How We Know What We Know

October 27, 2016 at 11:05 am | Posted in I Corinthians | 16 Comments
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That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

I Corinthians 1:5

In the book of I Corinthians knowledge is seen as a gift. Those who have knowledge (“the Knows”) are not Knows because they are worthy. They didn’t “figure it out.” They didn’t acquire this kind of knowledge on their own.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

I Corinthians 1:17-19

Those who do not have this knowledge (“the Know-Nots”) think they have wisdom – and the world around them confirms them in this – when really they are the opposite of wise: foolish. This is one of the most tragic things about being a Know-Not: You know NOT that you are a Know-Not.

This keeps us from discounting the possibility that we are secretly Know-Nots, except when we receive the knowledge of Christ from Christ Himself.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

I Corinthians 1:20-25

Good news: Just because you wake up and realize that you are a Know-Not, you do not have to stay in that camp.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

I Corinthians 1:26

In fact, the Holy Spirit is calling you out of that camp into the tribe of the Knows.

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

I Corinthians 1:27-30

It is humbling to be a Know – even though you wouldn’t think so. The Knows have the knowledge, but it is a dependent knowledge. Our only source of so-called boasting is boasting in how great our God is and how unworthy we are.

The Apostle Paul was a know-not only in a purposeful way.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

I Corinthians 1:16

He determined not to know the record of his past accomplishments, and not to know things that would distract from the Gospel.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I Corinthians 2:2

This was a selective and special instance of voluntary “Know-Notism,” because the true Know-Nots crucified the Savior.

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

I Corinthians 2:8

They did it in ignorance, but it was a culpable ignorance. They doubled down on being Know-Nots by blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them 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. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

I Corinthians 2:9-11

These verses apply Isaiah 64 to progressive revelation. The Spirit searches even the deep things. Don’t sell yourself short concerning what you are able to comprehend about God’s Word, since you have its Author, His Spirit, residing in you to teach you. The Know-Nots want to know less. The Knows want to know more. And the Knows have received the Spirit of God

The “flesh” has a spirit, but it is a selfish spirit, and the world also has a spirit that is not a good spirit.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

I Corinthians 2:12

Spiritual knowledge is ignorant of fleshly, worldly knowledge.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

I Corinthians 2:13

“Comparing spiritual with spiritual” is a good rule of Bible interpretation, but also a good rule to live by. Spiritual minds want spiritual truths.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 2:14

The Bible holds no real attraction for a lost person. A big difference between the Knows and the Know-Nots is that the Knows know the mind of the Lord, because, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, they have received the mind of Christ.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

I Corinthians 2:15

The Knows should not be proud, but they also should not be intimidated by the Know-Nots.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

I Corinthians 2:16

Christ is knowledge and wisdom personified, so we ask not just “what would Jesus do?” but “what has Jesus done?”.

Get Over Yourself, because You Can’t Get Over on God

December 30, 2009 at 10:29 am | Posted in Eternity | 9 Comments
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Pride is a dangerous thing. If I were to begin to proclaim that I had done enough good things for God, so that He owed me a place in Heaven, I should be quickly rebuked and shown the error of my ways. My home in Heaven is made secure by God’s grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and I have no justification for bragging about it (Ephesians 2:8-9).

My own merits, whatever they may or may not have been, were completely tainted and stained by my sinful nature prior to salvation (Isaiah 64:6). So I will not be going to Heaven on my own merits, but on the merits of the One Who was perfect in my place, and who bore the weight of, and suffered the force of, God’s wrath in my stead: Jesus Christ the Righteous (I John 2:1-3).

Therefore, it must be understood and proclaimed that our own self-worth, our own self-righteousness, and our own “good” works are completely insufficient to earn God’s eternal approval. This is true even of our own belief and faith. Even the strongest Christian is often weak in his/her belief and unsteady in his/her faith. Are you not grateful beyond measure that when our own belief falters, or falls beneath God’s standards, His unchanging faith, and not our own, secures our salvation?

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

II Timothy 2:13

Who “KEEPS” Me Saved?

