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The Knowledge of God, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2021 7:00 am

The Knowledge of God, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 12, 2021 7:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans says that the knowledge of God isn't a set of facts that we learn; it's something that grows within us through experience. Join him in this lesson as he shares some secrets about how to use that experience to keep going, even when our trials seem too tough to take.

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The temptation when you're persevering is to quit and say, I don't want the God thing anymore. Dr. Tony Evans says the Bible tells us to hang in there and grow our knowledge of God, even when we feel like giving up.

The worse things get, the closer you are to whatever God is planning to do. 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. Dr. Evans says the knowledge of God isn't a set of facts that we learn.

It's something that grows within us through experience. Let's join him in the book of 2 Peter as he explains. 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 lost 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 authentic knowledge of God. He says in verse 3, Seeing 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 redeemed to be, you already possess. 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 4, the divine nature. It's located in the divine nature.

Now I know that poses a question. If I have that much of God living in me, why can't I locate it? Why can't I find Him?

Why? 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. First Peter chapter 1, I just want to 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 because 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. You got this little seed, you plant it in the ground, corn, and you come up with a stalk with all these ears on it. How did that little seed have 10 ears of corn on a stalk? Could you open that thing up and see them ears?

No. But when planted in the right soil, what you have, here's what you have in the seed. He calls it the seed. You have all your potential. All your potential is in the seed. So if God has now invaded the seed of your spirit, what do you think your potential is?

What do you think my potential is? Now, we may not be living up to that potential, but it's not because it's not there. It's in the seed. But the seed has to develop. And he says, when it develops, you escape the corruption. You escape the corruption. The DNA of God overrides the deterioration and entropy of the world, because you have in you, on you, the divine blueprint.

So that narrates the next question, doesn't it? Okay, how do I get this seed cooking? How do I get this seed working? Because I'm tired. I've been saved 10 years and 20 years, and my baby ain't growing.

How do I get this seed working so that the new nature begins to dominate? Watch this now. For this very reason also, apply all diligence.

All right? Diligence means zeal. In other words, what Peter is getting ready to tell you, take seriously. Apply all diligence. Don't take what he's getting ready to tell you casually. Don't think that this is some minor thing.

All diligence, this is deadly serious. If you want the divine nature to express itself in your soul, then take this down seriously, he says. With all diligence, in your faith, that is, with your salvation, he says you have a common faith, you're already saved, because he's talking to born-again believers, in your faith, here it is, supply. He's going to list seven things. Seven is the number of completeness in the Bible. He's going to give you seven things that will grow your seed. Seven things that will grow your seed, and this is what you must supply. You say, but wait a minute, you told me I already have everything.

You do. But now you're telling me I must supply something. The seed has the whole stock of corn and its possibilities in it, but if you don't supply the soil, then the seed has no place to express its potential. The supply he's talking about is not adding on to what God has done.

The supply he's talking about is creating an environment so that all that he's done can flourish. You go to the grocery store, you get a can of orange juice concentrate, you get a can of apple juice concentrate. In that can is a pitcher full of juice, but it's concentrate. It's been collapsed and concentrated, but its design is to serve your whole pitcher. So what they tell you is to add water.

Now all the water is doing is expanding what you already have in the can. You don't have to buy a pitcher full of juice if you buy juice concentrate, because a pitcher full of juice is in juice concentrate. But when you add water, what you're doing is expanding the juice's capacity to give you more. When he says add, he's not saying come up with more juice. He's saying create that which gives the seed the capacity to give you more of God.

Are you with me? So this addition is not adding something new to what God has done, it's just giving God that which he can expand on. So here's what you do. He says supply, first of all, number one, moral excellence, moral excellence. Some versions translate, the word can be translated, virtue, virtue.

Now questions, what does that mean? Moral excellence or virtue meant giving something what it needs to fulfill what it was designed to do. To give something virtue was to give it what it needed to fulfill what it was designed to do. So now that you are saved, add to your faith virtue. When you till the soil and fertilize the soil, you're giving the soil what it needs to produce the crops you want to have. So you give the soil virtue. You must do this, he says.

You must give the orange juice concentrate the water if you want the pitcher full, okay? The question is, what is this thing you must add? What is this thing that he's telling us to add that's what I'm designed for? Just flip over one page to chapter 3 verse 18. But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory.

