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1298. Does God Know You?

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2022 7:00 pm

1298. Does God Know You?

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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July 20, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Alan Benson concludes the series entitled “Our Great God.”

The post 1298. Does God Know You? appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, we're concluding a series called Our Great God. Today's message will be preached by BJU Executive Vice President, Dr. Alan Benson. Take your Bibles and turn with me, if you would, to 1 Peter, Chapter 5.

1 Peter, Chapter 5. They say that preaching a sermon is like flying an airplane, that the two most difficult parts are getting the thing off the ground and then getting it back on the ground. And I actually have found that something very similar is true with a series like a doctrinal series. And I had the privilege to preach the first message in the series and now I have the privilege of preaching the final message in the series. And on any great doctrinal theme, that would be a challenge. But in particular, as I sat and thought, how do you bring to a close a series of messages that focuses on our great God?

What do you say in the end? And we really have been privileged as we have worked through this theme. If you remember way back at the beginning, I challenged us with the thought that this wasn't a series about us learning more about God, but us getting to know our great God. And I asked the question many times in that message on purpose, who is your God?

I hope throughout this semester and throughout these messages, you have come, yes, to know more about God, but through that, that you have grown to know God better. And so we explored together the exclusivity of God. Dr. Stikes led us in a thought of the God who alone is to be worshiped. The Trinity, Dr. Goecher talked about the God who is one but three and why that is essential, not just for him to be God and God alone, but for us to know him. Then Dr. McGonigal and Dr. Miller helped us explore the attributes of God.

Dr. Crockett helped us then explore the works of God in making everything and in saving rebels. Dr. Olinger then helped us to stare at a God who is sovereign and in his grace and in his sovereignty, governs all things. Remarkable truths about the one true and living God. I hope that all of those things have led you to a sense of awe about this God. Yet today, what I want us to do in conclusion is to look and remember and think about that God and who he is, a God that is omniscient and knows all things all the time the same, a God who is omnipresent, a God who is everywhere all the time the same, a God who is transcendent above and beyond everything that he has ever made, an awesome God. Yet today, what I want us to see is that that God is a God who wants me to know and love him. Did you know that I know Tom Brady?

Some of you would say I don't care. I know how old he is. I know where he was born. I know where he went to high school and where he went to college. I know how tall he is.

I know how much he weighs at least in season. I know his wife's name. I know how many children he has. I know how many games he's won.

I know how many Super Bowls he has won. You see, there's a problem in Tom and I's relationship. And the problem in Tom and I's relationship is this. Tom doesn't know me. Tom doesn't know anything about me. In fact, Tom doesn't know that I exist. In fact, I have no reason to think that Tom would ever want to know me or even to know that I exist. Why do I point that out?

Because friends, frankly, I want to be really stark in this comment. It does not matter that you know about God. It doesn't matter that you can name his attributes.

It doesn't matter that you can itemize his works. You see, I was wrestling through this message this morning and I was thinking about another question, one that maybe might grab a hold of us like, who is your God? And I had the thought that question would be this, do you know God? But you know, the most significant question actually that a man must come to grips with is not the question, do you know God? Because we're all too ready to answer that by itemizing things that would be akin to me telling you I know Tom Brady.

And I actually don't know him at all. You see, the most significant question that you must answer is not, do you know God? The question is actually, does God know you? See in Matthew 7, Jesus said, every tree that bringeth not forth fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. But he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works and then will I profess unto them, listen, I never knew you. You see this verse tells me that it is possible for you to know intimate details about who God is. But frankly, friends, scripture just makes it very apparent that the more you know about God without a relationship with God, the more accountable you are. This verse tells me that it is possible to have grown up in church, to have grown up in a Christian school, to have grown up in a Christian home school, to have gone to attended faithfully a Christian university, to go to chapel three days a week and on and on we could go and for you to face an eternity separated from the God that wants you to know him. This question, does God know you, is actually a question that brings intimacy to the relationship. It actually personalizes the knowledge.

Does God look at you and find his name there? That is the question. You know, every relationship requires two things. They require a lot of things, but they require two things in particular if they're actually going to grow. The first is this, a genuine desire to know the other person. If you're in a relationship and it's not in your heart to continually grow in knowing them, your relationship isn't going to grow. And the second one is like unto it, it is a genuine willingness to be known by the other person. That takes a lot of trust.

But if those two things aren't true, at some point your relationship isn't going to grow. And friends, that is true of our relationships with God. Do you have a genuine desire to know God? Not just to know about him, but to know God. What are God's passions? What are God's desires? What are God's delights? What is God's divine will for you? And do you approach God with a heart that readily says God, I want to lay myself bare before you God.

