God Reveals Himself to Us More and More as We are Ready to Receive
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father” (Galatians 4:6).
God is an infinite being. We are finite. He reveals himself to us more and more as we are ready to receive. Jesus made this point to the disciples: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John 16:12). Our knowledge of him grows over time. The word “know” conveys a continuous process. Our initial incomplete knowledge grows into a fuller or more complete knowledge. I like the way John sketched out this progression in his first letter. He described how our knowledge of the Lord grows by addressing three different groups–children, young men, and fathers.
He was very direct in his letter to each of these groups. To the children, John said. “Your sins are forgiven on account of his name,” and “You know the Father” (1 John 2:12, 14). What do these statements tell you about the character of God and his desire for you? They tell me that God wants to be with me and that he wants me to be with him. Through forgiveness, God opened our eyes to recognize him as Father and he sent his Spirit into our hearts, by which we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
To the young men, John wrote, “You have overcome the evil one,” and “You are strong, and the word of God lives in you” (1 John 2:13-14). Young men have a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ than do little children. Their knowledge is built on what God revealed to them as children. Their knowledge is built on what God revealed to them as children. The truth of God’s love and grace lives in them and empowers them to stand strong in the Lord against the fiery darts of the enemy. This truth sets them apart from the world and enables them to live as children of light in this world of darkness.
To the fathers, John wrote, ‘You know him who is from the beginning” (1 John 2:13). For emphasis, John repeated this statement. What he means by this is that the fathers’ knowledge of God is reaching fullness. God has fully aligned the hearts of these fathers with his. They know what God is about in this world and what his purposes are. God’s love for the world has become theirs.
The ultimate purpose of grace is to connect us to the love of God. With every stage in this progression, our knowledge of God’s love grows and expands. Jesus Christ makes the love of God known to us. He places on our eyes a lens of grace that brings the truth that God is love into clear focus.
If you are a new believer, let God implant these truths deeply in your heart–your sins are forgiven, and you are a child of God. You belong. You are in the family. If you are a young man in the faith, continue to grow in your knowledge of God’s love and grace. Continue to stand strong in the Lord against the fiery darts of the enemy. If you a father in the faith, continue to rely on God’s gift of grace and share that grace to others.