(Article for publication week of March 31, 2010 AD)
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
This week we will begin a new series for the Narrow Way on the doctrine of God. Our text this week is found in our Lord's High Priestly prayer. John 17 is the true Lord's Prayer. The prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 should be called the Model prayer or the Disciples' prayer. There our Lord teaches us to pray, but here in John 17, He Himself prays as the Only Mediator between God and man. As our Great High Priest, our Lord prays for his people, His elect that His Father gave Him in the everlasting covenant from before the foundation of the world.
Our Lord prayed that His elect would all come to know the One True God. This is a prayer that we know God answered and answers, for the Father always hears the prayers of His Son. Every one of Christ's elect sheep will know God and His eternal Son in experimental salvation. Jeremiah 31:34 says "they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest."
The first thing I will point out is that there is a vast difference in knowing about someone and actually knowing them. We all know about the president of the American Empire. We know his name. We know his face. We recognize his voice. We know the names of his wife and children. But very few of us actually know the president. This is the way our Lord speaks here concerning saving knowledge of God and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I know form painful experience what it is to know about God, and not know God. I was reared in a Christian home by believing parents. I was taken to the house of the Lord from infancy. I cut my teeth on the preaching of the gospel and the hymns of the faith and the prayers of the brethren. I made a profession of faith at a young age. I knew all about God. But I did not know God. But then God in His mercy and grace and kind Providence sent a faithful man of God to me to show me the way of salvation. His text was the text we are using this week, John 17:3, and he showed the difference in the true God, and the god of people's imaginations, He showed me the difference in knowing about God and actually knowing God. God took that message and sent it into my heart like a dagger and convicted me of my sins and wrought saving faith in me. And I came to know the true God, and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, I wonder if any of you are as I once was. Are you a church member, but lost? Are you a professor of Christ, but not possessed by Christ? Do you know all about God, but void of saving and experimental knowledge of Him and His eternal Son? Do you know the only true God, or are you worshipping a god of your own imagination?
These are serious and awful questions and I pray the Lord will help you to be honest with Him and yourself. Because you can fool others, and you can fool yourself, but you can't fool God. This is life eternal, to know God.