The Christian Life: God's Will

17. What is Satan's Biggest Deception About the Knowledge of God?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
From the Garden of Eden to the present day, Satan seeks to convince believers that they need something more than the wisdom and knowledge of God.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part seventeen of a series. Read part sixteen.

From the Garden of Eden to the present day, Satan seeks to convince believers that they need something more than the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Jesus Christ - The Exegete of the Father

Knowledge of Jesus Christ is the distinctive mark of the Christian. The Apostle John writes, "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:18).

The word for "declared" in the original is exegesis. Jesus Christ has exegeted the Father for us. He has revealed Him to us. He has provided detailed information about Him. He has made Him fully known to us. Knowledge of God the Father, and of the will of the Father for His children, comes through knowledge of Jesus Christ the Son.

"Christ-Plus" - Satan's Most Common Deception

But so often, Christians seem to think that this is somehow not enough, not sufficient for life in this present world or perhaps even for eternity. And so, Christians go off in search of that elusive "something else" in the false wisdom of this world, instead of following the mandate of the Word which tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).

Going off on such a fool's errand is to buy into Satan's most common deception. He is the one who convinces believers that they need "Christ plus" - whether it is for salvation, for life in this world, or for the "purpose" of the church. That was of the essence of Satan's deception of Eve in the Garden: You need something more than God has granted you; God has withheld better things from you.

This was likewise the essence of Paul's warning to the Colossians in chapter two of his epistle: Beware of those who want to tell you that you need worldly philosophy, or law-keeping, or man-made doctrines, in addition to Christ. Utterly reject such thinking. Cling to Christ and His Word alone.

Christ Has Become Wisdom for Us

Paul also reminded the Corinthian church of this when they had strayed far off into worldly thinking and living:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." [Here Paul reminds them of Isaiah 29:14.]

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

For Jews request a sign [the wording of the original is much stronger: they demand an authenticating miracle], and Greeks seek after wisdom [Greek sophia, cleverness in the human sphere]; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption - that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" [here Paul reminds them of Jeremiah 9:23-24]. (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

Paul's Goal Must Be Ours

Knowing Christ was Paul's own goal. In Philippians chapter three, beginning at verse seven, Paul says:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

And likewise, as we are seeing in this series, the knowledge of God that is found in Jesus Christ is to be the great goal of every believer:

For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea...that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)

Next: The Cure for Postmodern Evangelicalism's Spiritual Madness


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