August 22, 2022
Many people talk about knowing God, but where do you start? First…you must be spiritually alive.
Man died spiritually in the Garden of Eden. Sin left Adam and Eve—and everyone born since—with a black void inside. Because Man is body, soul, and spirit, and because his spirit is, since Eden, without God (the only One who can fill the void), Man is broken, unwell, and at war with his Creator. He is lost.
This is the state of the “natural man,” Pastor Adrian Rogers says, and in this state, knowing God and growing closer to Him, is impossible.
Thankfully, the moment Man severed his relationship with his Creator, God instituted a plan to redeem all those who want to know Him—a plan to bring spiritual life to Man by getting Himself back into Man. This plan is the Gospel, communicated from Genesis through Revelation in God’s Word, the Bible, and revealed bodily in the crucified, risen, and soon-coming Christ. Through the Gospel, God invites us not only to know Him but also to grow as close as we desire. He beckons us into a supremely fulfilling, eternally unbroken, and infinitely deep relationship. He comes to dwell with us and in us. He comes to bring us wholeness, wellness, purpose, and peace.
As Pastor Rogers says, we can all have “as much of God as we want.”
During the months of September and October, we will be looking together at Pastor Adrian Rogers’ teaching on how we can come to know the one true God and know Him better!
If you watch or listen to Pastor Rogers regularly, the Bible study, “Grounded in Truth Volume 1,” would be a great accompaniment to your study during the next two months.
First, as we said, you must be spiritually alive, which requires rebirth. Nicodemus, a highly educated Jewish leader, came to Jesus at night when no one else was watching. Why? He had to admit that, despite his religious credentials, something was missing. When Jesus told Nicodemus he must be “born again” to see the Kingdom of God (see John 3:3), Nicodemus was perplexed. “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4).
Jesus patiently explained that a man must be born of water (natural birth) and the spirit (spiritual birth). (See John 3:5). Once a person is born again, spiritual growth becomes possible.
Pastor Adrian Rogers explained it this way:
Becoming a spiritual man so that you can know the one true God requires salvation.
A salvation definition is simply “a personal relationship with God that brings the pardon of our sin and peace with God,” Pastor Rogers said. We are no longer God’s enemies. In fact, we now have His presence with us and His power over sin.
For a more detailed look at how you can know Jesus, read the article “Salvation Brings Peace with God.”
To know God better, we must get to know Jesus, the sinless Living Word.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:10: “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.”
Adrian Rogers says, “Unbelief is slander against the character of God.” The opposite—belief in the Son—is FAITH, which Pastor Rogers characterized in an acronym: “Forsaking All I Trust Him.” The way we live the Christian life is not by trying, Pastor Rogers said, it is by trusting in the right Person, Jesus: “Weak faith in God is better than strong faith in anything else.”
The ambition of the Christian, Pastor Rogers continued, is to know the object of our faith: Jesus. That’s the reason the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2, we’re to be, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
“If you look to yourself,” Pastor Rogers said, “you’re going to be discouraged and weak. Put your eyes upon Him.”
For more about getting to know and trust God through His Son, read the article, “Knowing Jesus Means Trusting in Jesus."
As we come to know the object of our faith, we also begin to understand the origin of our faith, the Word of God. “If you’re to trust Him, then you’ve got to hear from Him,” Pastor Rogers said.
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It communicates God’s plan for humanity as a whole, and it brings clarity and direction to the life of the individual believer. It is the foundation on which authentic faith is built. Referring to the Bible, the Greek word translated as “word” in Romans 10:17 is not logos, which means the revelation of the Word of God (Jesus is referred to as the logos). It is rhema, which means the communication of the Word of God. “It is not the Bible you hold in your hand that gives you faith; rather, it is God speaking to you out of that Bible,” Pastor Rogers said.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
“Whatever we receive from God,” Pastor Rogers said, is according to our faith. “Not according to our friends. Not according to our family. Not according to our fortune. Not according to our feelings. Not according to our fate, F-A-T-E—but according to our faith.”
