Sunday, September 21, 2014

That Loving Knowledge of God

Although the Almighty is beyond the power of human understanding to grasp, Christians believe that knowing God’s Will is possible because Jesus, in his humanity offered for our sakes, has given us real access to God.
The kind of knowledge the Risen Lord gives us is different than the merely factual kind of knowing. Such factual knowledge is all about simply knowing what to do – how to make or fix something. There is nothing to be gained in approaching the Mystery of the Living God like a service manual.
ZurbaranStJohnoftheCrossKnowing God and his Holy Will is, instead, deeply personal. In this loving knowledge, St. John of the Cross explains, love (not naked reasoning) leads us forward into the Divine Mystery. What the intellect understands follows behind our love for the One who discloses Himself. The loving will knows the Loving Will of God and a union of wills, each given to the other, becomes possible. This love is a friendship love – it sees the goodness and beauty of God because it has loved Him and been loved by Him first. St. Paul calls this the Wisdom of God (see 1 Cor 6-13). Some theologians call this experimental or experiential knowledge of God. There really are not words to describe this kind of knowledge – yet those who know the Lord in this way really have something to say, something the world needs to hear, something we need in our lives.
With this kind of loving knowledge, a joy, peace and a dynamic self-possession grows in the heart. Every time someone acts in accord with this loving knowledge of God, these fruits increase — sometimes exponentially. This fruit, which St. Paul enumerates in his letter to the Galatians, is produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). When we choose to act in accord with the loving knowledge the Lord shares with us, it frees the Holy Spirit to be fruitful in our hearts.
It is possible to act against this knowledge, to act as if we were ignorant of God. St. Paul warns against living with our minds conformed to this age or like those whose minds are darkened (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:18). It is possible for those who believe in Christ to choose to live in the flesh – to allow the unconscious hidden drives of our nature to make our decisions for us, not only in big things, but especially in the little things we think no one knows and no one will be hurt by. This living in intentional ignorance is what keeps us immature spiritually – acting against what we know in our hearts.Teresa of Avila 22
There is no reason for discouragement if we suddenly realize that most of our lives we have chosen to live in ignorance. Teresa of Avila lived like this until she was almost forty years old. The Lord however would not let her continue – and when she was off her guard, He pierced her to the heart with His Love. Just as He touched her to the core, He can touch any one of us – it is something worth asking for, something worth enduring every kind of trial to obtain.
So the spiritual life really begins when we take up the struggle to make room in our lives for the loving knowledge of God that only Jesus gives. This is why Christians must make silent prayer a priority in their lives. It is a knowledge that comes from the Cross and doing all we can to gain this knowledge is worth it.

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  1. JESUS AND THE TERMS OF PARDON BY STEVE FINNELL

    What are the terms for pardon under the New Covenant? Did Jesus give us the terms of forgiveness from sin before He died or after His death and resurrection?

    WHAT DID JESUS SAID WHILE HE WAS ALIVE?

    1. Luke 18:18-22 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? .....20 "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' Do not murder,' Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' ' Honor your father and your mother.'" 21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." 22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "you still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; come, follow Me."(NKJV)

    Would the rich ruler have been saved had he obey Jesus? Yes. Was Jesus giving the terms for pardon under the New Covenant. No, He was not.

    2. Mark 2:1-5....5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,"Son, your sins are forgiven you."(NKJV)

    Were the sins of the paralytic forgiven? Yes. Was Jesus saying that under the New Covenant men will have their sins forgiven because of the faith of friends? No. He was not.

    3. John 8:3-11....10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the women, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."(NKJV)

    Was the woman condemned by Jesus? No, she was not. Was Jesus saying that under the New Covenant if no man condemns you that I will not condemn you? No, He was not.

    4. Luke 23 39-43 .....Then one of the criminals who was hanged blasphemed Him, saying , "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us". 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying , "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds ; but this Man has done nothing wrong."42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."(NKJV)

    Was the thief saved? Yes. Was Jesus giving the terms for pardon under the New Covenant? No, He was not.

    WHAT DID JESUS SAY AFTER HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION?

    Mark 16:14-16 After He appeared to the eleven...16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.(NKJV)

    Jesus gave the terms for pardon, under the New Covenant, after He was resurrected.

    Luke 24:36-47 ....."and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.(NKJV)

    Peter gave us the terms for pardon under the New Covenant at Jerusalem on 33AD. Acts 2:22-41
    Peter preached the terms for pardon under the New Covenant.

    Faith: John 3:16
    Confession: Romans 10:9
    Repentance: Acts 2:38
    Water Immersion: Acts 2:38

    Jesus never told one person that under the New Covenant they did not have to be baptized in order to be saved.

    Jesus never told one person that under the New Covenant they did not have to repent to have their sins washed away.

    Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ; for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift , the Holy Spirit. (The Living Bible -Paraphrased)


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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