ETERNAL LIFE IS KNOWING JESUS By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
''These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may also glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is Life Eternal, that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.'' (John 17:1-3)
Eternal Life is given to us only through KNOWING God and His Son Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible says: ''For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him might be saved.'' (John 3:16,17)
The Word of God declares that Almighty God is incomprehensible, unknowable and transcendent! How then, is it possible to KNOW Him? Man cannot know God through the intellect. We can know about Him through His creation, but we can KNOW Him only through His Word and the Holy Spirit!
In His High Priestly Prayer, our Saviour divulged this great truth: ''All things are delivered unto Me of My Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.'' (Matt.11: 25-27)
Jesus asked His disciples: ''Whom do men say that I am? They answered, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.'' (Matt. 16: 13,14). The Lord pressed them: ''But whom do ye say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.'' Jesus explained: ''Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven.'' (Matt. 16: 16,17)
Concerning the great wisdom of God that is given to believers, St. Paul writes: ''But we speak the wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory, which none of the princes of this world knew: for had thy known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
''But as is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.'' (1 Cor. 2:7-10)
The renowned Baptist pastor, Dr. Vance Havner, wrote: ''Paul...had in mind not only in Heaven, but the riches of God's grace for us here and now. It is impossible to imagine, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, what God can do to us and through us and for us when He can find a man who really cares enough to be His instrument.''
OUR RIGHTS IN CHRIST: UNSEARCHABLE!
Jesus said: ''Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, or the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake.
''At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will magnify Myself to him.'' (John 14: 10,11, 20).
To know Jesus Christ is to Know God the Father, for He said: ''If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'' (John 14: 23)
St. Paul's epistles are filled with the love, power, and provision for believers in Jesus Christ have when we really come to KNOW Him. ''Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ.
''According as He hath chosen us in 'before the Foundation of the world', that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure if His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us Accepted in the Beloved.
''In Whom we have redemption through His BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. For through Him (Jesus Christ) we both (Jews and Greeks) have access by one Spirit (Holy Spirit) unto the Father.'' (Eph. 2:18). ''Having made known to us the Mystery of His will, according to the good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.'' (Eph. 1:4-9)
THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE GOD!
Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) was a philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. Here is his prayer: ''The intellect knoweth that it is ignorant of Thee, because it knoweth Thou canst not be known, unless the unknowable could be known and the invisible beheld, and the inaccessible be attained. If anyone could set forth a concept by which Thou canst be conceived, I know that that concept is not of thee, for every concept is ended i the wall of Paradise... , this man is yet far from Thee... for as much as Thou art absolute above all the concepts which any man an frame.'' - The Vision of God, 1928, pages 58-60.
The Bible says; ''For there is ONE God and ONE Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself as a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.'' (1 Tim. 2: 5,6). Without a mediator, it would be impossible for a human being to approach God at all, let alone to KNOW Him. How grateful I am, that Jesus Christ, God's Son, left Heaven's glory to die upon a rugged cross for us all.
A hymnist penned these wonderful words about our crucified and risen Lord and Saviour, in the glorious hymn, 'Revive us again': All Glory and Praise to the Lamb that Jesus was slain, which hath borne all our sins and hath cleansed every stain. Hallelujah, Thine the Glory, Hallelujah, Amen. Hallelujah, Thine the Glory, Revive us again!
HE IS UNAPPROACHABLE!
St. Paul declares: ''Jesus Christ...Who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: To whom be honour and power everlasting.'' (1 Tim.6: 15, 16)
Our Lord declared: ''I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'' (John14: 6); ''All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.'' (Matt. 11:27);
''All things are delivered to me of My Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and He to whom the Son will reveal Him.'' (Luke 10: 22); Yet, Jesus said: ''And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only, TRUE God and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.'' (John 17:3)
GETTING TO KNOW GOD!
Nearly 100 years ago, Anglican Canon Holmes of India wrote: ''To the average man God is only an inference and not a reality. They have deduced from the evidence at hand that He exists, but He is not personally known to them.'' In his book, The Pursuit of God', A.W. Tozer stated: ''He must be, therefore, we believe', is the basis for their faith in God. Others, know Him only through hearsay.''
