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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ever Known Someone Who "Knows the Bible" but Hasn't Been Changed?

Often I hear of someone who "really knows the Word" but acts like he doesn't. They are amazed that someone can converse about the scripture but may not attend church or live a Christian lifestyle. The ones praising these "biblical scholars" seem to think that their knowledge vindicates them. They think that nothing more is required of them. After all, they already know the Bible. Isn't this the reason we attend church?

I don't like pointing out the sins of someone who isn't there to defend himself but I need to point out that biblical knowledge has no value unless it abides in the one who has it. It would be better to be nourished by a portion of scripture than to starve to death on whole lot.

Scripture changes the one who reads, memorizes, meditates on and studies it or it never truly enters into the person. It abides or remains in the person. The person knows the truth from it and that truth sets him free. He is free to leave the sins in his life. He is free to obey the will of the Lord. He is freed from the cloudy mind that the world presents as truth. The person is changed if he truly has the scripture in his heart. His prayers are changed. He longs for a deeper relationship.

John 8:31-32 (ESV)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

No one truly knows the scripture and remains the same. The Pharisees were unchanged by the scripture because they could recite it but never know what it said. They could fashion new ways to keep the law without ever knowing what it really said. They did not know the truth or they would have recognized Him because he was the Truth. 

John 14:6 (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 Jesus said that His disciples were clean when Jesus spoke of us as the branches of His Vine. They became clean because of the word He had spoken to them. The word changed the way they acted. They saw the world in a different way because they knew the truth. Of course, they still lacked perfection but that's not the point. The change was on the inside and it was showing on the outside.

John 15:3 (ESV)
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 

I knew a guy who could tell stories of military exploits. He could confidently tell of the missions he had been on They were remarkable. You would have thought that he was a national hero. He claimed that he did what he did in undercover activity and couldn't be recognized for his heroic service to his country. 

Later I met a decorated soldier who told me that the stories of the hidden hero could not be true. He knew because he had really been there. He knew the difference between a fabrication and the truth. Unfortunately, those who tell me of those who "know the Bible" aren't able to tell the difference between someone who has really been there and those who are just making it all up. They should listen to them and call their bluff. 

How can someone say that he knows the scripture in the way that Jesus describes knowing and be unchanged? The answer is simple: he can't! There's a whole lot of difference between talking a good game and playing one.


Anthony Chia said...

Since the entry hinges on "know", I will talk a little about knowing, to add to understanding. There are 4 "knowing" words in Greek for our English word, "know". I will talk a little about 2 of them using John 13:7

John 13:7 (KJV) - "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou KNOWEST not now; but thou shalt KNOW hereafter."

There are 2 “know” in the verse above. The context was that it was just before the Passover Feast, and Jesus had started to wash the feet of the Disciples; and He had come to Peter, and the latter asked in a protesting manner if Jesus was about to wash his feet.

Jesus answered Peter, saying what He was about to do (wash the feet of the Disciples), Peter would NOT know then, but Peter would know later.

Essentially, Jesus was saying Peter would NOT understand what He was doing through the washing of the feet, but that Peter would know later. The first “know”, as in “What I do thou knowest not now;”, is the eido-know (G1492); and the second “know” as in “but thou shalt know hereafter.”, is the ginosko-know (G1097) – two knows in one verse or sentence!

Jesus did NOT use the same Greek word in the one verse. What is the difference between the two?

If you look up the short-form Lexicon, you get something along this - eido-know is knowing or knowledge from mental perception; and ginosko-know is knowing or knowledge from personal experience. For ginosko, since the knowledge is grounded on personal experience, there is necessarily a relation.

Eido-know - Jesus was saying Peter would NOT understand (mental assent) why Jesus was wanting to do what he was about to do – to wash Peter’s feet. Do you know (eido) the significance of what Jesus did?

Ginosko-know - Jesus said Peter would later ginosko-know the significance of what He would be doing (washing of his feet). Peter could subsequently claim he ginosko-ly-knew, for he experienced it with the Lord, as His disciple. We cannot claim ginosko-ly-know, unless we get washed of our feet by Jesus. We would eido-ly-know when someone explained to us, the significance of what Jesus did – the washing of the feet.

What is required when it comes to God know you or you know God, the know is to be the ginosko-know, know from knowledge grounded from personal experience with God. The Christian faith is said as a relationship between one (man) with God, NOT for no realm or reason; and it is NOT just a nice thing to say; it is what it is – God ginosko-knows you, and you ginosko-know Him. You can see it in these verse below, where the "know" used was the ginosko-know:

John 10:14 - I am the good shepherd; I KNOW my sheep and my sheep KNOW me.
1 Cor 8:3 - But the man who loves God is KNOWN by God.
2 Tim 2:19 - Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord KNOWS those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness"

God is omniscience, all knowing, yet, there is still a need to be known by God, because the knowing looked for, is ginosko-knowing, knowing or knowledge from personal experience shared by the parties, in a relation (God and you as his child, servant, disciple, friend, …).

We also know from Scripture that, for certain people, purportedly children of God or believers, in the future, they would get this reply (along this line) from The Lord, "I don't know you, evildoer!, get away from me" This, essentially is pointing to individuals who have no relationship with Him, in that there is personal experiences with Him. For such, it is God know them and God does NOT ginosko-know them; and they actually only eido-know God, and NOT ginosko-know God.


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

I will further explain 2 issues concerning ginosko-know, so it helps us to know if we are far from ginosko-knowing God, and so, in danger of getting the "hellish" reply I just talked about:

1. When personal experience is being referred to, it means two parties are involved in the experience. You cannot say I have a personal experience with Mr A, when at the same time Mr A does NOT concur. For example, I do explain that "God with us" has two dimensions; and when you engage in evil, God by the indwelling Spirit of Christ, is present with you, but He is NOT sharing in what you are doing or we say He is NOT with you, in the matter. That is why the Christian faith is about abiding. If you are NOT abiding in the Word or The Lord, via His Spirit or the Holy Spirit, you have this problem of God is NOT with you (2nd dimension). God cannot be concurring with you with whatever you think or do. I tell people God is everywhere and yet He is NOT! He is NOT in evil; if you go there, He is NOT with you.

2. Love. We got to ask ourselves if we truly love The Lord. I be crude and give this illustration: I can take a cab and go to this prostitution joint, and pick a girl and have sex with her. There is sex but there is no love. The 1 Cor 8:13 said it well - But the man who loves God is KNOWN {ginosko-known} by God.

People got to understand that the way God defines love and the worldview's way of looking at love are different. The love of the Kingdom is tied to righteousness. God loves men unto righteousness. We are to love unto righteousness and righteously. One direct implication is, if you want to love God, you have to obey Him and His commands, for His will and desires is righteousness. John 14:15 & 14:21a actually give us how God wants us to love Him back - those who love me, obey my commands, and those who obey my commands are the ones who love me.

When you are obeying His command, in love, He is with you, in both dimensions, present with you and concurring and going along, with you; and from it, He ginosko-knows you, and you ginosko-know Him, for you and God are sharing a personal experience, in love.

One may eido-know the Word and eido-know The Lord, like I eido-know Russia and eido-know the President of Russia (we can eido-know from reading various news media). I don't know the President of Russia; I don't ginosko-know him. I have NOT met him; I haven't spoken to him; I haven't done anything with him physically present with me, and I did not do anything with him agreeing and going along with me. If I now stand before him, guess what he will say? ............................................ Oh, you are from Singapore, but I don't know you!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

PS: those wanting to know all the 4 Greek words on "know" and exposition on "I don't know you, evildoer!" can hop over to: