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What We Know
Biblical Text: Hosea 8:2 (KJV)
“Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know Thee.”
Introduction: most people admit they are not perfect, but few people actually think they are so flawed that God will reject them. Most people believe that they are good enough to be acceptable to God. Therefore, the majority of people usually reject any preaching that condemns sin and warns of God’s coming judgment.
When people reject the truth that they sin and that God will judge them for it, their rejection is based upon ignorance, spiritual blindness, misleading arguments, or self-deception. Whatever the reason, by rejecting this truth, they doom themselves to eternal separation from God. This is the plain teaching of Scripture. God’s Holy Word clearly states that all people have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Furthermore, Scripture says that the only one way we can ever become acceptable to God is by trusting that the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, has paid the penalty for our sins and provided forgiveness for us (Eph. 1:7). Without this forgiveness, we are not acceptable to God, and He will judge us for our sins.
Before you start shouting I am glad I am saved, let me ask you a question.
How well do you know God? I’m not asking you how many scriptures you can quote, or whether you can accurately and effectively exegete the critical messages of God’s salvation plan outlined in the 66 books of the Bible. What I AM asking you is, “How much time have you put into understanding and developing your relationship with your Heavenly Father?”
Too many of us have a hit or miss relationship with God. I understand we are busy people. We have families and careers and lofty goals. God understands too! But a solid relationship cannot be built on a some-timey conversation with your Creator.
We have a tendency to lose our spiritual focus when life is great. But let troubles come…let us get broadsided by adversity…let some pandemic sweep over us…and what happens? We drop to our knees and pick up our spiritual telephone to reconnect with God. We confess to the Lord that we are not perfect, and we are thankful that God does not reject us for our inconsistency in our relationship with Him.
Such was the case with Israel. They were some-timey. They kept getting off track in their relationship with God. We have an entire Old Testament record of Israel’s many ups and downs in their relationship with the Lord. Our text comes from one such time in the history of this Chosen nation. Though the Prophet Hosea’s message targets the Northern Kingdom of Israel, his message encompasses ALL the people of God. Hosea was called to expose the breach in Israel’s covenant relationship with the Lord. He warned that obedience to the covenant would bring blessings, while disobedience would bring judgment and eventual exile. Hosea knew the day would come when Israel would one day fall to their knees and cry, ‘My God, we know Thee!’
I’m not going to exegete Hosea’s message of sin, judgment and salvation. We’ll leave that for another time. For the sake of this preachment, Hosea merely underscores the important of our own personal assessment of our relationship with our Redeemer.
What does it mean to be a believer? It means we KNOW God, and God KNOWS us. We have a relationship with God. And as members of God’s family, we have certain knowledge that others may not yet understand. We know things that others have yet to discover. And what we know…and apply to our daily lives…keeps us from becoming like Israel.
What do we know?
First, we know that we are sinners. We don’t like that word. It’s the very word that keep many people from coming to Christ. They reject the truth that they sin, and that God will judge them for it. Their rejection of this truth is either the result of ignorance, spiritual blindness, or self-deception. Whatever the reason, by their own actions, they doom themselves to eternal separation from God.
All sinners…and that’s every one of us…must come to the point of confession that we are sinners saved by God’s grace, through Jesus Christ. Isaiah tried to warn Israel of this. He said, “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them…” (Isaiah 59:12).
Yes, we must confess that we KNOW we are sinners…that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Wherever we go, we see faces that reflect the presence of sin, attitudes that display the evidence of sin, desires that prove the power of sin, actions that disclose the shame of sin, and lifestyles that prove the reality of sin. Just because preachers don’t preach much about sin anyone, doesn’t mean it’s no longer around. It’s everywhere. That little trickle of sin in the Garden of Eden has become a great and mighty river of unrighteousness. We know that a little leaven penetrates the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5:6). That one little spark of sin soon became a raging, roaring, uncontrollable fire. The only way to put the fire out is to confess our sins. We must confess that… We know that every life has been touched by sin. We know that every relationship has been tarnished by sin. We know that every heart has been troubled by sin. We know that every mind is tormented by sin. We know that every person has been taunted by sin. And we know that the result of sin is eternal separation from God.
Thankfully, as believers, we know that Christ is our salvation. Christ is our Redeemer…and a Friend to the sinner. We are in need of His forgiveness. Without this forgiveness, we are unacceptable to God. Those who refuse to confess their sinful nature will be judged for their sins. The Bible teaches us that there is only one way to escape judgment. We must confess that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins and offers us eternal forgiveness.
Some of us come to that knowledge as adults, and some much sooner. The Apostle Paul acknowledged Timothy’s faith in Christ as a young child when he said, “…from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15).
There is no set age to begin a life ‘IN CHRIST’. You know believers who found Christ at different ages, some young and some old. The only stipulation for your confession is to do it before you die. And since we know not the day nor the hour when the Lord will call us from this earth, we know the only sure time for confession is NOW.
All it takes is a genuine prayer of repentance. And we know that God answers prayer. 1 John 5:15 says, “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” We just have to confess our faults with a bowed down head and a humble heart, and “…through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” (Acts 15:11).
For those who confess and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, there is so much we know. We know that Christ is our hope. We know that Christ is our peace of mind. We know that Christ is the joy in our hearts. We know that Christ is the Head of the church. We know that Christ is the Savior of the world!
There is something else we know.
We know that God commands obedience. Confession is meaningless without service. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26). Our works are a testament of our faith. No works, no faith. We are like a car without gas, or a body without breathe. We are useless to the growth and expansion of God’s kingdom.
We know how to obey God. 1 John 2:3 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” And Christ commands us to “Let [our] light so shine before men, that they man see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
· John says we are obedient if we “walk, even as [Christ] walked” (1 John 2:6)
· Paul says we are obedient when we display the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We know we are obedient when we are… Just in our judgments. Pure in our motives. Careful in our choices. Considerate toward others. Clean in our thoughts.
Truthful in our conversations. Righteous in our conduct. Generous in our giving. Earnest in our efforts. Patient in our trials. Godly in our actions. And humble in our attitude.
Yes, there is much we know. We all may not have been to Seminary. We all may not attend Bible Study as regularly as we should. We all may not have the same knowledge of the scriptures. But there are some things WE ALL KNOW! We know that we are sinners. We know that we are saved by Christ’s grace. We know that we must serve Him till we die!
But wait. We who have confessed Christ know something else. We know God is able! “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) No matter what the situation… God is able!
And wait…wait…there is something else we know. “…We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
If you don’t know that, now is your chance. Do you know that you can experience the love of God, right now? Do you know that you can be anointed by the Spirit of God, right now? Do you know that you can be guided by the hand of God, right now? Do you know that you can be blessed by the touch of God, right now?” Come and confess your sins to a loving Savior, and you WILL KNOW!