Ask the Pastor: How do you get to know God?
Don’t forget to submit your Bible questions to us – firstname.lastname@example.org or in the “Question Box” outside the sanctuary.)
One question submitted this week by a child in our congregation:
How do you get to know God?
A great question by a young child! Here are some recommended resources:
- Some questions and answers you can memorize together!
- Watch Pilgrim’s Progress – a classic story picture of the Christian life!
YOU MUST COME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE
The only true way to know God is to know what He has done for you in the Gospel. Here’s a summary of the Gospel.
The one & only God, who is holy and perfect & the creator of the universe, made us in His image to love, know, & obey Him.
We sin / break the law by disobeying and turning away from God. In simplest terms, we break the law of God in our hearts, minds, & even physically making enemies with God. This condemns us to death and to eternal punishment.
In love, Jesus Christ, who is God, came to us as a man, lived a sinless life keeping God’s law perfectly, died on the cross for sinners like you and me taking the punishment of all who will turn to and trust in Him. He rose from death on the third day, defeating death itself. Jesus then went (ascended) to heaven—and He is coming again!
God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.
We, as sinners, are to have sorrow over our sins, turning away from them and turning to Jesus Christ alone in faith that He took the punishment for our sins on the cross. In this only can we have forgiveness and a right relationship with God.
By the grace of God, we are born-again into a new life, an eternal life with God. We are to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul living by His commands.
That’s good news! And the Gospel above is the A to Z of the Christian life. You won’t outgrow it. You will continually go back to it over and over. What Christ did for us!
This list isn’t complete. I just jotted down some many ways.
After someone has come to know Christ truly as Lord and Savior, he or she is baptized. Baptism symbolizes your new life in Christ and says that you’re now committed to Jesus. Even Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:1-22)! And He calls His all of followers to also be baptized. Baptism was practiced by the very first followers of Jesus in Acts 2:41.
Read the Bible
One of the greatest things a Christian can do is to make a lifelong practice of reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation over and over again (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16, Psalm 119, etc.).
To a young Christian, the Bible can seem overwhelming. This will never change. The Bible is overwhelming! It contains more truth about God than any man will ever comprehend or obey.
We believe it is about knowing God in a personal and intimate manner and being transformed into the likeness of His Son.
Do not be discouraged! Every day that you give to the reading of God’s word will eventually add up to years of study and a wealth of biblical knowledge. Every day lost will reduce the size of that final treasure.
I have known many people who were brilliant in certain aspects of what we believe (doctrine), but whose overall knowledge of the Bible was very weak. To avoid this pitfall, you must read the Bible from cover to cover.
No one in their right mind would read a book by bouncing around the book and randomly reading only certain parts. They would begin at the beginning and move through the book chapter by chapter until they reached the end. And yet very few Christians have ever read the Bible this way!
One of the best ways to learn the Bible is to write your insights and questions as you read. Each time you pass through the Bible, you will notice that you are able to answer many of your old questions and that new questions have come to mind. You will also be able to refine and clarify many of your previous insights. By this means, you will learn that the Bible is the best commentary of itself
Divide your prayer life into two categories—praying with your athletic shoes on and your steel-toed work boots (1 Thess. 5:17; Matt. 6:9-13, etc.).
To pray with your “athletic shoes” on means you’re walking with God as an ever-present companion, enjoying time with Him in fellowship, and seeking to know Him better. It is to know Him and to simply “be” with Him. And take a specific time each day to spend with God. That frees you up to pray through the day (Mark 1:35).
To pray with your “work boots” on means that you pray until you can pray, and then pray until you have prayed. Let no one mislead you. This type of praying is hard work and, perhaps, the most holy task God has given to us (Eph. 6:12; Gen. 32:24-32, etc).
Tell Others About Jesus
When you become a Christian, it isn’t a secret password. Tell the world about it! It is a celebration! Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Today, Christians are still called to share the hope within us with others (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Live for Your Creator
Ecclesiastes 12:1 says:
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them
It means more than simply bowing your head every time you pass by a church. It is not fulfilled merely by attending church every time the doors are open. Those are all good things.
It is a radical and life-changing command to know and understand the God of the Bible, to acknowledge His authority in all things, to seek His glory in all things, and to strive to obey Him in all things.
I many young Christians who waste away their time playing video games and frequenting malls. They should be giving themselves to more noble purposes!
You weren’t bought by the blood of the Lamb in order to give yourself to such things. This life isn’t about you—it is about God and knowing Him and making Him known! You have been adopted into a royal family and royal deeds are expected of you. Get rid of the mindless entertainment of the age and give yourself to the will of God.
Study these verses: Eph. 6:10-12, 2 Tim. 2:20-22, etc.
Seek out Godly Men and Women
At the risk of offending you, I must say that if you are young, there’s probably a great deal of foolishness still bound up in your heart (Proverbs 22:15). If the greatest influences in your life are other young people just like yourself, then you are walking down a dangerous path. The Bible teaches a very lifesaving truth that is often neglected today:
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
The Bible teaches young Christians need to be with older and more mature Christians so that they might learn their ways and avoid the pitfalls of the young and naive. According to the Bible, the greatest influences in your life ought to be your mother and father, provided they are godly and mature Christians. Following them, it is the role of the church pastors and the entire adult congregation to model the Christian life before you.
In short, you will do well to surround yourself with godly men and women whose progress in sanctification and usefulness to God are evident. Be faithful to come to church and be involved. Get to know not only the godly Christians of our time, but also the Christians of yesterday through their writings and the writings of others about them.
“There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity.”
― J.I. Packer,