“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”
(1 Corinthians 8:3)
The Scriptures are replete with references to the fact that God knows literally everything. “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me” wrote David, “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether” (Psalm 139:1-4). Though God’s omniscience is undeniable, exactly how God knows everything, including what people would have done had their circumstances been different (Matthew 11:21-23; 1 Corinthians 2:8), remains a mystery (Psalm 139:6). Though God is omniscient, He in some mysterious way has special knowledge of those that have trusted in Him for salvation. The prophet Nahum declared, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:7). More than 600 years later, Paul made a similar statement. “If any man love God,” wrote the great apostle, “the same is known of him” (1 Corinthians 8:3). The Lord made it clear that the converse is also true. That is, the Lord will declare to those who inwardly rejected His authority: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). In what sense then, does the Lord have knowledge of a believer that He didn’t have before his conversion? Perhaps the Lord desires to know us through our humble, unrestrained self-disclosure to Him. This is far more than unconnected, sterile, encyclopedic knowledge. This is knowledge of what is freely and willingly given to God in humble submission to His Lordship and that with the hope of salvation in Him. Perhaps this explains God’s somewhat cryptic statement recorded by the prophet Isaiah, that Christ “shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). This might also better explain Paul’s statement that whom God “did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). The term foreknow (Greek, proginosko) simply means to know beforehand. Paul used the term in Acts 26:5, where he states that all the Jews knew him from the days of his youth. When we come into a saving, love-trust relationship with God, our Lord knows us in a new and special way. Because of this, He lovingly predestinates us to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is the adoption, glorification and the redemption of the body (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:23). Let us who are known to God resist the temptation to slip back into old modes of thought and conduct (Galatians 4:9). Let us instead love and serve Him with renewed enthusiasm and with grateful hearts.
God bless you,