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In John 17:3 we are told that eternal life is based on knowing God the Father as the only true God and to also know Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to know God and Christ? This study deals with this all important subject.

John 17:1,3 ...'Father ... this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.'

This is clearly a very important subject because as Jesus confirmed, eternal life is dependent upon this knowledge. So what does it mean to know the Father as the only true God and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent? Well, at the most basic level, we clearly need to know the truth, as Jesus confirmed Himself that God the Father is the "only true God." So this knowledge in the first instance reveals to us that God the Father is the one true God, the source of all life, as Paul confirmed in 1 Corinthians 8.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 ...'For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; AND one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.'

Many people have now come to the truth of God the Father and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. So they have this knowledge that the Father is the only true God and that Jesus Christ is the Father's literal begotten Son. But with some, this knowledge goes no further. They know OF the Father and Son truth, but do not KNOW THEM and thus their knowledge is just mere head knowledge of the Father and Son. But what does it mean to truly know God and His Son? It is also to know of their love, character, ways, commands, sacrifice, suffering, etc. To know God and His Son is to experience these things in our own lives. Look at what Moses said regarding knowing God.

Exodus 33:13 ...'Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.'

Moses didn't just simply want to have the knowledge that God exists. He wanted to know the ways of God. Moses truly wanted to KNOW God, to know His ways, His character. He wanted a personal relationship with Jehovah and to experience His grace, His love, His character, to walk in the ways of God. And what did God do on the mount with Moses?

Exodus 34:5-7 ...'And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.'

In proclaiming His name, God proclaimed His character to Moses ... "merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth." So to KNOW God is also to know His character. But are we to stop there? No. We are not just to know OF God's character, we are to experience it in our own lives. Now have we simply heard of the character of God, or have we actually seen His character displayed? We have seen it displayed in Christ.

John 14:9 ...'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.'

2 Corinthians 5:19 ...'To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.'

1 Timothy 3:16 ...'God was manifest in the flesh.'

Christ revealed the character of the Father in His life and showed the world the true character of God, which Satan had skewed in the minds of the people. So let us look at the character revealed in the Bible of God and His Son.

LOVE - Romans 5:8 ...'But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'

John 15:13 ...'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'

Matthew 9:35-36 ...'And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.'

Acts 10:38 ...'How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.'

To KNOW God and His Son is to know their LOVE. "for God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Jesus' whole life on earth was filled with love and compassion for others. He thought not of Himself, but of the needs of other people and for their ultimate salvation. He went about doing good to others, showing God's love for us and even while we were sinning against God, gave His life for us. What love!

HUMILITY - Luke 2:7 ...'And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.'

John 5:41 ...'I receive not honour from men.'

John 13:4-5 ...'He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.'

To KNOW God and His Son is to know their HUMILITY. The birth of God's dear Son, the Prince of heaven on earth is an amazing lesson in humility. We know that the manger which Jesus was born in was connected with an animal stable, because the same Greek word is used in Luke 13:15, translated as 'stall,' where Jesus is talking about animals. Just amazing that the highest being next to God the Father would come in such a manner. Also, Jesus said He received no honour from man. He was not interested in the praise of man, but simply doing what was right in God's sight, which included doing the lowliest of tasks like washing the feet of the disciples. True humility!

SACRIFICE - 2 Corinthians 8:9 ...'For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.'

Philippians 2:5-7 ...'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.'

Isaiah 53:3-5,7-9 ...'He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed ... He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.'

To KNOW God and His Son is to know the SACRIFICE they made for us. Jesus became poor for us. He took upon Himself our form, the fallen flesh, becoming as a servant, and as Isaiah 53 says above He was afflicted for our sake. Now something that many don't realize is that 1 Timothy 2:5 confirms that Jesus is STILL a 'man.' This means Jesus became a man FOREVER! What a sacrifice made for us! The depth of the sacrifice made for us will not be fully comprehended until we get to heaven and find out more from Jesus Himself.

RIGHTEOUSNESS - Psalm 11:7 ...'For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.'

