3 And We Know
This is the third installment in our series on Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This week we will study to understand what Paul meant when he used the word know in this verse.
The word know shows up hundreds of times in the Bible. “Know” professes dozens of meanings throughout the old and new testaments. In the Greek the word know means to “discern clearly” or “to behold”. In the original Hebrew the word know means “to experience”.
When we discern something clearly we have have no doubts. Our understanding is not vague or obscure. It is unequivocal and steadfast.
We can know the multiplication tables, the names of the planets, Thursday’s lineup of shows on a cable network, exactly where we were on 911, how many quarts in a gallon, the square root of 144, how to convert farenheit temperatures to their centigrade equivelants, the last ten World Series winners and more.
We can even know scripture. But that’s not that big a deal. Even the devil knows scripture. And if we were honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that Satan probably knows Scripture better than a lot of us. In Matthew 4:1-11 when Satan took Jesus into the desert to tempt Him, Satan quoted scripture. In verse 6 Satan says, “If you are the Son of God throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you; on their hands they will bear you up so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ “
It’s important, I believe, to study this verse using the original Hebrew meaning of know: to experience. That would have been Paul’s original intent, I believe, since he was himself a Hebrew and wrote his epistles in his native language.
If we look at “we know” together (and from last week’s study of “we”) we discover that Paul is speaking to Christians of the day who knew their true identity in Christ, who believed they were accepted by God and could do nothing to make God love them any more or any less, who denied themselves and committed their lives to loving God and serving others. We also discover that these “we” knew the truth Paul is speaking of because they had experienced it. They had experienced Christ’s presence, His grace, His love, His teachings, His acceptance, His death and resurrection.
In other words what they knew they discerned clearly. They fostered no doubts about their beliefs because they had, in modern terms, “been there, done that.” They “knew that they knew that they knew.” They knew God’s Truth and Christ’s sovereignty just like they knew their own name. Their understanding was not vague or obscure. It was unequivocal. What they knew encouraged them and gave them confidence to spread the Gospel and to testify about their confidence to others.
Besides Paul’s letters it was the “we” of this verse and what they “knew” and trusted and believed that contributed to spreading the Gospel message to every corner of the world.
If you enjoyed reading this message I encourage you to leave a comment. We bloggers live and breathe by the comments we get.
Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? I’d like to encourage you to follow this link if you’d like to know more about God and know Jesus Christ personally.
Here are links to the first two messages in this series:
Week 1 — Taking Scripture Out Of Context
Week 2 — We Are Just A Bunch Of Dead People