Here it is. You were made in your divine nature to bring glory to God. That's your DNA and divine design. So if you want the seed in your spirit to expand, you must add to your salvation the goal of glorifying God. First Corinthians 10 31 says, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. So you must now live with the consciousness of glorifying God which now adds virtue to your salvation. You must ask, how will this make God look? How will this expand how God is viewed? How will this make God look bigger and better? How will this put God on advertisement? How will this put God on blast? How will this make God be advertised more?

When you become conscious, functionally conscious of the purpose of spiritual growth or your salvation, which is to bring glory to God, what you just added to your faith is moral excellence. God will not make you glorify Him. He will not even make you be conscious to glorify Him. He will say, if you will add that, the seed will pick up on that and the seed will pick up because it's divine nature. It will pick up on He's trying to bring God and make God look good in this situation.

And the seeds gonna shake a little bit, seeds gonna move a little bit because the seed is responding to the fact that God is being glorified. So he says, add to your salvation, your faith, moral excellence or virtue. Then he says, add to your moral excellence or virtue, knowledge. Faith is not blind. It must be informed.

To put it another way, you cannot grow beyond what you know. Dr. Evans will have more on the importance of the knowledge of God when he continues our message in just a moment. Stay with us. There are so many ways that God has demonstrated His faithfulness to me and to this ministry over these 40 years. You know, there were times when we just weren't sure we were going to make it.

We got down to our last paycheck. After that, there was no money to pay anyone and I remember us having a special prayer time and asking God to intervene. And then out of nowhere, a donor's heart was touched and they wrote us a note and said, God placed it on my heart to send you this gift and it was able to sustain us until we were able to rebuild. So I am not a doubter about the greatness of God nor His faithfulness. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us who have been faithful, too. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years we've seen His kind hand of favor on this ministry. This radio program, Tony's television ministry, our work with pastors and congregations all around the world, none of it would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you. And that's why I want to let you know about a special package we put together as our way of saying thank you when you make a donation to keep this ministry going. It starts with Tony's newest book, Prayers for Knowing God. In times of crisis and change, knowing God is the only path to heart-deep stability and peace. And you'll better grasp His love, character, and strength as you work through these 50 topical prayers, all designed to help you understand and experience God more deeply. Along with the book, we'll also send you, on CD and digital download, all 12 full-length messages in Tony's current series, God's Heart Revealed, a compilation that can help you delve deeper into an understanding of who God is and how He wants to work in and through your life. This is a limited-time offer, so don't miss out. Visit tonyevans.org today to make your contribution and request. Or call us at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our friendly resource team members is standing by to assist you.

I'll have our contact information for you again after Part 2 of today's message and this. The Bible makes it clear that you know when God has cursed a land, when its fathers are nowhere to be found. Dr. Tony Evans says that what becomes of the next generation of men depends on what happens with this one. Our kids need to see men in their midst who love God and who love them. But what does it take to be that kind of man?

You can find out with the help of the Tony Evans Training Center's free course called Kingdom Man. It'll teach you to see past the phony images of manhood that society surrounds us with and become the loving leader that a wife and family would want to follow. As with all of our courses, there's in-depth study material you can work through at your own pace.

Lots of exclusive content from Tony. Tightly focused Q&A videos and an online forum where you can collaborate with other students. It's almost like having a seminary on your smartphone. Check out the free course called Kingdom Man and the growing list of other subjects waiting for you.

Visit TonyEvans.org today and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. When you see how you should glorify God, God wants you to add to that glorifying of Him, the virtue, more information, because if I add more information to my glorifying Him, what did I just add? The ability to glorify Him more. That's why people go on for a master's degree. They want to master a subject. They don't just want to have the general information.

They want to have the specific targeted information in a given field. He says God wants you to become a master Christian. He doesn't just want you to be a high school graduate Christian. He doesn't even want you to just be a BA born again Christian. He wants you to become a master degree saint where you have now mastered, why? Because when you go for a master degree, you have to accumulate more information.

You learn Bible study because that can glorify Him more and the more I glorify Him, the more my seed going to rumble because now the seed is expanding in the soul. He says don't stop there. Add to your knowledge self-control. Self-control means holding on to oneself.

It was used regularly of athletes who had to discipline themselves in order to maximize their skill in a certain performance. Add whatever you need to stay focused on your goal. He goes on and add to your self-control, he says, perseverance. That means in everyday language, hang in there. Don't quit.

Don't throw in the towel. And perseverance is almost always related in the Bible to trials. When the Bible talks about perseverance, most of the time you're going through a rough time. He says I know it's hard, I know it's hot, I know it's heavy, but if you're putting these other things in place that preceded this, I want you to add. You're putting in self-control, I want you to add hanging in there.