Psalm 145:17 ...'The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.'

Psalm 92:15 ...'To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.'

Hebrews 7:26 ...'For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.'

To KNOW the Father and His Son is to know their RIGHTEOUSNESS. Nothing they do is UNrighteous, as Psalm 145 and 92 confirms - ALL the ways of God are righteous. God and His Son LOVE righteousness and this is the ruling character of the government of God.

FORGIVENESS/MERCY - Isaiah 55:7 ...'Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.'

Luke 23:33-34 ...'And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.'

Daniel 9:8-9 ...'O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.'

Psalm 86:4-5 ...'Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.'

Micah 7:18-19 ...'Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.'

The KNOW God and His Son is to know their MERCY and FORGIVENESS. And Oh what a merciful God we have! WHILE we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The Lord will have mercy upon all who turn to Him.

SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S WILL - John 15:10 ...'If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.'

John 4:34 ...'Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.'

John 8:29 ...'And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.'

Psalm 40:8 ...'I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.'

Luke 22:42 ...'Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.'

To KNOW God and His Son is to know the SUBMISSION and OBEDIENCE of Christ to the Father's will. What a powerful thought it is from Christ that His food was to do the will of His Father in heaven. And even in the most trying hour, under the most awful mental agony, not wanting to go through with the sacrifice, Christ gave Himself to the Father's will. What a Saviour!

Now this isn't an exhaustive list by any means. But rather an introduction to knowing the character of God and His Son. And this is the point of this study, to help us understand that it is not enough to just know OF the truth about the one true God and His Son, to just have a mere head knowledge that the Father is the only true God and Jesus Christ is His Son. We are to KNOW them personally, knowing their character. Look at what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:

2 Peter 1:5-8 ...'And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Colossians 1:9-13 ...'For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.'

Do you see what it means to KNOW God and His Son Jesus Christ? It means to HAVE and EXPERIENCE His character, faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. If these things be in us and abound, THEN we will truly KNOW God and His Son. And why is this important? Take a look at the following verses:

1 Peter 2:21-25 ...'For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.'

Ephesians 5:1-5 ...'Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.'

Luke 6:46-49 ...'And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.'

Luke 9:23 ...'And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.'

Luke 14:27 ...'And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.'

Do you see why this is important? Do you see why it is important to truly KNOW God and His Son? Because as the scriptures say, we are to FOLLOW in the footsteps of Christ, followers of God as dear children, being "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor.5:20). This means the character of God and Christ is to be LIVED out in our lives now. A mere head knowledge of the truth that the trinity god is false and the one true God and His Son is true is not enough. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). How many of us are truly willing to suffer for Christ as the apostle Paul was? (Philippians 3:10). We must die to self and allow Christ to live His life in us, so that we no longer are living in the sins of the flesh and of the world, but that the character of God and His Son are being lived out in us.

Galatians 2:20 ...'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.'

I pray that we can all truly get to KNOW God and His Son, 'bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ' (2 Cor.10:5), so that we can be MADE the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor.5:21). But there is something else to know about God for us to be 'made the righteousness of God' and that is the POWER of God and of Christ in us.

POWER OF GOD - Romans 1:16 ...'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.'

Hebrews 4:12 ...'For the Word of God is quick, and POWERFUL, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.'

Philippians 4:13 ...'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.'

2 Peter 1:2-4 ...'Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine POWER hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the KNOWLEDGE of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.'

So to KNOW God and His Son is to also know of their POWER to 'save us to the uttermost' (Hebrews 7:25). There is unlimited power available to us from God through Christ. Sadly, many deny the power of God just as Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:5, and thus they gain no victory over sin in their lives and do not experience true deliverance, nor are able to be true witnesses of God's power to save in this world. This is why it is so important for us to truly KNOW God and His Son!

Remember, eternal life as John 17:3 says is based on KNOWING the Father and His Son.

Philippians 3:7-10 ...'But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the KNOWLEDGE of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: THAT I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.'

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ...'Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE the righteousness of God in him.'

Romans 8:3-4 ...'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'