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Knowing God



When Scottish theologian John Baillie taught at Edinburgh University, he made it a practice to open his course on the doctrine of God with these words: "We must remember, in discussing God, that we cannot talk about Him without His hearing every word we say. We may be able to talk about others behind their backs, but God is everywhere, yes, even in this classroom. Therefore, in all our discussions we must be aware of His infinite presence, and talk about Him, as it were, before His face."── Unknown.


GOD, greatness of

In 1715 King Louis XIV of France died after a reign of 72 years. He had called himself "the Great," and was the monarch who made the famous statement, "I am the state!" His court was the most magnificent in Europe, and his funeral was equally spectacular. As his body lay in state in a golden coffin, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above his coffin, to dramatize his greatness. At the memorial, thousands waited in hushed silence. Then Bishop Massilon began to speak; slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle and said, "Only God is great."── Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 24.



H.G. Wells was never particularly religious, but after he had studied the history of the human race and had observed human life, he came to an interesting conclusion: "Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honor. But all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God."── Unknown.


God, as some cynic has said, is always on the side which has the best football coach.── Heywood Broun.


C.S. Lewis once wrote of a girl he knew who said that the word "God" reminded her of a "vast tapioca pudding." The only problem was that she hated tapioca pudding!── Unknown.


My concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.── A. Lincoln.


The existence of God means that we are living in a moral order, and in a moral order we can no more sin and get away with it than we can break all physical laws and escape the penalty.── H.E. Fosdick.


Is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders?── Friedrich Nietzsche.



God’s dwelling-place in the past eternity was in the high and holy place (Isa.57:15). Speaking after the manner of men, God desired another dwelling-place, and so created man that He might have a companion to dwell and commune with. Sin came in and separated man from God. Notwithstanding this, God’s heart went out towards man, for He says, “ My delights were with the sons of men” (Prov.8:31), and He commanded Moses to make Him a sanctuary, that He might dwell among them (Ex.25:8), which was but a shadow of Him who should come tabernacling among us (John 1:14, R.V.,M.), and having by His own blood put away the hindrance—sin—and made a way even into the very presence of God, the sinner can now draw near to God, and God can dwell in the believer, on the ground of the finished work and living Person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What was the Tabernacle made for?

God Himself gives the answer, “ that I may dwell among you,” but God comes nearer than that to us who believe in Him; “ I will dwell in them.” This tells us that God dwells not now in any earthly temple of man’s making , but in the individual believer in Christ ( 1.Cor.6:19), and also in the Church as a whole (11. Cor.6:16; Eph.2:22). This implies many truths. Among these we might  notice—

. Regeneration by the Spirit of God through the truth. He it was who quickened us from the death of sin, led us to Christ, begot in us a new nature, united us to and made us one in and with Christ, and He now dwells in every child of God as the One who witnesses to our acceptance, as God’s mark upon us, as the Comforter to cheer, as the Teacher to teach, and as the Indwelling Power, for us, in us, and by us to overcome our enemies, to glorify God, and to work in us mightily, thus to manifestly show that we are born again.

. Satisfaction in and with Christ.  He says, “ He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him” ( John 6:56). The thought here, is our union with Christ and His with us, and the satisfaction that flows to Him and to us, because that we are in Him. What satisfaction it gives to us as we remember that we are accepted in all the worthiness of the Person and work of Jesus, and also that He is in us the hope of glory!

. Relationship to God as our Father.  “ I will dwell in them……and I will be their God, and they shall be My people……and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (11. Cor.6:16-18). Here we have God’s relationship to us—“ Father”—and He has sent forth His Spirit in our hearts, crying, Abba Father; and we have our relationship to Him—“ sons and daughters.” Thus the Spirit, Son, and Father dwell in us.

. Standing. “ Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom.8:9). We are no longer in the first Adam, but we stand accepted in the last Adam, the Lord from heaven; and the fact that this is so, is, the Spirit of God dwelleth in us.

. Separation from the world. “ Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them” (11. Cor.6:14-18). Notice a sevenfold contrast here—

Christian         and     Unbeliever.

Righteousness    and     Unrighteousness.

Light             and     Darkness.

Christ            and     Belial.

Believer          and     Infidel.

Temple of God     and    Idols.

Clean            and     Unclean.

Well may Paul ask, what agreement have these one with the other? None; therefore there is no other alternative for us but to be practically separated from the one to the other.

. Power. “ I will dwell and walk in them.” This is our power. The Spirit is in us as our power to pray (Rom.8:26); He is in us as the source of fruit-bearing; He is in us as our power to enable us to walk in Christ; He is in us as our power to separate us from the world, and our power in work and testimony.

. Resurrection. “ If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from among the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, because of His ( margin) Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom.8:11). By His own almighty power shall He quicken our mortal bodies should we die; and if not, by His power shall we be caught up to meet Christ, and be changed in a moment, and be like Him.

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings