every person, including you, owes his existence to
God is not only the Creator of the world, but He is also
the Sustainer of the world. He upholds the world so that it continues
to exist. You, even You, are Lord alone; You have made
heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things
that are therein, the seas, and all that is herein, and You
preserve them all . . . (Nehemiah 9:6). Without the
preserving power of God the whole world would cease to exist. The universe
cannot stand by itself. It was created by God and therefore needs God forits
very existence. You can be nothing and you can do nothing without the upholding
power of God. God gives to all life and breath and
all things . . . for in Him we live and move and exist . . .(Acts 17:25,
28). You cannot even move one inch
without the sustaining power of God.
The greatness of God is shown not only by His creating and sustaining the
world, but by His control over the world. God is the ultimate
Ruler of the world. The Lord has established
His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all
(Psalm 103:19). God is the only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of
lords (1 Timothy 6:15).He is not a weak God whose will is frustrated
by people like you. He is the eternal King who rules over all things, including
you. He so controls all the things of the world that He brings about what
He has eternally planned for the world and everyone in it. He
works all things after the counsel of His own will
. . . (Ephesians 1:11).Whether you believe
it or not, God is your Ruler and King.
Thus, neither you nor anyone in all the world is independent of God.You
need God. You owe your very life to God. The air that you are breathing right
now is from God. Moreover, God created you for His own glory.The Bible
says of God, . . . for You created all things, and
because of Your will they existed and were created (Revelation4:11).
You were not created for your own pleasure. You were not created simply so
that you would exist. Rather, you were brought into being for the pleasure
and glory of God.
Since God is the great and glorious Creator, Sustainer,
and Ruler of the world, He is worthy of your praise, honor,
and worship. Read in the Bible, Worthy are
You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You
created all things . . . (Revelation
4:11). In all the works which He performs
God shows Himself to be so wonderful and so great that you should stand in
awe before Him. God requires that you fear and reverence
Him. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let
all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him (Psalm 33:8).
This is not an option.It is the commandment
of God. You are obligated to worship your God and Creator.
The reverence which God requires of you is to be expressed
in worship, thanksgiving, and service. As a creation of God, you
are to worship Him. Come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Psalm 95:6). God calls you
to acknowledge Him as your Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler by bowing down before
Him in worship. Your worship should be an expression of your thanksgiving
for all that your Creator has done for you. The Bible even calls you to sing
praises to Him. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the
earth . . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name (Psalm 100:1,4). Your whole life
is to be set apart for God's service. All your talents, time, and resources
must be used for His glory. Jesus says you shall worship
the Lord your God, and serve Him only (Luke4:8).
Worship, thanksgiving, and service are expressed in obedience
to God's commandments. The Bible says, ..
. fear God and keep His commandments, for this applies to every
person(Ecclesiastes 12:13). Your whole duty to God has been given
to you in the Bible where He tells you what He requires of you. Part of God's
requirement is found in the first seventeen verses of Exodus chapter twenty.
First, you need to know your specific duty toward God.
1) You are to have only one God, the God of the Bible. He alone is to be
the object of your love and worship. All other gods are false gods.In fact,
anything more important to you than the God of the Bible is a god to you.
The gods of other religions and the gods of pleasure, money, and power are
all to be rejected.
2) You are not to represent God by any kind of image, nor are you to worship
Him through any image. You are to worship God by hearing and obeying His
3) God forbids you to take His name in vain by cursing, swearing, and using
His name in a meaningless way. You must always be careful to fear and reverence
His holy name.
Next, God not only requires that you behave a certain way toward Him,
but that you act a certain way toward others.
4) You are to honor your father and mother. This honor is expressed in
respect, submission, and obedience according to God's Word.
5) God forbids you to murder, hate, or harm any person, including yourself.
God abhors your envy, hatred, anger, and your desires for revenge. You are
even to love your enemies.
6) You are not to have sex with anyone who is not your lawful husbandor wife.
