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The Knowledge of God, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 11, 2021 7:00 am

The Knowledge of God, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 11, 2021 7:00 am

People think they can manage anything from their diet to their desires with enough self-control. In this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans will explain why that's not enough to get the job done, as he talks about growing our knowledge of God.

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You can spend all kinds of money and all kinds of time trying to come up with a better soul, and the best you can come up with is soul management. But Dr. Tony Evans says God isn't concerned about soul management. He's looking for soul transformation. He wants to change your soul, but that comes through expansion of the Spirit. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.

People think with enough self-control, they can manage everything from their diet to their desires. Well, today Dr. Evans explains why that's not enough to get the job done, and what we need to be striving for instead. Let's join him. Today I want to talk to you about growing in the knowledge of God, and I have just the person to talk to you about it, because the Apostle Peter is really committed to this thing about growing. For example, Peter says in 1 Peter 2, 2, like newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word in order that you might grow. Peter says in 2 Peter, chapter 3, verse 18, grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter is passionate about our growth, and nothing expresses that passion nor that process any more than 2 Peter, chapter 1.

And this passage, if you can grab it, grasp it, put your arms around it, I think you will have what you need to either begin or to speed up your process of experiencing God in the real world of life. Peter is writing to Christians. He says in the middle of verse 1, to those who have received the faith the same kind as ours. So these are born-again Christian people he's writing to.

He's not concerned with winning the loss right now. He's concerned about getting the saved into an experiential knowledge of God. Notice what he says at the end of verse 2. He wants you to have the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord. Notice what he says in the middle of verse 3, through the true knowledge of Him who called us. Notice what he says at the end of verse 8, in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. So Peter is concerned that we enter into what he calls the epigonosis.

That's the Greek word for the full knowledge or true knowledge or, let me give you another word, the authentic knowledge of God. Peter's not first concerned with how many Bible verses you can quote, how many Bible studies you've been in. He's not concerned about how many times you use Jesus' name throughout the week. He's not concerned about how many references to God you make in the course of your life. He's concerned that you have an epigonosis, an authentic experience of the knowledge of God. He starts out with an exciting phrase.

I am excited about this phrase because we read it and we skip it usually because we think it's like an introduction before the real message. But he says in verse, into verse 1, by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. So please notice he calls Jesus Christ both God and Savior. Jesus Christ is not just Savior. Jesus is also God. Jesus is God with skin on. God wanted to become a man so that he could relate to men.

So God put skin on in the person of the second member of the Trinity, the second member of the Godhead, Jesus the Christ. And then he says, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Even before I get into this message, I'm excited because I want to talk about multiplication. He says, grace and peace be multiplied to you. In other words, if you want more grace and you want more peace, you got to have a multiplication in the knowledge of God. In other words, no knowledge of God, less grace, less peace. Grace is all that God is free to do for us because of what Jesus Christ has done. It is his unmerited favor. If you want more favor, you have to have a greater knowledge of God.

Peace is the ability to be calm no matter how chaotic things are going on around you. If you want more calm in the midst of the storm of life to be multiplied to you, you must expand your experiential knowledge of God. You see, five plus five will grant you ten, but five times five will grant you twenty-five. Ten plus ten will grant you twenty.

Ten times ten will grant you a hundred. So if you're satisfied with a little addition of God, that's one thing. Peter wants you with a little multiplication of God.

That's a whole different level because that's times. He says, I want grace to be multiplied, not just added. I want peace to be multiplied, not just added. And he certainly doesn't want grace and peace to be subtracted. He wants grace and peace to be multiplied that is abundantly supplied. In fact, Second Corinthians chapter nine, verse eight says that God is able to make grace abound to you so that in every way, exceedingly, you will see an abundance for more than you need. So what God is saying is he wants to give you a multiplied experience with him, but that is connected with your knowledge of God and of his son, Jesus Christ. So you ought to feel good right now that God is interested in multiplying your experience and not merely giving you an addition. He wants to give you a multiplication of your experience with him.

How is this going to happen? Watch this now. He says in verse three, seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything. Somebody say everything.

Look at your neighbor and say everything. Now turn to somebody else and say everything. Because the text says, see, that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the epigonosis, the authentic knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence. Guess what? Everything you need to become all you were meant to be, you already have.

Let me say that again. Everything you need to become all you were redeemed to be, you already possess. Some of us are looking for stuff we already own. The great publisher Randolph Hearst was one day looking for an exclusive painting that he was not able to find. He really wanted this painting. He sent his staff all around the world to look for this painting. They came back and said, we could not find the painting anywhere.

We went around the world looking for this painting. But one of your cleaners was down in the basement cleaning up the basement where you have all your artifacts and old paintings only to discover what we were searching the world for, you had already in your basement. Some of us are looking for life and you already have it. Some of us are looking to be more Christian and you already have it. Some of us are looking to be more like God and you already have it. Because my Bible says, and I think your Bible says the same thing, everything pertaining to life and godliness has been granted to us by his divine power. Everything you need to meet all of life's demand in a way that would please God, godliness, everything you need to meet all the demands of life, you already have. But the problem is if you don't know you have it, then you don't know where to go get it.