I want to be known. So then the thought of a God that is a creator God, a magnificent God, a sovereign God who is not right here where I can see and explore and the conversation with him through prayer is different than normal conversation. His communication to me is different.

That task is daunting. In fact I would tell you, unless there's a God who wants to be known, you could never know him. And that's why I bring us then to 1 Peter chapter 5. And I really want us to see in 1 Peter chapter 5 in verse 10, four things about our God that ought to not only comfort our heart in knowing him, but actually ought to cause us to pursue knowing him.

And so I want us to see first of all the person we are to know. Our president in his message yesterday talked about the names of God and if you think about those names that God allows us to know him by, all of them are revelatory. What does it mean for God to be our peace, for God to be our provider, for God to be our helper?

All of those are dynamics that God does in life so that we might know him. As I come to 1 Peter chapter 5 in verse 10, you follow along as I read. Peter writes, but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal life by Christ Jesus.

After that you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever, amen. So first of all, I want you to see how Peter identifies God here, the person we are to know. He says he is the God of all grace.

What a name. What a way to identify God. You see when the scriptures speak of the grace of God, they're always speaking of a work of God demonstrated to men that is sourced in the character of God. And in that sense, it is an unmerited act of God that is intended to draw attention to God as the giver rather than to man as the recipient. When I experience God's grace, God's intention is that through that thing, my attention is drawn to him as the giver rather than to me as the consumer. So in this name, the God of all grace, what a statement. Yes, it may be actually considered subjectively that he is a God who is completely gracious and that is true to him. But he is also a God that possesses and demonstrates every capacity, every facet of grace because he in all of those acts wants us, wants you to know him.

Let me ask you a question. Have you experienced the grace of God? You see, this is in a sense the means of knowing him. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. You see, the grace of God played a role in me going from lost to found and from blind to seeing. We know this to be true in salvation, don't we? Paul wrote to Titus, for the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. And that grace then works in us, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly loss, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Take your Bibles and flip over with me to a well-known passage, Ephesians chapter two quickly, because I want you to see the work that God by his gracious acts is doing in every man's life that comes to him in salvation by identifying who we were and what we faced and then what he did and what it resulted in. He writes in Ephesians 2 and 1, and you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past you walked, that's our lifestyle according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh to the children of disobedience, among whom also we had our conversation, our actual conduct in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, get it now, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. That's who we were.

That's what we faced. The world, the flesh and the devil, he identifies all three as adversaries against God and against us coming to know God. Then look at verse four, but God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened, has made us alive together with Christ. By grace ye are saved and has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Why? That in the ages to come he might show or demonstrate the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it's a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast for.

We are his workmanship, the work of his hands created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Young people, as we come to the end of a series about our great God, I would be dreadfully remiss in my responsibility as one who declares God's word to you to not first ask you, do you know God and does he know you? It would weigh heavily on my heart if we spent a semester giving you greater accountability because we brought you greater knowledge about God and you sit here and go through all of that but you aren't saved. Young person, if you sit here today and somewhere in the recesses of your heart there is a yearning to know God. You sit here today and there's conviction of sin. You sit here today and there's an awareness that you don't know where you'll spend eternity. There's something that is taking place in your heart and you're not sure what this whole salvation thing is. Understand that working in your heart is a sovereign God who by his grace is bringing conviction to your soul.

And I ask you today, listen! Because God in his grace is fighting through your flesh and he is fighting through the adversary of the God of this world who wants to bring darkness and confusion and distance from God. He is fighting against the powers of this world that are hell-bent against God and eternity and he's calling to you. Come to Christ. If you sit here today and we look at the waning days of a school year and you yet don't know Jesus, friend, today is the day. Without the redemptive transaction of Calvary, without you personally coming to the place where you realize I'm a sinner and I can't save myself, I'll never work my way to God. I have no hope outside of the fact that Jesus satisfied the just wrath of God in my behalf, that he paid the debt of my sin that I might be redeemed. Without you fully embracing that in a submitted heart to the will of God, you my friend will not spend eternity in heaven. And it is the gracious act of God that by Calvary you might be saved because that is the beginning point of you knowing God and it is the only way that Jesus will know you. See this is the means of knowing him, it's the grace of God. It's true in salvation. But then I want us to see the pathway, if you will, for knowing him. And I think sometimes we get caught up in the temporary rather than the eternal.

We live here, this is what we do. But somehow the stuff around us, the things that we acknowledge theologically are temporary become reality. Can I tell you that in a very real eternal sense, God is not about you getting a great education. God is about you getting a great education so that you can know him. God is not about you finding a great career path. God is about you finding a great career path so you can know him.