God also forbids adultery of the heart--lustful thoughts and desires.
7) You are not to steal anything. You are to gain your possessions by your
own honest labor.
8) You are not to be a false witness against anyone by slander, backbiting,
or spreading rumors. All lying is forbidden.
9) You are not to covet (desire in your heart) anything that belongs to someone
It should be evident to you that God requires not only external obedience,
but obedience of the heart.
Your heart must hate all that God forbids and delight in all righteousness.
Jesus teaches us that God's law may be summed up in one word--love.He
says, You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great
and foremost commandment. The second is like it; You shall love your neighbor
as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets
(Matthew 22:37-40). God requires nothing less than perfect love.
You are to love Him with your whole being. Love is tobe the basis of all
your reverence, worship, thanksgiving, and service. It cannot be merely an
external show for God and others.
If you know that God is your Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler
who requires that you love, worship, and serve Him alone, you should also
know something very basic about yourself. You are a sinner who fails to
fulfill your obligations to God. You do not love, worship,and serve Him
as the Bible says you should. You do not always keep the commandments God
has given you. Although you may not outwardly disobey some of these commandments,
you constantly break every one of them in your heart. You do not love God
with all of your heart, soul, and strength. Your whole life is not devoted
to the worship and service of God. The Bible says that you are wicked and
that you must say, Against You [God], You only, I have
sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight. . . (Psalm 51:4). How many are
my iniquities and sins?. . . . Behold,I am insignificant; what can I reply
to You? I lay my hand over my mouth(Job 13:23; 40:4). If you deny
that you are a sinner, you are lying to yourself and God. The Bible says,
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves,
and the truth is not in us(1 John 1:8).
Apart from the grace of God, you cannot do anything that is good or pleasing
to God. You are like people everywhere on Earth. You area sinner. All
people are alike in that all are sinners. Thereis none
righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who
seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
there is none who does good, there is not even one (Romans
3:10-12).There are no exceptions. Not even you who read this
can sneak yoursin past God. Everyone fails to fulfill his duty before
God. Even those deeds which seem to be very good to you or others are not
good enoughfor God. It is not the quantity of your deeds, it is the quality.
Without faith in Christ it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). The
Biblesays all our righteous deeds are like a filthy
garment. . . (Isaiah 64:6). God requires perfection, but you know
thatyou are far from God's perfect standard.
Your inability to fulfill your duty before God is not to be attributed
to God. God created man righteous and able to do all that He required.
But your first father, Adam, rebelled against God. He disobeyed God and fell
from his state of righteousness into sin. As a result of that fall into sin,
Adam's spiritual nature became wicked. Rather than loving andserving God,
he loved and served sin and the devil. That corrupt spiritual nature of Adam
is passed on to all his offspring. Because you are adescendant of Adam,
you too have inherited his corrupted nature.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into
the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because
all sinned . . . (Romans 5:12).
The Bible calls that spiritual
corruptiondeathspiritual death. You sin because your
spiritual nature is wicked. You are spiritually dead. The Bible speaks of
the wicked nature of man when it says, The heart is
more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand
it? (Jeremiah17:9). And to make matters worse, you currently love
Moreover, your inability to fulfill your duty does not change God's
requirement. It remains the same. God has not changed. He is stillthe
Holy God. God doesn't lower His standards for you. The angels cryout
before Him, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts
. . . (Isaiah 6:3). As the Holy One, God is thoroughly perfect. He
cannot sin Himself and He will not tolerate sin in others. God hates all
sinfulness. The Bible says of God, For You are not
a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful
shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do wrong. You destroy
those who speak falsely; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit
(Psalm 5:4-6). God is also a jealous God. He
says, For you shall not
worship any other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous
God (Exodus 34:14). You were created
in God's image. He created you, therefore He commands you not to act like
you have another creator. The Jealous God demands that you love, worship,
and serve Him alone.
