Knowing God(Part 2)

by Creflo Dollar | 6 Feb 2019

Summary

When we know the true nature of God, we have a correct perspective of His Word. We must be careful, however, not to mistake a shallow, intellectual knowledge of God for a real relationship with Him. A Christian’s focus should not be on practicing the right principles or mechanics, but on getting to know the Father through His Son, Jesus. Our relationship should not be based on what we can get from God, but on how much He loves us; everything we need in life will spring from a deep, intimate bond with Him. There is nothing wrong with Christian principles, as long as we focus on Christ and a relationship with Him, first and foremost. Focusing on Jesus transforms us by changing our belief of who we are in Him, and convinces us we are children of God. When we know not just who we are but whose we are, we can rest in this loving relationship with our heavenly Father.

  1. Knowing God radically changes our lives. In Him, we are transformed into new beings.
    1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:1-3).
      1. Knowing God causes this grace and peace to be multiplied in our lives; we get to know Him through His Word.
      2. When we get in the Word, we see Jesus; Jesus, in turn, shows us the Father.
      3. The mechanics of Christianity do not produce “all things that pertain unto life and godliness;” a relationship with God does.
    2. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
      1. If we are in Christ, we have a new creation on the inside of us.
      2. The “old things” that pass away when we are born again are not our actions, but our old root of sin. Our old, sinful selves disappear.
      3. Real repentance is having the right belief about who we are in Christ. We believe we are righteous, redeemed, and children of God.
      4. Changing our belief, first, leads to a change of heart, mind, and direction.
      5. Repentance is not simply changing our behavior; a change in behavior is the fruit of our belief in who we are.
  1. There is nothing wrong with principles, as long as we put our relationship with God first.
    1. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:27, 28).
      1. Transformation comes when we focus on Christ.
      2. We do not need to discard faith, confessions, or the laws of prosperity or healing; we simply must focus on our relationship with God, first. Everything else will follow.
      3. Works of the law are our efforts to do something in an attempt to get something from God; works of faith are actions born out of a relationship with Him.
      4. The right actions come out of our changed hearts; they don’t change our hearts.
      5. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
    2. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (James 2:14-21).
      1. Just because we are now under grace does not mean there are no more works for us to do. Sincere belief results in works of faith, which differ from works of the flesh.
      2. To say we have faith in something without following up with corresponding action indicates that our faith is incomplete.
  1. Abraham did great works; those works were born out of his belief in what God told him.
    1. What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:1-5).
      1. Abraham was not justified by what he did to become righteous by the works of the law; he was justified by his works of faith.
    2. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
      1. Abraham was justified by his belief, not by empty actions. He did not do anything to deserve righteousness; he was declared righteous because he believed what God said.
  1. Thinking about God’s promises strengthened Abraham’s faith. He trusted God’s Word.
    1. And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together (Genesis 22:1-8).
      1. Prior to this event, Abraham had been meditating on the other promises God had made to him; Abraham believed those promises.
      2. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Genesis 22:17).
      3. Abraham’s belief gave birth to action when he took Isaac and prepared to sacrifice him.
    2. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen (Genesis 22:9-14).
      1. When Abraham said he would go with Isaac to worship, his intent was to do exactly as God had instructed him.
      2. Like Abraham, we must believe that our loving heavenly Father will take care of us, regardless of how the situation looks.
  1. We must not confuse works of the flesh with works of faith. Strong belief brings actions.
    1. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
      1. “Works” are our efforts to do something to earn our salvation.
      2. The mindset that says works of any kind are no longer necessary because we are now under grace, is incorrect. Works under the law are not needed; God has ordained that we should instead do works of faith.
    2. Under the new covenant, we must believe; our belief will lead us into good works.
      1. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (John 6:28, 29).
      2. They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28, 29, NLT).