November 4, 2009 at 10:18 am | Posted in Eternity | 8 Comments
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Some people have heard that they have to be righteous to go to Heaven. Therefore, they try hard to do “good deeds,” and to say “good words,” and to think “good thoughts,” and to be “good people.” When the idea that people can achieve “self-righteousness” is exposed to Scripture, however, only the most stubborn still hold onto the false belief that they can “save” themselves.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:10

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Titus 3:5

Hopefully, upon learning of the futility of attempted self-righteous salvation, the unbeliever will repent and call upon Christ the Savior. There is rejoicing even in the presence of the angels in Heaven when this happens (Luke 15:10)! However, there is a strange thought circulating about, by which it is sometimes said that the salvation of the Lord, which comes by His grace through faith, can be lost, stolen, or rejected. In response to this strange thought, there is probably a nicer word than “heresy,” but I can’t think of it.

Let those of us who are born again, the elect of God according to His grace and mercy, remember that we did not save ourselves, and we are utterly incapable of “keeping ourselves saved.” Many modern translations of the Bible get a key phrase in Philippians 3:9 wrong. They say that righteousness is “through faith ‘in’ Christ.” The King James (not the New King James) Version hits the nail right on the head when it says that, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Emphasis added.)

Today, as I type this, I am found in Jesus Christ. I am righteous in the sight of God only because the righteousness of His dear Son has been imputed to me. The eternal continuance of this gift of righteousness is not because of my great faith. It is because of the wondrous, magnificent, awe-inspiring, unchanging, never-ending faithfulness of Christ Himself.

Professing Atheists Pretend They Would Like God If He Could Be Controlled

April 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 7 Comments
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Professing Atheist: What about rape, murder, torture, pain, suffering? You are holding God to lower standards than everyone else, even though he is supposed to be good. That is bizarre. Good behavior should need no rationalization – it should be self evident.

Christian: It is always a mistake to believe that anyone holds God to any standard. He never violates the Truth of His own Word. People assume horrible atrocities go unpunished because they do not see what God sees. People will claim they want a God they can figure out (Romans 11:33-36), but that would be beyond bizarre – it would be horrific.

God cannot be held to the standards of sinful men, because He is perfect, and men are sinful. However, He is also holy – and this goes beyond our finite understanding of perfection. (I Samuel 2:2). He cannot be compared with us, because He is not “like us, only better.” He is not “like us, only wiser.” He is not “like us, only more powerful.” He is not like us at all.

We cannot truthfully determine the extent of God’s justice or the extent of His mercy. What we consider our righteousness is like filth to Him (Isaiah 64:6). Professing atheists pretend that they want a logical little god they can subject to their own tests and standards. But that is because they are spiritually, albeit willfully, blind (I Corinthians 2:14). That way they can please their pride, and tell themselves that they are not like the murderers and rapists – they are “only” liars or lustful or idolaters or blasphemers or covetous. God does not always deliver tidy explanations, but He does give dependable promises.

Professing Atheist: Spiritually blind? How do you do that? Do you have some special sense I don’t?

Christian: Christians don’t have a special sense that you don’t have. They have a special Person: the Holy Spirit. He acts like an antenna which allows them to discern the Truth, and filter out the false. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13

Professing Atheist: It is important to realize that I’m not a deconvert – I never had a religion. So I can’t lie about God’s nonexistence – I know he doesn’t exist! Covetors are people who want something others have. You have nothing that I would ever want – your ideas are poison.

Christian: You have a basic understanding of the meaning of “covetous,” but you are confusing “covet” and “convert.” No argument, debate, or scientific test is going to convert you. That should let you relax. The Holy Spirit, however, CAN reprove you – that may be why you can NOT relax.

Professing Atheist: How do you know? If God doesn’t give tidy explanations why do you believe He will give dependable promises? If he has a separate standard, what is to stop Him from throwing Christians in Hell?

Christian: If God doesn’t give tidy explanations, how do I know He won’t throw true Christians in hell? “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13


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