And if you don't know you have it, you'll go looking in places that can't offer it to get what's already been granted. When the sperm of a male enters the egg of a female, life is born. There is life. The moment that the sperm enters the egg, there is conception of life. Now the problem with that life is it's undeveloped life. But everything that baby is ever going to be is already in the DNA of the conception. You don't have to go looking for arms to sew on to the egg. You don't have to go looking for feet to sew on to the egg. You don't have to go looking for eyes to pluck in. You don't have to go looking for ears because even though you can't see it, it's already built into the conception. The conception of life supplies to the life in embryonic form everything the life's going to need to be a life when it comes out of the womb.

In fact, everything that that conception needs to become a full grown man or a full grown woman is in the seed of conception. You don't have to find adulthood. It's already there. You don't have to find adolescence. It's already there.

You don't have to go out and find somebody who can paint skin color. It's already there. Everything that that child is ever going to be is already there. The only thing that stops you from knowing whether it's a male or a female, the only thing that stops you from knowing all the idiosyncrasies of this new birth is development. The lack of development makes you think everything's not there if you don't already know it. But the fact of development brings out everything that was deposited at conception.

He says by his divine power, God has granted us everything that we are needing. I love that old commercial about preggo spaghetti sauce, preggo spaghetti sauce. In the TV commercial, somebody would say, well, where's the tomato? And the answer would be, it's already in there. Where is the sausage? Well, it's already in there. They would, where's the oregano? It's already in there.

In other words, when they were advertising the spaghetti sauce, everything you were looking for was already there. I don't know what you're looking for, but I can tell you it's already there. You say, but I'm looking for joy. It's already there. I'm looking for peace. It's already there. I'm looking for power. It's already there.

I'm looking for productivity. It's already there. I'm looking for meaning. It's already there. I'm looking for happiness. It's already there.

I'm looking for a future. It's already there and I'm looking for a purpose and it's already there. Well, why can't I find all this stuff I'm looking for?

Because you're not looking in the place where it was put. It's already there. The stuff we're looking for that pertains to life, being able to look at all and address all of life's issues, and the things we're looking for to address them in a way that pleases God, godliness, he says, has been granted by his divine power.

So where have all these extras been hiding in our lives? Dr. Evans will have the answer when he continues our message in just a moment. In the meantime, I wanna tell you about Prayers for Knowing God. It's Tony's newest book, and it's designed to help you experience greater grace and peace each day as you grow closer to God through your communication with him. And if you visit us right away and help out with a contribution, we'll send you the Prayers for Knowing God book, as well as all 12 full-length lessons from Tony's current teaching series, God's Heart Revealed. These messages and prayers will help you better understand God's motives, actions, and desires, and will move you from a casual acquaintance with God to an intimate friendship. It's all our way of showing appreciation for your faithful support of this ministry. Get all the details and make your request online at tonyevans.org, or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222 before this special offer runs out.

I'll repeat that information for you later in the program. Dr. Evans will return with more of today's message right after this. Whether you're facing a decision or a dilemma, it's smart to ask, what would Jesus do? But first you have to know what Jesus did and what God has to say about the situations you face. Well, if building your biblical foundation is your goal, the help you need is as close as your computer or mobile device, thanks to the Tony Evans Training Center. It's packed with online courses covering core concepts of the faith and in-depth scripture studies you can work through any time you want at any pace you want. Along the way, you'll explore key teachings and learn how to apply them in real world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Tony to keep you interested and motivated and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers and collaborate with other students. It's almost like having a seminary on your smartphone.

Visit tonyevans.org today and connect with the Tony Evans Training Center where you can explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. Now, you know, at Christmas time, you'll go and buy toys for your children or perhaps you'll buy things for your own home and they will tell you on the front of the package, batteries not included. In other words, we have all the stuff, but you gotta find your own power. Well, guess what God says? I not only have given you everything, batteries are included because it includes my divine power, he says, to pull off what the equipment is designed to do. So I got good news for you today that everything that you're needing to become all God wants you to be, you already have. He says the location for the everything he has granted for all he intends you to be is located in what he calls in verse four, the divine nature. It's located in the divine nature. Your nature is your essential disposition. Your nature is your core being. Your nature is your total essence. It's sort of like this, we're made up of body.

That gives us the ability to relate to the outside world through the five senses. We're made up of soul. That's your personhood or personality. Everybody in here has a different body and everybody in here also has a different soul. The job of your soul is to give instruction to your body. So your body does what your body does cause your soul tells it what to do. But all of our souls have been distorted by sin and circumstances. So that's why we think some of the things we think. That's why we feel some of the things we feel and can't get rid of those feelings.

