Bible Study – Knowing God

Christian Character (2)

April 30 – May 6, 2023

Key Text

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 409426


“The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. This is the knowledge that works transformation of character. Received into the life, it will re-create the soul in the image of Christ. This is the knowledge that God invites His children to receive, beside which all else is vanity and nothingness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 475



1.a. What is written about worldly wisdom? 1 Corinthians 1:19, 20

Note: “In their pride of intellect and human wisdom may be found the reason why the gospel message met with comparatively little success among the Athenians. The worldly-wise men who come to Christ as poor lost sinners, will become wise unto salvation; but those who come as distinguished men, extolling their own wisdom, will fail of receiving the light and knowledge that He alone can give.” The Acts of the Apostles, 240

“Many of the greatest scholars and statesmen, the world’s most eminent men, will in these last days turn from the light because the world by wisdom knows not God.” Ibid., 241, 242

1.b.        What special effort should we make in behalf of learned men? Matthew 22:9

Note: “God’s servants are to improve every opportunity to communicate the truth to these [eminent] men. Some will acknowledge their ignorance of the things of God and will take their place as humble learners at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher.” The Acts of the Apostles, 242



2.a. What does Scripture teach about true wisdom? Proverbs 1:2, 3, 5, 7; Jeremiah 9:23, 24

2.b.        Where can we find this true wisdom? Isaiah 34:16; 1 Corinthians 1:22–25, 30 

Note: “There is no branch of legitimate business for which the Bible does not afford an essential preparation. Its principles of diligence, honesty, thrift, temperance, and purity are the secret of true success. These principles, as set forth in the book of Proverbs, constitute a treasury of practical wisdom.” Education, 135

2.c. As we seek such wisdom, what also should we bear in mind? Romans 11:33

Note: “We can never by searching find out God. We must not attempt to lift with presumptuous hand the curtain behind which He veils His majesty. … We can so far comprehend His dealings with us, and the motives by which He is actuated, that we may discern boundless love and mercy united to infinite power. Our Father in heaven orders everything in wisdom and righteousness, and we are not to be dissatisfied and distrustful, but to bow in reverent submission. He will reveal to us as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know, and beyond that we must trust the Hand that is omnipotent, the Heart that is full of love.” The Great Controversy, 527

2.d.        What qualifies us to receive that wisdom which God intends for us to have? Psalm 25:9 

Note: “The Bible is yet but dimly understood. A lifelong, prayerful study of its sacred revealings will leave still much unexplained. It is the deep movings of the Spirit of God that is needed to operate upon the heart to mold character, to open the communication between God and the soul, before the deep truths will be unraveled.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 82



3.a. What is essential for us in order to know God? Jeremiah 24:7; John 3:3

Note: “The refining influence of the grace of God changes the natural disposition of man. Heaven would not be desirable to the carnal minded; their natural, unsanctified hearts would feel no attraction toward that pure and holy place, and if it were possible for them to enter, they would find there nothing congenial. The propensities that control the natural heart must be subdued by the grace of Christ before fallen man is fitted to enter heaven and enjoy the society of the pure, holy angels. When man dies to sin and is quickened to new life in Christ, divine love fills his heart; his understanding is sanctified; he drinks from an inexhaustible fountain of joy and knowledge, and the light of an eternal day shines upon his path, for with him continually is the Light of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 273

3.b.        How can we attain to a knowledge of God? Matthew 11:27; John 1:18

Note: “Only by knowing God here can we prepare to meet Him at His coming.” In Heavenly Places, 250

“The world by wisdom knows not God. Many have talked eloquently about Him, but their supposed sound reasoning, their subtle arguments, bring men no nearer to Him, because they themselves are not in vital connection with Him. … A correct knowledge of God is not a hearsay report, but an intelligent, experimental knowledge. …

“Only by knowing Christ can we know God.” The Review and Herald, July 20, 1897

“Christ is the perfect revelation of God. Let those who desire to know God, study the work and teaching of Christ. To those who receive Him and believe on Him, He gives power to become the sons of God.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 94

“The heavens are full of rich blessings, and it is our privilege to have the joy of Christ in us that our joy may be full. We have not because we ask not, or because we do not pray in faith, believing that we shall be blessed with the special influence of the Holy Spirit. To the true seeker through the mediation of Christ the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit are imparted in order that the receiver may impart a knowledge of saving truth.” Sabbath-School Worker, February 1, 1896



4.a. Why is it vitally important to cultivate a knowledge of Christ? John 14:9

Note: “ ‘This is life eternal,’ Christ declared, ‘that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.’ These words mean much. It is only by knowing Christ that we can know God. The Sent of God calls upon all to listen to these words. They are the words of God, and all should give heed to them; for by them they will be judged. To know Christ savingly is to be vitalized by spiritual knowledge, to practice His words. Without this, all else is valueless.

“Christ came to this world to reveal the Father. What patience, what pitying tenderness, what divine compassion, what strength of purpose, He manifested! He did not fail nor become discouraged. He was the embodiment of purity, and His love was without a parallel. At every step He practiced self-denial and self-sacrifice. In His death He was the revelation of the reconciliation between God and man. By taking our nature, He bound Himself to us through eternal ages. He is our representative and head. He represents our race before God, still and forever bearing the humanity of the race. He pleads before the Father the perfect righteousness of all who accept Him.” The Signs of the Times, January 27, 1898

4.b. What is our knowledge of Christ to involve? 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30

Note: “To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith, cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” The Desire of Ages, 347 [Author’s emphasis.]



5.a. How does the apostle Paul compare divine wisdom with human wisdom? 1 Corinthians 1:18–21

Note: “To each of us God has committed sacred trusts, for which He holds us accountable. He designs that man shall be so educated as to develop his mental and moral powers, that he may have a well-balanced mind and a symmetrical character. But education alone will not prepare him to answer the object of his creation. He needs the grace of God, and divine aid awaits his demand. Divine power united with human effort will enable him to do good and glorify his Creator.” The Signs of the Times, April 3, 1884

5.b. Why do so few learned men accept the true gospel? 1 Corinthians 1:25–31; Matthew 11:25, 26

 Note: “Because of the pride and ambition of the children of men, God has chosen to perform His mighty works by the most simple and humble means. It is not the men whom the world honors as great, talented, or brilliant, that God selects. He chooses those who will work in meekness and simplicity, acknowledging Him as their leader and their source of strength. He would have us make Him our protector and our guide in all the duties and affairs of life. …

“The Majesty of heaven works by whom He will. His providence sometimes selects the humblest instruments to do the greatest work, for His power is revealed through the weakness of men. We have our standard of reckoning, and by it we pronounce one thing great, and another small; but God estimates not according to the standard of men; He does not graduate His scale by theirs. We are not to suppose that what is great to us must be great to God, and what is small to us must be small to Him.” The Signs of the Times, July 14, 1881



1    What is the basis of false wisdom?

2    How can we be wise in the sight of God?

3    What kind of knowledge can we have about God?

4    How can we know God?

5    What is the main distinction between false and true wisdom?

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