Considering The Intimacy Of Knowing God
Intimacy With God/Knowing God. The New Birth. The Kingdom Of God. These three topics will be addressed as we discuss the aspects of our achieving intimacy with God.
John 17:3, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The aspect of knowing God is essential to the salvation of all human beings. It is not, merely, an awareness of Jesus, but a relationship that is described as being as close and personal as the physical relationship between a man and his wife. Strong’s reference number 1097 of the New Testament (Know) is directly related to the Old Testament reference number of 3045, in Genesis 4:1, in which Adam’s knowing Eve refers to his direct contact with her, in a sexual relationship. The 1097 reference also applies to Matthew 1:25, where Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible states, in relation to 1097: By euphemism: to lie with a person of another sex as spoken of a man or men (Mt 1:25, Gen 4:1, 17; 24:16); of a woman or women (Lk 1:34, Gen 19:8, Nu 31:17, 35).
The application of physical intimacy is that of “one in the other.” The following scriptures show that literal application. (NASB)
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
1 John 1:5
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
The aspect of intimacy is illustrated very clearly by relating physical intimacy to spiritual intimacy. The closest relationship that a husband and wife can experience is that of sexual union. God has used that example to illustrate the intimacy that is present between His “born again” believers and Him (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) When we are born again, God’s spirit and our spirit, become one in spiritual union. In John 14, we can see the following aspects of the indwelling of the Spirits of the Father, Son, Spirit, and us. But, it is important to start this conversation with verse 9, where Jesus states that He and the Father are one. That “oneness” of God The Father and God The Son, was important for the Jews to understand, as well as for us today. It was a statement of Jesus being, “God with us,” and not a competitor or impostor (Matt1:23, Isa 7:14, 9:6). We see the literal indwelling of God’s Spirit, as follows :vs 10-11 , Father in Son, Son in Father; vs 16-17, The Holy Spirit indwelling believers; vs 20, the Spiritual union of Father, Son, and believers. The other scriptures that are listed above, also show the literal presence of God’s Holy Spirit within the spirits of believers in Christ.
God’s Spirit indwells our Spirit, immediately, after we have been born again. See John 3:3-8. That is important because of the condition of our depraved spirit, which exists immediately upon our being conceived and become an embryo. The fall of Adam and Eve resulted in a flawed conception of all subsequent births of children, from Cain forward (Romans 5:12). In order for us to understand the significance of the need to be born again, it is important for us to understand the makeup of each man, woman, child, infant, unborn child, and embryo. At the time of conception, a spirit is present in each embryo, a spirit which is in need of a Savior (Rom 3:23). Let’s go to 1 Thes 5:23. There, we see that all of us are made up of a spirit, soul, and body. It is important for us to remember that all three parts of us must be saved. All three parts of us have been affected by the fall of Adam and Eve and must be saved for us to spend eternity with God. The terms “spirit and soul” are often used interchangeably. But, they are actually separate. Our body is easy to describe. Our soul is our emotion, consciousness, and reasoning. Our spirit is our initial point of entry into life. Our spirit is in need of a savior. It is the deepest part of us, and is the part of us that God is seeking to save, per Lk 19:10, so that we will spend eternity with Him. There is a need for all of us, “body, soul, spirit,” to be saved. When we have been born again, our spirit has been saved – it can not sin – it is immediately made perfect, just as perfect as the Spirit of Christ (Justification). Through our life’s walk, we become more mature in Christ (Sanctification), but because our soul can sin, it will not be saved until our death or until we are caught up in the rapture; our soul, “is being saved” – will be made perfect. Our body can sin, just as our soul is also able to do so, even after our spirit has been born again. It will be saved upon its resurrection in the Rapture (Glorification), where it “will be saved” – will be made perfect. So, here is a timeline of our growth in Christ. We have been saved (spirit). We are being saved (soul). We will be saved (body). It is important to remember that if any part of us can sin, it has not been saved. It is only our spirit that can not sin, because it “has been saved.” Immediately, upon our being born again, we take up residence in the Spirit of God, because we are no longer darkness (in God there is no darkness, 1 John 1:5). See the following scriptures: 1 Cor 6:9-11, Rom 8:28-30, 1 Cor 15:50-54, 1 Thes 4:16-18. Additional word studies should also be considered.