While Jesus healed many people during His ministry, there were some He “did not commit Himself” to (see John 2:24). Jesus knew who had authentic faith and who had superficial faith. He knew who just wanted a miracle and He knew who wanted the God of the miracle.
“Many people want signs and wonders,” Pastor Rogers said. “They want visions. They want emotions. They want dreams. They want liver shivers and icicles going up and down their spines and angels playing tic-tac-toe on their ribs. They want something so they can say, ‘Hey, I know, I know it is real. Now I have seen. Now I’ve touched. Now I’ve smelled. Now I have heard. And now I know it is real. Oh God, give me a sign! Oh God, give me a wonder.’ God did miracles to authenticate the ministry of Jesus. But the miracle was not for the miracle’s sake; the miracle was that you might believe on Jesus and have eternal life.”
Authentic, growing faith goes past signs and wonders and progresses to a settled trust in Christ and a deep commitment to the Word of God—reading it, letting the Holy Spirit speak to us through it, and obeying what God tells us—regardless of personal outcomes.
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
“If you want strong faith, you’ve got to hear and believe the Word of God,” Pastor Rogers said. “Just like my eye responds to light when my eye is right, and my ear responds to sound when my ear is right. Your heart will respond to the Word of God when your heart is right, and that heart response is faith.”
“You get a bulldog grip on the Word of God and don’t be trying to live by emotions. Believe in miracles, but trust in Jesus.” As you trust in Jesus and in God’s Word; you will move from a superficial faith to a strong faith.
For more about authentic, saving, growing faith, read the article, “Faith Empowers Your Relationship with God."
God’s Word about Jesus is found throughout the whole Bible, not just in the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly pointed to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, as the one true God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is communicated in the entirety of God’s Word—past, present, and future, Old Testament and New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation.
The Gospel of Christ’s first coming was prophesied in the Old Testament (past). His birth, life, death, resurrection, and institution of the Church as His hands and feet, comprise the Gospel as it is lived out today (present). His Second Coming, prophesied in the Book of Revelation, represents the culmination of the Gospel (future).
For a detailed look at one story that clearly communicated the Gospel, of Jesus in the Old Testament, read the article, “God Revealed Himself So He Could Be Known: an Old Testament Prophecy of Jesus."
For another excellent example of the communication of the Gospel in the Old Testament, get the book “Seeing Jesus in Unexpected Places.” Compiled from Pastor Rogers’ messages on the tabernacle, the book lifts the curtain on the prophetic design for worship during the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness following the exodus from Egypt.
Jesus began his ministry by being baptized and concluded it by commanding baptism—telling His disciples to teach others ALL things He COMMANDED.
He is with us always. He is here today, still commanding the same thing. There is a method to, a meaning of, and a motive for baptism. Let’s look first at the method.
If you look at Mark 1:9-10, you see Jesus traveled 60 miles to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, which held a lot of water. Scripture says John also baptized in “Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23).
The Greek word for baptism is “Baptizo,” which means “to immerse.” Scripture uses this word instead of “rantizo,” which means “to sprinkle,” or “luo,” which means, “to pour.” Therefore, Pastor Adrian Rogers taught from Scripture that baptism is by immersion.
Scripture also shows that the meaning of baptism is best depicted through immersion, as can be seen in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Adrian Rogers said, “First Corinthians 15 tells us the Gospel is this, ‘That Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He was raised again the third day.’ What does baptism picture? It pictures the Gospel. When I go under the water, when I’m baptized, that says I am in the likeness of death. I die, the old Adrian died. Because when Jesus died, He died for me. When I trust Him, His death has my name on it.”
The motive for baptism determines who should be baptized. When Peter shared the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:41 says, “those who gladly received his word were baptized.”
“You’ve got to receive the Word before you’re baptized,” Pastor Rogers explained. “That’s why we don’t baptize little infants. It’s necessary that you be saved and receive the Holy Spirit before you’re baptized.” Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ, Pastor Rogers said. “Why be baptized? There is a Master to confess, the Lord Jesus. There is a message to convey. There is a mandate to complete.”
For more about knowing God better through baptism, read the article, “Baptism: a Sign of Your Obedience to Christ."