Since there are always consequences to your actions, and because you do not
fulfill your duty before God, you deserve God's condemnation and eternal
destruction. You deserve eternal punishment in hell. God is so jealous
and holy that He must punish sinners for their sin.
A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; the Lord is
avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He
reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished (Nahum 1:2-3).
At the end of the world God will send to eternal torments in hell all those
who are not saved by His grace and who, therefore, remain in their sin. Jesus
says, So it will be at the end of the age; the angels
shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will
cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth (Matthew 13:49-50). Apart from God's grace, you cannot escape
the eternal punishment of God's avenging wrath.
Does your situation seem hopeless? How can you escape the
wrath of God and eternal destruction in hell? How can you, a sinner, ever
come to know God intimately and be at peace with Him? How can you,a sinner,
make yourself holy? It is impossible! Who can make
the clean out of the unclean? No one! (Job 14:4). But what is impossible
for you is not impossible for God. The glorious Creator, Sustainer, and
Ruler of the world is also the Savior, who delivers from sin, death, and
hell. God says, I, even I, am the Lord; and there
is no savior besides Me (Isaiah 43:11). God is not only a holy and
just God who must punish sinners, but He is also a God of love and grace
who shows mercy. In His grace and love, He hassent Jesus Christ to accomplish
salvation. God, in Jesus Christ, is the only Savior. If you are ever
rescued, it will only be by the person and work of the Lord Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who came to earth and tookupon
Himself a human nature. He is God, but He came as a real man.In Christ,
God was revealed in the flesh . . . (1Timothy 3:16).
His name [is] Immanuel, which translated means, "God with us" (Matthew
1:23). Jesus was conceived by the Holy
Spirit and born of a virgin. After He had grown to adulthood, He preached
the good news of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He told people about
God, His truth, and salvation. By healing the sick and even raising the dead
to life again, He displayed the power of God. This is the same power which
saves sinners like you. Throughout all of His life, He loved, served, and
obeyed God perfectly. At the end of His life He was taken by wickedmen, led
to a hill called Calvary, and nailed to a cross where He suffered and died,
just as God had eternally planned (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). After three days
in the grave He arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and now sits
at the right hand of God ruling the world until He returns to judge the living
and the dead.
By His sacrificial death Christ accomplished salvation. When He suffered
and died on the cross, He bore in His own body the sins of all those whom
God chose to save. For Christ also died for sins once
for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God
. . . (1 Peter 3:18). Their sins were counted as Christ's and God
punished Christ in their place. Christ paid the debt for them that they
owed to God so that they could have their sinsforgiven.
In whom [Christ] we have redemption,the forgiveness
of sins (Colossians 1:14). Moreover, all of Christ's righteousness
is counted to be their righteousness; as if they perfectly love, worship,
serve, and obey God. Christ has met the requirement of God in their place.
For as through one man's disobedience[Adam's] the many
were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One [Christ's] the
many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19). The death of Christ saves
sinners from the wrath and condemnation of God. There
is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans8:1).
Christ not only secured salvation by His death on the cross, but He
also applies it to the lives of all those whom God has chosen to save.
Christ raises them from their spiritual death to spiritual lifeby giving
them a new spiritual nature which loves Him. Thus God said,
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new
spirit within you . . . . And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you
to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances
(Ezekiel 36:26-27).Out of that new heart Christ gives faith and
repentance so that the new child of God turns from his sins and by faith
worships and servesthe only God, even though imperfectly. He comes to know
God as his Lord and Savior in an intimate and personal way. God loves him
and guides him,and he obeys God so that they are at peace with each other.
Andwe know that the Son of God has come, and has given
us understanding, inorder that we may know Him who is true, and we are in
Him who is true,in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal
life (1 John5:20). Christ brings believers into fellowship with
the trueand living God.