And the right lenses upon which we should look at life is actually the lens that looks at life and says, how now can I know him better? Paul looked at life and he said, yea, doubtless I count all things but loss for what? For the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I've suffered the loss of all things and do count them but done that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law but that which is through the faith of Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith. And he says this, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being made conformable unto his death if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect but I follow after if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. You see, friends, Peter says this, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus.

Life is the pathway then of knowing this God. If I, as the hymn writer said, am loved with everlasting love and led by grace this love to know that the result of that is that I come to an understanding that I am his and he is mine. This relational dynamic that now I am in Christ which is where you are and who you are if you are saved. That I now live this life as a pathway that is bent on knowing my God. God, how will this dating relationship result in me knowing you better? God, how will this degree lead me to a life where I am pursuing knowing you better?

God, how will this marriage relationship, how will me moving to this city, how will that lead me to deepen my knowledge, the intimacy of my relationship with you? Friends, it's a different way of thinking about life and frankly it is not our default way of thinking about life. Think about what God did in order for us to know him, right? In six literal days God breathed out the world and all that is in it.

Why? Not because he was bored and thought hey I need to make a picture, let's make it 3D. He did it so that we might know him, Psalms tells us. And man fell into sin and what did God do? Jesus thought it not robbery to be equal with God and he set aside his glory and came and became a man so that we might know him. Jesus said I've come to reveal the father. Think about what God did that you might know him. Think about the fact that he has breathed out a word, a living book, that through his truth we might know him. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. And I tell you in all of these things it is God's intention that you know him and that that be what life is about.

Does that shape your thinking? Peter then takes us another step and he shows us the process of gaining knowledge and I can't help but read this little phrase in 1 Peter 5 and think that it must be the most tongue-in-cheek statement in all of the Bible. You see the process of gaining knowledge of God, he captures in this little phrase, after that ye have suffered a little while. And there's a sense in this statement that he actually is talking about a theology of suffering. Do you realize that the trial of your faith works patience and that that results in a formed faith. It brings a persevering quality to the way that we live.

Jesus told his disciples don't be surprised that they hate you, they hated me. The scriptures tell us that we're appointed to suffering and the reality is we live in a fallen, sin-cursed world and we live in broken bodies with a sin-cursed nature that has been redeemed and is being redeemed and God lovingly in this life brings the trials of life and he works them all together for the salvation good of his people. Friends, some of you are sitting here and the very things that God intends to use to deepen your knowledge of him are keeping you from him. Life is filled with hurts and difficulty. Some of you sitting here today and you are struggling with why after all of this do I have a professor that's going to give me an exam. Doesn't he care?

You're in the midst of doing projects right now and your mind is telling you this is for nothing else other than one final twist of the knife at the end of an arduous semester. But there's suffering much beyond that, isn't there? There's some of you sitting here today and your parents have cancer. Some of you sitting here today and your parents have already gone to eternity. There's some of you sitting here today with heartbreak.

Friends, I want you to know that that is not due to the triumphant work of sin in the world. Your God is saying to you come to me. Cast your care on me for I care for you.

And in doing so find out something about me. You see the difficulties of life are the process in life by which God intends for us to run to him. To come to him at times in helpless and wordless prayer that just says oh God help. God I need you right now to make yourself real to me.

I need to know you. Notice the wonder of this little tongue in cheek statement after you've suffered a little while. And that leads us then if you will to the final thing, the product of a life that knows God.

We live in the same world. But as I grow in my knowledge of God, here's what God accomplishes in me. He says make you perfect.

And I think that is something he's now going to break down in the other three statements. God is going to bring about a maturing work in your life. You will grow in spiritual depth and maturity. God will be forming his son in you so that the knowledge is not just intimate.

It is integral. You are becoming like Christ. And how does he do that in the midst of this life journey? He establishes and he strengthens and he settles you.

How many of you looking at the end of this semester say oh boy I need a really good dose of that. I need God to strengthen me. I need God to establish me right now because I'm quaking. I need God to settle me because I feel very unsettled. Friend the answer is know your God better.

And he finishes with this little statement. To him be glory. A right opinion of God.

And dominion. Living under the right authority of God. Forever and ever. Amen.

I ask you this question. Not just do you know God. But does the God of all grace know you friend? If you're not saved today is the day of salvation. Believer.

Do you know him? Are you allowing the struggles, the difficulties of life to lead you to deepen your knowledge of him? Praise God today that the one true and living God is a God who wants us to know him. Father thank you. Dismiss us with your blessing in Jesus name. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached by BJU Vice President Alan Benson which was the final message in the series titled Our Great God. Join us next time for another sermon preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 13:20:58 / 2023-03-21 13:30:01 / 9

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