Why? Here's a little secret. The worse things get, the closer you are.

That's my little secret. The reason he doesn't want you to throw in the towel yet is because the worse things get, the closer you are to whatever God is planning to do. The worse things get, the reason he says don't throw in the towel is because the closer you are. He says persevere, and to your perseverance, add godliness, because the temptation when you're persevering is to quit and say, I don't want the God thing anymore, to bail out on God. Hang on to living for God even though you don't see anything happening.

Okay, watch this now, watch this. He comes to the next one, brotherly kindness. The Greek word there is philadelphia.

That's the Greek word. Find a brother or sister who's going through something similar to you and minister to them. Brotherly kindness meant to selflessly reach out to another member of the family of God and pour into them. I know what you're saying, I need somebody to pour into me. I know what you're saying, but you know, remember Luke 6 38, give and it will be given to you. Pour it out to a brother or sister. If you need healing to whatever degree you can, minister to somebody else who needs healing.

Add to that love. Well, wait a minute, didn't I just show love with a brotherly kindness? Brotherly kindness is to a brother. That's to a brother or sister, that's to another Christian. That's to somebody who's on your side, on your team. That's somebody you don't mind talking to, dealing with, because they're a brother or a sister and they're going through what you're going through.

So you can relate, that's somebody you can relate to. But God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When he talked about love, he's talking about folk you aren't particular about, folk you would naturally gravitate to. Folk you may go in the other direction from. This has to do with ministering to the irregular people in your life. Let's talk about ministering to somebody who you're, I don't know that I want to talk to her, I don't like her.

God demonstrated his love in that while we were sinners against him, Christ died. He's saying go there, because now the seed is going crazy in you. Because now you're acting like why Jesus came and died. What's going to happen? What's going to happen?

I'm almost out of time. What's going to happen? He says this is going to happen in verse 8. For if these qualities are yours and are, here it is, growth increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful, here it is, in the true, epigonosis, in the true knowledge, the authentic knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. He says you're going to become fruity. God has a lot of Christians with no fruit. They're still Christians, but nothing is coming out of their lives that God can use.

What happens if you don't do this addition? You just say, I'm saved, that's I'm enough, verse 9, in closing. For he who lacks these qualities is blind and myopic.

That's the Greek word for where we get our English word, myopic, short, nearsighted. Having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Wow. If you don't add these qualities, you're thinking short term. Any mother who's only thinking about nine months is thinking short term. Nine months is your introduction. That's what nine months is. Nine months is beginning the process. That's short term to think nine months.

That's 18 years. He says for those who lack these qualities, you're not thinking, you don't have the big picture. You're just living day by day. You're missing the big picture. The person who says, I only want to go through the ninth grade, and that's it.

That's it. I think I'm good at ninth. They think in short term.

That may be good now that you're in the fifth grade, but when you're out there trying to get a job, that's a whole different story. He says, no, think of the bigger picture. Both of time and eternity, you will become fruitful. Life will become meaningful. Dr. Tony Evans will come back in a moment to look at what Jesus did to allow us, even in our imperfection, to truly know the perfect God. But first, I want to remind you of that package of resources I mentioned earlier. It includes all 12 messages from Tony's current series, God's Heart Revealed, as well as his just-released book, Prayers for Knowing God. These resources can help you connect with God more deeply than ever before, and they're all yours when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. So be sure to drop by tonyevans.org right away to make the arrangements before this limited-time offer runs out. That's tonyevans.org, or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by around the clock to help. Trying to fit the idea of an infinite God into a finite brain is like trying to pour a swimming pool into a sippy cup.

It's just not going to work. But the Bible does give us some important insights into God's nature, and on Monday, Dr. Evans will help us explore them. Right now, though, he's back to finish up our lesson for today. He says, and the root problem in closing, here he says the root problem is, the person who won't develop these qualities on the spiritual growth level has forgotten his purification from his former sins. You forgot Calvary. You forgot the cross. And whenever we forget the cross, we're in trouble. I'm in trouble.

You're in trouble. When you forget the cross, when that just becomes something that happened 2,000 years ago, he says you're in trouble because now you won't see the need. 2,000 years ago, Jesus picked up the tab. He paid it in full.

He doesn't want you to forget the price he paid at Calvary for our sins and become slothful in adding what he's provided for our new nature because the price was too high that he paid for you to forget the expensive cost of the payment for our sins. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-25 10:28:25 / 2023-12-25 10:37:25 / 9

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