When our son was a toddler he had a blue and yellow tricycle with wide tires. He would zip around the driveway and along the sidewalk with his set of wheels. The bike had a place for a license plate that came with stick-on letters to personalize the tag. John III uses our middle name–Bradford. We call him “Brad” and that name was stuck onto his trike’s license plate. However, after some months of wear and tear, one of the letters fell off his tag. At that age he didn’t seem to notice (and couldn’t read yet) and proudly told his new friends that this was his trike. He pointed to the evidence of his name on the tag, which then read, B_AD. From his name to a put down, just because the “R” disappeared!
Likewise, my spell checker caught me accidentally dropping the “r” in “friend”… (Calling them “fiends” doesn’t do much to build relationships!)
Now that we’ve established the importance of letters, I’d like to draw your attention to two in particular: “k” and “w”. I don’t want the other 24 letters to feel left out, but I do want to notice what happens when “k” and “w” are left out in the following phrases.
Here’s the message: KNOW GOD, KNOW LIFE.
But without the “k” and “w”, there’s a warning: NO GOD, NO LIFE.
Let’s look into this message. Consider the Scriptural promises for those who KNOW God by faith. Eternal life is predicated on knowing God: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
Establishing this personal relationship requires humility and faith. The Old Testament declares, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10). “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD” (Jer. 9:23,24).
Knowing God personally is the essential blessing of the New Covenant Christ established through His death on Calvary. God promised this through the prophet Jeremiah: “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:34).
This personal knowledge comes through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
So the Scriptures clearly show that in order to gain salvation and eternal life we must know God personally. Believing in His existence is not enough…
Since this is so important, let’s recognize the consequences of NOT knowing God. From KNOW to NO … Dropping the “k” and “w” in this context is a much BIGGER problem than being beaten in Scrabble. We end up with this dire warning: NO GOD, NO LIFE.
The ABSENCE of this supreme relationship is condemned in the Bible as a mark of the wicked (Job 18:21), the idol worshiper (Gal. 4:8); the sensual unbeliever (1 Thess. 4:5), the false teacher (Titus 1:16), and the one who is void of true love (1 John 4:8). We show up on planet earth with this deficit due to Adam and Eve’s tragic fall into sin (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12).
1 John 5:12 makes this absolute distinction: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Finally, those who reject the Savior will be judged at Christ’s second coming: “[He will come]…in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:8).
Such bold promises and warnings swim against the tide of modern relativism and political correctness. However, faithfulness to the Gospel forces us to take sides: “God must be true, even if every living man be proved a liar” (Rom. 3:4, J.B. Phillips.). This new relationship with the true and living God enables believers to be tolerant in the true sense of the term (i.e., loving and accepting of others) while caring enough to share, define, and defend the Good News.
When we make peace with God through repentance and faith, the Second Coming becomes a blessed hope. The Bible concludes with Christ’s promise to His people: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:12,13).
Jesus is the alpha and omega and everything good in between! By receiving Christ, the “k” and “w” are filled in–you come to KNOW GOD and KNOW LIFE ETERNAL. You’re invited: “But as many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). May each one receive this greatest Christmas gift and know the Ultimate Giver.
For further study on the gospel, visit http://www.Lifestory.com (testimonies), http://www.LivingWaters.com (Gospel resources) and http://www.GoodSeed.com (user friendly survey of the Bible).
Although the Son and Father are co-equal and co-eternal (John 1:1; 14:9), the Son clothed Himself with human nature at his birth in Bethlehem (John 1:14). For further study on God’s triune nature, see “Trinity” in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia at http://bible.crosswalk.com
Scrabble is a popular board game from Hasbro, created in 1948. http://www.Scrabble.com
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet–the language of the original manuscripts of the New Testament.
Grace Notes: Dec. 15, 2005. Copyright 2005 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Please credit Grace Fellowship International. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.