Thursday, August 19, 2010

The knowledge that we need

Man does not know himself or God truly. He does not know the greatness of his sin and misery. Neither does he know where he is going. He knoweth not his time, there is not a heart in him to be wise and understand his latter end, numbering up his days and so applying his heart to wisdom. We read in Ecclesiastes that ‘the labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city’. Man does not know the way to everlasting life unless the Scriptures reveal it to him and even then he will seek to follow his own way and not heed the clear instruction of the Word. At the beginning of Pilgrim’s Progress we witness a man all deserted, with the burden of sin upon his back, he is reading in the book, weeping and trembling and crying out: ‘What shall I do?’ There is a man with some knowledge but he has not that saving knowledge that he requires. O what a pitiable condition.

There is a paradox in religion also that although there may be much knowledge about religious things, about God and his requirements, there is no true and real experimental and saving knowledge of God. This was true of the Pharisees of whom Christ said that they knew neither him nor his Father. It was true of the Jews of Paul’s day. They had the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. He bore record of them that they had a zeal of God but not according to knowledge, For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. If they knew truly the righteous character of God and what he requires they would never be so zealous to seek to establish their own righteousness. Paul knew himself that he trusted in many religious privileges but yet it was all nothing to him when he came to a true experimental knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We read in Hosea that God ‘desired mercy, and not sacrifice; the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings’.  You must be clear as to this, it is not your religious privileges or observances that will make you right with God, you must come to a saving knowledge of God by faith.