In John 14:9, Jesus conveys his concern to the disciples that they do not know him; especially after all the time they have spent together. So how are we to think about the folks who consistently interact with biblical things, but yet do not actually know God? Reason being, knowing God is clearly more than knowing things about God or even the cross, since Jesus prays in John 17 that eternal life IS knowing the only true God and the one he sent.

  1. We need to understand that God must graciously reveal the knowledge of himself to mankind— 2 Cor. 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. This sovereign act of God invokes praise from Christ in Matt. 11:25…I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
  2. When God reveals this knowledge of himself, there is a substantial effect in one’s life— 2 Pet. 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. [Then Peter goes on to list qualities that will be present as a result—diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance and love, etc.].
  3. The premier evidence of knowing God is a pattern of obedience— 1 John 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…

By taking heed to these fundamental truths about knowing God, we can be protected from having great proximity to the truth, but not knowing the God of truth.