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The devil has knowledge of God. In fact, he saw God with trembling and fear, but that is not going to save him! Whereas faith in God is putting your trust in God, ultimately your hope for eternal life! Faith is the things you hope for, the things you cannot see, trusting on His Word, that He will do what He promised. For humans, also, just "knowing" Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins won't save you. You have to have faith for what He did for you. Faith in God is your starting point, and as you increase in your faith, you'll also increase in the knowledge of God to assist you with your walk with God through life, coming to the understanding of His character. His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher than ours. You can come to the understanding of His ways and thoughts through increasing knowledge, or shall I call it revelation knowledge?
Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:15 * Knowing a few basic facts (the Good News) is enough to embrace faith and belief in God, as a child has faith and believes what their parents tell them. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 * Knowledge comes from faith, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us when we believe. What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20 * God has revealed Himself to us. An honest person of any generation admits Creation came through a Creator, and He is Good. You can put your trust in his Loving-kindness. He cares for you. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” Romans 1:17 * Even knowing the Gospel is only of benefit if it leads to a faith-based life. * There is a place for knowledge. It can deepen and strengthen our walk with God, but even Solomon was made righteous by faith, not by his wisdom. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:20 * Don't "out-think" or rationalise yourself right out of the Kingdom! You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:19 * There have been many erudite scholars throughout history, including today, who have accumulated a great store of knowledge about God, yet do not have faith in Him or obey His commands. * The religious leaders of Jesus' day thought they had a rule for every occassion that guaranteed God would have to accept them and bless them, yet they rejected their Messiah and his many warnings to them. (Matthew 23:13-36)
The Bible challenges us to go beyond the acknowledgement of God's existence to a point of active faith in him. James says that even demons believe that God exists and tremble at this fact (James 2:19). We should therefore move beyond the academic or book knowledge of God. The knowledge that God exists is abstract but faith in God is based on a relational experience in His saving grace. We cannot have faith of course without understanding the nature of God and this is essentially facilitated by persistent and prayerful study of His word and dependance on the Holy Spirit. On the basis of the revelation of God's word through His Spirit, we move into the step of growing our faith and trust in him as we obey Him. Without faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6) and human effort of itself is futile. Knowing God is an intimate experience that each believer should continually desire in his life. The fact that God is our Father should spur our faith so that our focus on Him is strengthened. Paul says in Ephesians 2:12-13 that we (Gentiles) who were alienated from God and his covenant of promise and had no hope (of an eternal relationship with Him) have now been brought near to Him by reason of Christ's blood. The Greek word for "near" carries two meanings. It defines our proximity to God made possible by our forgiveness and access to His throne (Heb 4:16). Secondly, it defines our position in Christ as God's children (John 1:12) and who by this fact enjoy a new status under a transformed life in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and look forward to His glorious appearing (Titus 2:11-14). This is where the difference lies between mere knowledge of God and experiential knowledge that founded on a life transforming faith in Christ.
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