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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Love in Our Hearts MAY 17


*And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20.

Sometimes one of the greatest hindrances to a Christian experience is contentment with a superficial knowledge of religious truth. Some of the severest casualties are among those who never get beyond the wisdom of man. It is possible to know many things about God without changing our basic attitudes and lives.

Paul speaks of the conceit that can arise by way of the claim to a superior mind and knowledge. The achievement of the human mind is not to be disparaged at all. God needs the finest minds possible. But Jesus did not look simply for cleverness in His disciples. He asked for total commitment, obedience, the response of love. Christianity is something we are, in the whole of our person.

It is comparatively easy to take the Bible without its vital power. The issue has to do with the exposure of the whole of our lives to God. God is not the end result of our speculations about Him. We cannot reduce God to an idea and still know Him. When religious knowledge becomes an end in itself, religious experience becomes coldly intellectual. Then we become proud by virtue of our great intellectual insight. We acquire a knowledge of Christ and of religion, but lose the spirit of Christ.

Paul said, "I know whom I have believed." He is not simply giving out information. He is totally involved with Christ. He has taken Christ into his innermost being. God laid siege to his whole life.

The foundation of all Christian experience is the conviction that the meaning of life lies in an intelligent love relationship to a personal God. Out of this relationship, God does transform us. In our witness we do not offer people just a neat bundle of foolproof doctrines. To be saved and to become Christians, people need more than information.

We make people hungry for God and for His love, for the truth as a way of life. Christianity is a life that has been deeply stirred by God's mercy, love, truth, and goodness.

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