Are you growing as a Christian? Pastor Rogers said, “If you are not growing, you are probably backsliding.” In other words, the Christian life is always in motion; we are moving forward as believers, or we are falling backward. There is no standing still.
You can assess whether you are growing by looking at the three stages of the Christian life the Apostle John examined in 1 John 2.
“I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:12-13).
All three stages of the Christian life are legitimate; a mature Christian is a composite. In a father or mother, there ought to be the vision and zeal of a young man or woman. In a young man or woman, there ought to be the wonder of childhood.
For more on growing as a Christian, read the article, “Are You a Growing Christian?".
Who is Satan? Satan is a liar. His motive is murder. He desires your physical, spiritual, eternal death—death not only in the final sense, but death to life, love, beauty, joy, and happiness. His method is deception. Satan wants us to:
While we want to major in getting to know God better, it is also useful to know the enemy better. This is not an equal pursuit because Satan is not God’s equal, only His enemy.
For more about this enemy, his plan of attack, and your means of defense, read the article, “Satan’s Flaws Help us Understand God’s Greatness."
Since we just looked at Satan’s tactics, it’s wise to remember that our most difficult struggles present opportune times for the enemy’s attacks. He will reinforce his suggestion that we question God’s goodness, truthfulness, and ability to meet our needs. He will want us to be careless about God.
Pastor Rogers said that in times of crisis:
This is the word Jesus used in the Bible to describe the enemy’s “sifting” of Peter after Christ’s arrest. The devil’s sifting revealed the trash in Peter’s life, Pastor Rogers said. “The adversary does the same to us. He finds faults in us. He accuses and condemns us as he points out our faults, failures, and flaws before Almighty God.” The Holy Spirit also points out our flaws, Pastor Rogers noted. The difference between satanic accusation and Holy Spirit conviction is that the devil desires to condemn us and the Holy Spirit desires to cleanse us.
Peter was naturally aggressive, self-confident, and bold. The Bible says, “He that trusts his heart is a fool.” If you don’t deny yourself you’re going to deny Jesus. Peter bragged about his own abilities when he should have been trusting Christ. Peter slept when he should have prayed. Pastor Rogers noted, “Peter’s strongest point was his courage. Peter told Jesus he was willing to go to prison for him, or even to die for him. Then he denied Christ for fear of a servant girl. David’s strongest point was his integrity. That’s where he failed.”
Peter did not expect to deny Christ. He was surprised. We are often surprised by how miserably we fail spiritually in times of crisis.
While Peter’s enemy sought to sift him, his advocate, Jesus, sought to secure him.
Pastor Rogers said, “If you belong to Christ, you will be restored. Peter’s actions did not surprise Jesus. He didn’t say, ‘I never would have thought that about old Simon. I’m so disappointed in Simon.’ No, Jesus said, ‘Simon, you’re going to deny Me, but when your faith is restored, strengthen your brothers.’ Jesus was not finished with him. There’s nothing you can do to stop Him from loving you.” As Jesus prayed for Peter, He is praying for you. Hebrews 7:25 says, “He always lives to make intercession” for His followers.
For more about how to rely on Jesus in times of crisis, read the article, “God is Close to the Brokenhearted."
You don’t have to sit for a year alone on a mountainside, go to seminary, or have special credentials to begin to understand God’s nature and to swim in the deep of His mercy, love, and grace. You need only submit to Him as Lord and embrace His Word as truth.
When you submit to Him as Lord, the Holy Spirit will show you things in His Word that you could not understand without His indwelling presence. When you go to His Word alone:
God is infinite; Man is finite. God is Creator; Man is created. Though we live eternally, we will never comprehend ALL of our holy God; that is part of the beauty of relationship with Him—it is infinitely deep and always fresh.
But even a new Christian can begin to understand the most important truths about God: His Trinitarian nature, His eternality, His holiness, His supremacy, and the fact that He is the saving God.
For more about these truths, read the article, “God is Holy, God is Truth, and God is Eternal."
If you still have questions about how to come to know Jesus, discover Jesus here. If you recently accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, we’d like to provide you with some complimentary information that can be of help to you in the coming days and weeks. Let us know if you are a new believer,