Why? Because our souls have become distorted due to all of the things that engulf us in this world. What he calls in verse four, the corruption of the world. The corruption of the world in which we live, including our own corruption has distorted your soul.

So I hate to tell you this and I hate to tell me this, but it's true, you can't trust you. Now, the thing that you have that's supposed to sort all this stuff out is your spirit. Your spirit is the essential essence of who you are. But the problem is we were born with spiritually dead spirits. We were born with a nature that was spiritually dead, that is unable to make contact with God.

So guess what God did? What God did was he quickened your human spirit quickened your human spirit by an intrusion by the Holy Spirit and it's called being born again or receiving the nature of God. Second Corinthians 5, 17, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. All things pass away and all things become new. So what God did was he gave you a new spirit.

Follow me here because this is where the teaching comes. He gave you a new spirit, he did not give you a new soul. Let me be technically correct. On the day you got saved, your spirit got saved. Now, I know we're used to going around talking about Jesus has saved my soul.

Well, that's not quite it. Jesus, on the moment you were converted, saved your spirit by imparting to you a new nature. Your soul is being saved.

Your spirit was immediately saved. What God did when Mary, the mother of Jesus, got pregnant, it's because the Holy Spirit penetrated her egg. When the Holy Spirit penetrated her egg, you had the most unique individual in the history of mankind. Because you got an egg, a human being, you got the Holy Spirit, a divine being, and the divine being penetrates the egg, creating life.

So you got a unique life. You got a person being born who is both God and man. You got a baby that's got to suck and get milk who made the mother that's producing the milk. Because you've got God infiltrating man. You got a man who gets thirsty, but a God who can walk on water. You've got a man who can get hungry, but a God who can turn fish into Moby Dick sandwiches and feed 5,000. You've got the unique person because you've had the penetration in the egg of the divine nature. You say, well, that was good for Jesus.

No, it's also good for you. Because what God did was he penetrated the human spirit with the divine spirit so that now integrated into your humanity is the DNA of deity. The DNA of deity has now been penetrated into you and you have God living in you.

Now, I know that poses a question. If I have that much of God living in me, why can't I locate him? Why am I always a victim? Why is there no victory? Why is all I'm living in defeat? Why can I make life work? Why if I got what you told me is in me, why is it not working?

Very simple. 1 Peter 1, I just wanna read verse 23. For you have been born again, not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable that is through the living and enduring word of God.

Here it is, here it is. You have been born again with an imperishable, here it is, seed. When God's spirit entered your spirit, you got a new nature, but in seed form. In other words, it wasn't fully grown. It was in seed form. And the only way you come to discover a brand new life that has been conceived is when there is development. If the seed doesn't develop, it's not cause it's not alive, it's because it's not growing any. So the reason we're not experiencing more of the DNA of God is we're satisfied to remain in seed form.

So here's the way it's supposed to work. Your spirit is supposed to grow in your soul so that your spirit now dictates to your soul. Your soul being corrected by the spirit that's now growing inside of it is gonna give new information to your body. So your body begins to do different cause your soul is functioning different. But the soul is only functioning different cause the spirit has taken it over. But if the spirit is still being remaining in seed form, the soul doesn't ever change.

So the body doesn't function differently. So if you wanna function differently in the body, it's cause there's gotta be a change in the soul, but there's only a change in the soul when there is development in the spirit. So that's why you can spend all kind of money and all kind of time trying to come up with a better soul and the best you can come up with is soul management. And that's what a lot of people are spending time and money on, managing their souls better.

You can do that, you can go to a therapist and an analyst and you can go to talk to your friends and they can help you manage your soul better. God is not interested in soul management. He's interested in soul transformation. He wants to change your soul, but that comes through expansion of the spirit. He's trying to change you.

He's trying to change me. He does that through the expansion of the divine nature, not going out creating new stuff, new programs, new this, new that, new that. No, no, no, the only program he's interested in is in that which expands the seed of the spirit in the soul. Dr. Tony Evans, talking today about the difference between improving our behavior and transforming our soul.

And the first step toward a godly soul transformation is having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You can find out more when you visit tonyevans.org and follow the link that says Jesus. You'll find everything you need, including a special invitation from Dr. Evans and some resources to get a new life with Christ started off right. Again, that's at tonyevans.org. And while you're there, don't forget to take advantage of that special limited time offer I mentioned earlier, Tony's brand new book, Prayers for Knowing God, along with all 12 messages from his current God's Heart Revealed series on CD and digital download. The entire package is yours as our thank you gift when you make a contribution to help keep this broadcast coming your way each day.

Again, this is a limited time offer, so don't put it off. Visit us today at tonyevans.org to get all the details. You can make your contribution and your request online at tonyevans.org. Or call our 24 hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members assist you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well tomorrow, more from Dr. Evans on why the knowledge of God isn't a set of facts that we learn, but something that grows within us through experience. I hope you'll be with us. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-25 19:09:57 / 2023-12-25 19:19:51 / 10

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