“And…put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” (Colossians 3:10)
God created man as a mold which His image alone could fill. Man, distinct from the animals, by virtue of his creation, is adapted to be an image bearer. Man’s rational moral nature makes him able to stand in relation to God.
Sin so distorted the mold that it was no longer capable of bearing the image of God. The devil filled the twisted mold with his crooked form; thereby, righteousness was replaced by guilt, holiness was replaced by evil and knowledge was replaced by a lie.
Grace repaired the mold, banished the image devil and restored unto the elect the image of God. The purpose of God in renewing His image in man is that man might live in covenant communion with Him. A vital part of any relationship, whether human or divine, is knowledge. In I Peter 3:7 we read: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge….” Such knowledge is twofold both intellectual and experiential.
It is through the knowledge of the truth that we know Christ—“the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The ‘knowledge’ the devil proffers is a snare, his ‘truth’ a lie, and the end thereof is death.
Adam and Eve in partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil willfully turned their back on the knowledge of God, walking and talking with him in the garden, and sought after the lie of the devil doing that which was right in their own eyes. As a result of their acceptance of the lie they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, a type of heaven, cut off from the fellowship of God and doomed to physical and spiritual death.
False knowledge puffeth itself up and attempts to dethrone the God of heaven and earth. Was that not Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden? True knowledge exalts the God omniscient and humbles man.
How do we know God? In The Confession of Faith Article 2 in response to the statement “By what means God is made known unto us” we read: “We know Him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe…. Secondly, he makes Himself more clearly and fully known to us by His holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and our salvation.”
Knowledge of God’s word is the weapon with which we fight the devil, the flesh and the wicked world. It is inevitable that he who goes into war unarmed and unprepared will be defeated. Christians arm yourself with the sword of the Lord; that is, the word of God lest you be destroyed in battle. Shall God’s words to us be those of Hosea in Israel’s time: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:10).
In accepting the lie we embrace the devil and in accepting the truth we embrace Christ. Knowledge is the essence of our covenantal relationship with God. The whole, complete and sufficient word of God is revealed in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Search the scriptures as the Berians. That ye may “…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (II Peter 3:18).
Knowledge is the gift endowed upon man with his anointing to the prophetic office. To be a prophet is to be overflowing with the word of God. Let us be as the prophet Jeremiah in whom the word burned like a fire so that he could not keep silence.
When we fulfill our prophetic, priestly and kingly calling then we will be called Christians or Christ-like. Q. 32 But why art thou called a Christian? A. Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of His anointing; that so I may confess His name (prophet), and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him (priest), and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life: and afterwards reign with Him eternally, over all creatures (king). ❖
Rev. Hanko is a missionary to the British Reformed Fellowship in Northern Ireland.