Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Do You Know Him?
As I considered a phrase that would summarize the theme of my new album, The Attributes of God, I kept coming back to John 17:3, where the Lord Jesus Christ, in His prayer to the Father on the night before His death, makes a profound statement:
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3
In light of this verse, the statement I wanted to make became obvious. Actually, not a statement, but a question:
Do You Know Him?
Why this question? Because, according to the Lord Jesus in John 17:3, each person's eternal destiny depends on what the answer is. There is only one true God. To know this one true God is eternal life, which means that to not know Him is eternal death and destruction. There is no knowing this one true God apart from also knowing Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.
Looking at the same truth from a different angle, it can be said that all sin is a failure to know God properly (Ex. 5:2, Jn. 16:3). In the days of the Judges, Israel was spoken of like this:
"And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel." (Judges 2:10)
We see the fruit of that lack of the knowledge of God in the very next verse:
"And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals." (Judges 2:11)
There is a direct correlation between sin/ idolatry and not knowing the Lord. Idolatry is giving other things the place that properly belongs to God alone. This will inevitably happen when a person does not know God. To know God is to know Him as He has revealed Himself, not as we would like Him to be. When Moses asked God to see His glory, God responded in this way:
"I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." (Exodus 33:19-20)
Later on in the passage, it says
"The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation." (Ex. 34:6-7)
Verse 7 presents a mystery that is only resolved through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. How can the same God simultaneously abound in steadfast love and yet remain perfectly just in His dealings with rebellious sinners like us? God said that He will by no means clear the guilty. The problem is we ARE guilty. How can we be cleared without God contradicting Himself? The cross, that's how. To know God is to agree with Him about the holiness of His character, the offensiveness of our sin and the righteous wrath of God that our guilt deserves. To know God is to embrace the cross and what Christ accomplished there.
To know God is to rest in the sufficiency of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. To know God is to turn away from sin and to run towards the Lord, who stands with open arms filled with love, mercy, grace, kindness and compassion for those who trust in Him. To deny His character as revealed in Scripture is evidence of not knowing Him. The blessing of the new covenant is that all who trust in Jesus shall know God (Heb. 8:11). For all eternity, our supreme joy and delight will be in knowing and worshiping the God who created and redeemed us. There is no greater news possible.
The Attributes of God project is an attempt to use music as a means of communicating truth about the character of God. Our prayer at Lamp Mode has been that God would use it to point people to the Scriptures and what God says about Himself there. We're also praying that through the gospel presented on the album, God would be pleased to use something as "foolish" as a hip-hop record to draw people to Himself and to help build up those who are already in Christ.
So that's why we chose the question, "Do You Know Him?" as the phrase to go with the album. We hope that you'll download the avatar and that it will spark curiosity and that when people respond, "Know who?", you would tell them about Jesus.
grace and peace,