Knowing God – Chapter 3

This chapter was a wonderful reminder to me on how sweet the grace of God is! I appreciate how Packer devotes this entire chapter to how God reveals Himself to us. Throughout history, mankind has been looking for God and more often than not, we try to find Him in the wrong places. In the past, people looked for God in inanimate objects such as the sun, moon, or even rocks. In recent history, we look to ourselves as being the moral standard and judge so that all our decisions are based on fulfilling our own desires. Yet Packer points out that we know God only if He reveals Himself to us. In His abundant grace, God desires to draw His elect to Himself and into His kingdom; something that we can never achieve on our own in our sinfulness.

Another point that I found intriguing was how Packer insists on the personal side of knowing God. Being in a society which values logic over feelings, we are often more comfortable with accepting empirical evidence over experiences. Yet Packer emphasizes that knowing God requires for a personal relationship with God. Perhaps this is why when non-believers or even believers ask us who God is and how He relates to us, we often just blurt out something we remember from a sermon we heard years ago or recommend the inquirer to go read a book of somebody else’s testimony. I believe that if we all have a genuine personal walk with God, the universal church would be a much more powerful witness to the world of who God is. An interesting side note is how Packer puts Chapter 2 titled “The People Who Know Their God” before this chapter. Perhaps he is trying to point out that knowing God is not just a personal exercise but can only be fully experienced in community, namely the church. May we all learn to cultivate an intimate, personal relationship with God and develop deep roots in our spiritual community so that we can know Him better.

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