You cannot think, say, or do anything to save yourself. It is the work
of God alone. The Bible says God has saved us,and called
us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His
own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus . . .(2 Timothy
1:9). God saves by His grace alone. Salvation is not something
you deserve. It is a gift that is freely given through Jesus Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works,
that no one should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). No man can ever boast
that he contributed something to his own salvationnot even you! Salvation
does not depend on the man who wills,or the man who
runs, but on God who has mercy (Romans 9:16).
Do You Think You Know
Since God saves by giving faith to the sinner, salvation
is impossible without faith. No one is a true child of God without faith.
And without faith it is impossible
to please [God]Him . . . (Hebrews 11:6). He who believes in the Son has eternal
life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath
of God abides on him (John 3:36). Do you want to escape the wrath
of God and everlasting destruction in hell? Are you burdened with the load
of your sins and are you seeking forgiveness? Do you desire to know God and
His Son Jesus Christ and thus enjoy the blessing of eternal life? Jesus says,
Have faith in God (Mark11:22). A man once asked,
What must I do to be saved?He was answered,
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved .
. . (Acts 16:30-31).
God calls you to believe! Right now! This very second!
What is biblical faith? What does it mean to "believe"?
Faith or belief contains three things:
1) It is the knowledge of what the Bible says about God, Christ, man, and
2) It is the recognition that those facts are true.
3) It is trusting in God and His Son Jesus Christ alone to save you.(Stop
trying to do things to save yourself!)
What must you believe?
1) You must believe that God is the glorious and holy Creator, Sustainer,
and Ruler of the world. You are dependent upon Him for everything.
2) You must believe that it is your duty to love, worship, serve, and obey
God. The great and glorious God is worthy of your reverence and honor.
3) You must believe that you are a sinner who cannot fulfill your duty to
God. You deserve eternal torment in hell.
4) You must believe that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,to
save sinners like you. Christ accomplished salvation by dying on the cross
and shedding His precious blood. Three days later He rose from the dead as
the victorious Savior. There is no salvation apart from Him.
5) You must believe that God in Christ Jesus is your only Saviorwho
delivers you from your sins and God's wrath and gives you eternal life.
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sins. You cannot
say that you believe in God and Jesus Christ if you continue inall your sins.
Jesus commands you, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven
is at hand (Matthew 4:17).
Your true repentance contains three things:
1) You must acknowledge the fact that you are indeed a sinner who needs
to be saved by God. You must stop trying to save youself.
2) You must have a godly sorrow over your sin. You do not merely mourn the
bad consequences of your sin. You grieve over the fact that you have sinned
against a holy God, your Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler.
3) You must turn away from your sins and abandon them. You must not seek
to live a sinful and selfish life, but you must seek after God and His
True faith fills the believer's heart with thanksgiving so thathe longs
to obey God. It causes him to see how merciful God is in saving him from
his sins. He loves God and wants to do all that God commands
him. Even though he cannot obey God perfectly, his desire is to keep all
His commandments. Jesus says, If you love Me, you will
keep My commandments (John 14:15).
The true believer shows his love for God by faithfully fellowshipping
with other believers and serving them and attending church worship services
where he hears the preaching of God's Word, the Bible. He reads and studies
the Bible continually. He goes to his God in prayer throughout each day.
He seeks to know his God more and more, for he knows that he has only a childlike
understanding of the knowledge of God. The rest of His life will be devoted
to learning more about God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
The person who has true faith does not think that his faith, repentance,
love, and obedience are his own work. He does not think that
they are his part in salvation as if he helps
God along. He knows and believes that all these things are a part of the
salvation which God gives as a free gift. He could have no faith,repentance,
love, and obedience without the grace of God working thosethings in his heart
and life. Jesus says, . . . apart from me you can do
nothing (John 15:5). Nor does he think that byhis faith, repentance,
love, and obedience he fulfills God's requirement himself. He believes that
his salvation is based solely upon the person, death and resurrection of
If not, God commands that you believe in the
name of His Son Jesus Christ . . . (1 John 3:23). Jesus prayed,
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the
only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).
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