Thursday, November 05, 2009

Knowledge of God and Known by God

1 Cor 8:3 states, "but anyone who loves God is known by him," and based on this Richard Hays writes:

“The initiative in salvation comes from God, not from us. It is God who loves us first, God who elects us and delivers us from the power of sin and death. Therefore what counts is not so much our knowledge of God as God’s knowledge of us” (Richard Hays, First Corinthians, 138).

4 comments:

Mr. Brown said...

I'll see your 1 Cor 8 and raise you a Col 1:10: "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Seems like our increasing in the knowledge of God counts for as much as God's knowing us.

How is this supposed to work? Of what practical significance is it? Seems like we are called to love God and by loving him, he knows us. Perhaps the love of God encompasses a desire to know as much as we can about him.

Edmund said...

I have a similar question as Mr. Brown: How can we avoid running into a hermeneutical cycle that "God's knowing us" becomes in all practical terms "We think we know that God knows us?"

And that would really mean our knowledge of God, right?

Nick said...

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

74 God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth": that is, of Christ Jesus. Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:

God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.

94 Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:
- "through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts";57 it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth".
- "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience", the sacred Scriptures "grow with the one who reads them."
- "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth".

158 "Faith seeks understanding": it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. The grace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts" to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God's plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the center of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood." In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe."

2822 Our Father "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." He "is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish." His commandment is "that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.

elias said...

Gordon fee says that probably the text says: but he who loves is known by God. and fits the context which contrasts knoweldge with love. so it is love for others that makes you known to God and not knoweldge.