John 3:3, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3 Or from above
John 3:3, Revised Standard Version (RSV)
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew,he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3 Or from above
John 3:3, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
John 3:3 Or born anew
Consider the need for the new birth. It is necessary for us to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God. It is described as being, born again, born from above, and born anew. In John 3:3-8, Nicodemus came to Jesus, “in all of his Jewishness.” Immediately, Jesus spoke truth to a Jew who should have know the truth of the new birth. Nicodemus, because of his position within the Sanhedrin, should have known the truth of such scriptures, as Ezekiel 36:24-29, which describes the new birth:
Ezekiel 36:24-29,New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not]bring a famine on you…… (The Apostle Paul would also write on the new birth, as follows)
2 Corinthians 5:17, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
(The “new creation,” refers to the regenerated human spirit; “everything old” refers to the depraved, unborn again, spirit which must be regenerated/born again in order for us to be able to spend eternity with God.)
John 3:8, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Consider the method of the new birth. The Holy Spirit creates the new born spirit in believers. His actions here are related to the wind. The wind can not be seen, and can not be controlled, but its presence is known by where it has been. The Holy Spirit can also go to the right, left, front, and rear of us. He can go fast, slow, and can also stand still, and can not be controlled by us. But, when the Holy Spirit has come upon, and has taken up residence in, a formerly unsaved person, it can be clearly known where the Holy Spirit has been.
The Kingdom Of God
The Kingdom Of God is a subject that is addressed in the following three translations. It is described as being, “in the midst of you,” among you,” and “in your midst.” The words of Jesus, to Nicodemus, were such that in order for anyone to be in the Kingdom, they would have to be born again. In the discourse with the Pharisees, in Lk 17:20-21, Jesus stated that the Kingdom was not a place, or rearrangement, of government, but is a place of spiritual residence. He stated to the Pharisees, and to whomever was present, that they were looking at the Kingdom as they were looking at Him, and at anybody else who had been born again. The application for you and me is that, by our new birth, our spirits are sharing in the presence of the Spirit of God. If you have been born again, my spirit is indwelling your spirit and your spirit is indwelling my spirit. And, both of our spirits are present in the Spirit of God.
Luke 17:20-21, Revised Standard Version (RSV)
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Luke 17:20-21, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
20 Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Luke 17:20-21, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with]signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
The Kingdom Of Heaven
As opposed to the dwelling place of believers in the Spirit of God/the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven refers to the influence that God has over all of His creation. A god example is that of the thousand year reign of God, when it is controlled by God’s influence during most of that time of “peace on earth.” (Rev 20:1-3).
Psalm 103:19, Revised Standard Version (RSV)
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
About twenty-six years ago, I was listening to a sermon that was being preached by a long time pastor friend, whom I will lovingly call “Brother Dave.” He read through John 17:3. It made such a strong impact on me that, even while Brother Dave was continuing his sermon, I was beginning a word study of a key word in that scripture, “know.” Brother Dave presented to the congregation a text book definition of attaining eternal life, which was to “have an intimate relationship with God, the Father, through God, the Son.” The word study led me to understand that spiritual intimacy with God was a parallel to physical intimacy that exists between a husband and wife. In order for spiritual intimacy to be attained, we must be born again, whereby our depraved spirit is regenerated to become as pure as the Spirit of Christ. The result of the new birth is that we, through our spirit, take up residence in the Spirit of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Accordingly, the Spirit of God takes up residence within our regenerated spirit. At that time, we are present within the Kingdom of God. During the time of our entry into life, and throughout our lifetime, we are subject to the Kingdom of Heaven, whereby “all” of God’s creation is under the influence and power of God.
In order for us to “know Christ,” we must be intimate “with Christ.” Such a relationship must be accomplished spiritually, by God. There must also be a continuing emotional relationship by us with Him. Jesus spoke of the result of someone not having an intimate relationship with Him. In Matthew 7:23 we read:”…I never knew you; depart from me…”
Jesus was saying (in my words), “I never knew you; you have never been intimate with me: you have not been born again; you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”
Writing such as study, as this one, is very difficult. There has got to be a starting point, as well as a stopping point. So, a writer has to find start and stop points that will address the issue, but without doing a reprint of the whole Bible. John 21:25 has a wording that correlates to the dilemma of writing this article. John said, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.” So, if I have failed to address an issue that is important to you, please accept my request for forgiveness and allow me to provide any, and all, information that you would like for me to provide.
Now, let us consider Jesus.
He Is Here
Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him…”