In the last post I stated, ‘We will for all eternity grow in our knowledge of God, because God is eternal and infinite, thus it will take an eternity to know such a God fully.’ Perhaps some of you would push back on this and quote 1 Cor. 13:12 which says, ‘Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been known.’
On the surface it does seem to be a problem doesn’t it? I’m saying we’ll grow in our knowledge of God for all eternity, but Paul seems to be saying that as soon as we enter into glory we’ll know God perfectly. But the Greek is helpful here. The phrase ‘know fully’ is the English attempt to translate one Greek word ‘epiginosko’ which means to gain a deeper and more accurate knowledge of something. This means when we enter into glory we shall gain a deeper and more accurate knowledge of God than the knowledge of God we had here on earth. If Paul wanted to say ‘then I shall know all things’ he could’ve done so in Greek very easily using a different phrase (‘tote epignosomai ta panta’) but he didn’t, and so I conclude 1 Cor. 13:12 supports what I’ve been saying all week.
Do you see the wonderful implication of this?
If this is true for all eternity, that we’ll grow in our knowledge of God for all eternity, it is certainly true for this life. Paul tells us as much when he says the Christian life is one where we’re continually ‘increasing in the knowledge of God’ (Col. 1:10). When he prays for the Ephesian church in Ephesians 3:14-19 Paul prays, ‘I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory, He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to (WHAT, WHAT, WHAT?) comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’
Paul prays that God would strengthen us to comprehend the very thing that surpasses knowledge. And praise God that He answers this prayer right? Amen.
Because of this, because of the incomprehensibility of God and the knowability of God the disciplines of a lifelong devotion to Bible reading, a lifelong devotion to prayer, a lifelong devotion to right theology, a lifelong devotion to the ministries of the church should be seen and should be experienced as what they are: a very exciting endeavor. Rather than something we have to do, a life devoted to the knowledge of God is the best life one can live, here and forever.