Let’s continue to explore the wonder of Jesus as “the image of God” and its implications for our lives as Christ’s apprentices.

When we are in Christ, we possess the Spirit-formed mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16)—that is, the mind of the Son, who knows the Father fully. We thus find that we have come full circle. Having been created for the knowledge of God, we are now re-created in Christ for that same knowledge of God. Do we doubt that Christ possesses real knowledge of God? Jesus himself tells us, “No one knows the Father except the Son (Matt. 11:27). Do we doubt that we ourselves can possess such knowledge of God? Jesus goes on to say even more: “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (Matt. 11:27). As we enter into Christ, as we begin to have the mind of Christ, we once again are positioned for the unimaginable gift and task of knowing what is beyond knowledge, even the transcendent Lord of heaven and earth.

The fundamental premise for human knowledge of God is fairly straightforward. God desires for us to know him, and he has acted to make such knowledge possible. The intensely personal God has created human beings in his image and in love has revealed himself to them; even after our self-destructive rebellion, God has chosen to speak rather than to remain silent, to instruct rather than to abandon; ultimately, in Christ and by the Spirit, he has extended to us the fullness of that unfathomably personal love that was always present within the Holy Trinity, stooping to envelop us in his own incomparable glory.

What might be the implications of God’s desire for us to know him? Well, first of all, if God has made it possible for us to have knowledge of God, that goal can surely be ever-increasingly reached. How might we do so? We shouldn’t be surprised that disciplined, practical labor will be required.

It is now time to consider this element in our knowledge of God. How can we intentionally enter into knowledge of the incomprehensible One? How can we nurture our relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that our knowledge and love of God continually deepen in response to the infinite love offered to us in Christ?

One answer is ready at hand: the Bible. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Ps. 119:9). The fundamental means God uses to teach us and to mold us into Christlikeness is the Bible.

Yet the Bible can so easily be treated as if it were merely God’s answer book for all of our theological questions—as though life in Christ consisted in nothing more than having the right answers! If the transcendent Lord really is a mystery, then no set of “answers”—not even the most thoroughly biblical set—will suffice to give us the deepest knowledge of God. On the contrary, “knowledge” of an anemic, rationalistic sort may do more harm than good, for “knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1). Knowing God is a matter not merely of analyzing data about him but of entering into him. Thus, we need more than accomplished exegetical skills and an awareness of the history of Christian thought. We need to become holy people, sons and daughters increasingly sanctified for our Father’s use.

But how does this happen? How can mere “knowledge” be steadfastly transformed into authentic knowledge of God? This is a very important question and we will begin exploring it next week.

Catch up with all the previous posts in this series at Conversations with Chris.

This series has been adapted from Steven D. Boyer and Chris Hall’s The Mystery of God: Theology for Knowing the Unknowable. Hungry for more? Please visit Baker Academic for more information.