According to the great Bible Scholar, A.W. Tozer, ''To many God is only an ideal, another name for Goodness, Mercy or Truth: He is law or life or the creative impulse back of the phenomenon of existence. The common thread in all these is that they do not Know God personally! Believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God believe in the personality of God as the Son of God. Jesus taught us to call God, FATHER, something the prophets in the O.T. did not.''
God is more than an ideal or a mere principal. He can be known by experience. A.W. Tozer writes: ''A loving personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the Garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a loving Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working and manifesting Himself whenever or wherever His people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation.''
We see the Personality of God in the following Scriptures: ''O taste and see that God is good.'' (Ps.34:8); ''All Thy garments smell of palaces .'' (Ps.45: 8); ''My sheep hear My voice.'' (John 20: 27); ''Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.'' (Matt. 5:8); Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently SEEK Him. (Heb. 11:6)
A.W. Tozer continues: ''A Spiritual Kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, all within the reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here, waiting for our response to His presence.'' The Eternal worlds will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.''
Dr. Ole Hallesby, the famous Evangelical Lutheran pastor founded the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Norway to oppose the modernism, apostasy and unbelief taught at the University in the setting of the Lutheran State Church. In his Commentary Matthew 21:12, 22, he wrote: “Now and then, we make discoveries which almost take your breath away, namely, when we see what great powers are present in this realm of the invisible. This is especially true when these powers are put to our disposal, when God performs a mighty miracle simply because we ask Him to do so.”
Dr. Hallesby made it plain that absolutely all of God's promises are TRUE, even though we cannot understand them. Since He created everything out of Nothing, and raised Jesus Christ from the dead, certainly He can move a mountain or two if He so desires!
The problem is that we are so infantile in our faith. The solution is in getting to know our Saviour more intimately through prayer, His Word and by the Holy Spirit. If we are able to believe with all our heart that He means what He says and trust Him with no reservation, we will see His almighty power operate in our lives in afar greater measure!
Jesus said: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the very works' sake.
''Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works shall ye do than these, because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it.'' (John 14; 10-14)
St. Paul declared: ''Therefore if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation: That is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
''Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him (Jesus Christ) to be sin (sin offering) for us, who knew NO SIN; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.'' (2 Cor. 5: 17-21)
''For in Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And we are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power.'' (Col. 2: 9,10)
JESUS: THE FIRST IN RANK!
Jesus is the First in rank over every creature. He is the first born from the dead. He is the only one who died and was raised; never to die again! Lazarus had to die the second time after Christ raised Him up! The first born was always the first in rank. No-one is before Him. He was there in the beginning before anything was created. God the Father used His Son to create all things!
The Bible states: ''In Whom we have Redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For by Him were all things made, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created Him, and for Him.
''And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the Body, the Church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things, He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father, that in Him should all fullness dwell.
''And having made PEACE through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in Heaven. And you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled. In the Body of His flesh through Death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.'' (Col.1:14-22)
JESUS CHRIST IS OUR LIFE!
Christ is our life. He lives in us and works through us. We feed on His holy Word and are led by the blessed Holy Spirit! His love shines through us and His compassion grips our spirits as we reach out to those around us with the glorious presence of the Eternal! His wisdom astounds us and His healing power destroys the work of the Enemy as we labour to build the Kingdom of God!
We have a God given mandate to liberate the lost and dying wherever we find them and to heal the sick and suffering in the matchless Name of Jesus Christ. He has prepared the way for us through His vicarious death on Calvary's Cross and His resurrection from the dead! Our names are already written down in the Lamb's Book of Life and our inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled reserved in Heaven for us!
Do we deserve any of these wonderful gifts? Absolutely Not! Did we do anything to earn this status as children of the Most High God? A thousand times, NO! How did all this happen, then? You cannot pay for a gift! The Bible says: ''For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting Life. For God sent not His Son into the word to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. '' (John 3:16, 17) Amen.