The Err Of Knowing Myself Before Knowing God

The Err Of Knowing Myself Before Knowing God

Pastor Vincent - 20 March 2021

Weekend Devotion: The Err Of Knowing Myself Before Knowing God

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Now, ever since the fall of men, we’ve also fallen into a state of spiritual ignorance. The fall of men has not only deprived us of the knowledge of God, but also knowledge of ourselves. And not knowing ourselves means not having any meaning of existence. It could mean not knowing why I’m eating, why I’m putting on clothes, or why I’m practically living. It means that we’ve been reduced to just living by survival instinct instead of knowing the ultimate purpose of our existence. And with that, it causes a void in us, as living creatures created with a glorious human identity as God’s image bearers.  So it is not hard to comprehend why since the fall, man is trying to grasp the ultimate question of “Who am I?” Am I just an animal as school textbooks suggests? Am I just a grown-up germ? Or am I just a creature with useless passions? I mean, these are what philosophers have been telling us. So we know with the fallen human being, there is in him a quest for the knowledge of his identity. And not knowing our identity, being void of meaning easily resulted in an unloved spirit. As it is, when one doesn’t know why he is created for, he is equally deprived of the real sense of love.


So with the fall, man is stripped of the two most essential elements of his existence, i.e. meaning and love. And as what I saw, meaning and love are the two most sought-after prize of every human being. Every human soul lives for these two things. So it is not hard to understand why when someone read the bible with a fallen mind, he is first drawn into knowing who he is, and thereafter self-empowerment.


In the contemporary church nowadays, it is almost so easy to hear preachers say: “Oh, how favored you are in God! Oh, how loved you are in Christ. You are created with a purpose! you’re created to be blessed and to bless!”


Now, have you realized that this is the common parlance of the contemporary preachers nowadays? And they seem to draw such ideas from scripture text, and that is the reason why such preaching draws so much credibility. It tries to give answer to the innate void that man is trying to fill since he exists, i.e. self-discovery.


Now, the question is: Did the bible says such things about us?


Did the Bible spoke about the love and favored we have in Christ?


Yes. But that is NOT the message to start with. And that is NOT the main message in the bible either. The main message in the Bible is about God, not us.


As we know, the Bible started off with:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” <Ge 1:1>.


My dear brethren, God in His glory created all things. God alone sustain His creation. It was never about man to start with. It was never about how man conquered and ruled over the earth, how man multiplied, how man won battles, and so on. The bible was never about how great man is. Rather, it was about how great God is. It was about how holy, how righteous and loving this God is! And man was created to join Him in his work. Man was given the privilege to share in His love and glory. So even after having come to Christ, it is not the end of story about God, but rather it is about how man was being sustained by God, and commissioned by Him to do great things.


So my brethren, unless you truly know who God is from the Bible, without skewed understanding about Him, you are never going to really know who you are. And all these contemporary Christian messages about how favored and how loved we are, without truly teaching people about the holy attributes of God. All these healing and deliverance message and practices that doesn’t really teach about the truths and commands of God, calling believers to live a life of submission, I call it a human centric message. It is in fact a form of disguise of a self-empowering message in the name of Christianity. And no wonder, such message could easily skew towards a hyper grace message, or a prosperity centric message in the church, drawing big crowds who are ignorant of what the gospel truly is.


Such messages and the ideas within seek to superficially fill the void of a wandering soul, but it deprives him spiritually. My brethren, it’s always the true knowledge of God and His truths that sets us free. It’s not a humanly make up idea coupled with some biblical text that could satisfy the eternal soul of men. As <Ecc 12:13> says:

The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments.


We’ve to know Him and obey His commands, without which nothing can satisfies us. So people, don’t be too eager to know something about yourself without knowing your creator clearly. You have to know who your creator is before you could make any sense about your being and existence. As it is, meaning and love comes from knowing your creator. Because it is not you who could generate meaning and love. It is your creator who join you to Him, whereby all meaning and love spring from.


Recently, some preacher told me about how loved we are in Christ. God has given us the spirit of Sonship. And we are now under grace and not under law. The new has come, and the old has gone. You know, I don’t know why but nowadays, I’ve been hearing such catchphrases and parlance among Christians increasingly. I mean I understand perfectly what these people are driving at and the theology behind what they are saying. But I just like to make these people understand that if God has not given us the 10 commandments, to show us how holy and righteous HE is, we will never understand the extent of his forgiveness for us who are law-breakers. We would have taken his grace with a pinch of salt. We would have lived with the understanding of “cheap grace”, not his “holy grace”.

Now, let me say this again. The contemporary church who are drawing in crowds of people without telling them who God really is in the wholeness of His holy attributes and counsels, in my opinion, is in a great crisis.

They will breed a generation of self-professing Christians who only know who they are and not who God really is. They will live their Christian lives pursuing what they want, instead of what God has commanded in His holy word. And God will judge the people who continue preaching such a gospel.


Let us beware of the danger of learning about “who I am”, before knowing “who God is”. Knowing God rightly will reveal your identity in its clearest sense as His image bearer. For my brethren, it is not man who could rule and subdue the earth in his ability. Rather, it is God who created them, who puts in them the purpose of their existence. And it is God who blessed them to be fruitful, to rule over all that was created <Ge 1:27-28>. Let us know the author, know the creator of all things and all lives, instead of being overly focus on who we are and what we can.

Pastor Vincent Choo

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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