WS Update: Knowing God

July 24, 2023

Our July sermon series is about Jesus’ work in the history of the church. We looked at the Reformation period yesterday and no one is more influential than John Calvin. He begins his magnum opus, The Institutes with this: “Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God. Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.” Let’s explore the meanings of these two crucial aspects and how they profoundly apply to our lives.

The foundation of all wisdom rests upon our understanding of God’s nature and attributes from the Bible. Through scripture reading, prayer, and deep contemplation, we recognize the eternal love, mercy, and sovereignty of God. Knowing God allows us to find comfort, strength, and guidance in times of difficulty and uncertainty. It deepens our faith and sustains us through life’s trials. The knowledge of God urges us to align our lives with his teachings and divine will, fostering a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment. Ultimately, knowing him is for its own sake and for his deserved glory.

Knowing ourselves is no less vital, however. In Calvin’s view, as we become more self-aware, we learn why we need to know God. It entails self-reflection and humility. As we acknowledge our strengths, limitations, and weaknesses, we humble ourselves toward gospel transformation. We also develop a more profound connection with God as we align our lives with his will.

These two aspects of wisdom shape us into gospel-driven people. By seeking God’s guidance, we gain wisdom to navigate life’s complexities and discern the right path from the tempting shortcuts. In turn, this divine understanding fuels our pursuit of self-awareness, leading us to embrace empathy, forgiveness, and love toward ourselves and others. As Calvin put it, “Whatever a person may be like, we must still love them because we love God.”

Applying this wisdom to our lives means seeking God’s guidance in all things. As Christians, the hope is that we commit ourselves to this lifelong quest for wisdom. As we walk this journey together, united by Jesus, we form a community rooted in faith, understanding, and love. All for the glory of his name.

Help Start a Pilot Community Group!

We are looking for leaders and hosts to help start Pilot Community Groups this fall.

Pilot groups will meet for 7 weeks starting in October and are designed for newcomers and people who haven’t been able to connect with a community before.

Upcoming Event

Get Involved