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Page 129

It is necessary for each of you to know the Triune God, not only mentally as you study this biblical doctrine, but also spiritually in your personal life's experience.

The difference between mental and experiential knowledge is illustrated in the following example:

    Sandy served many years as a registered nurse in the recovery room of a hospital. She had extensively studied the human nervous system and knew much about pain.

    Hundreds of times she told her patients, who were recovering from operations, "Do not worry. Don't let the pain bother you. Pain is only a sign that the anesthetic is leaving your body. Pain is only a message to your brain that your body is beginning the healing process. You should not ask for painkillers. Learn to cope with your pain. Breathe in deeply when your worst pains begin."

    After being a nurse for many years, Sandy had to undergo an operation. In the recovery room, for the first time in her life, she experienced the pains she mentally "knew" about. Experiencing pain was certainly different from reading, studying, and talking about it!

    How can this story serve as an example to us when we speak about "knowing" God? How must we "know" Him? Why is an experiential knowledge of God necessary in our lives?

A saving knowledge of God is possible through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. When God the Holy Spirit begins His saving work in a sinner's heart, He starts by revealing and convicting him of his sin.

  • Experiential knowledge - Knowing something through personally experiencing it in one's life

  • How would only the mental knowledge of sin and pain be different from the experiential knowledge of them?

    Why must a person experience: His lost condition before he cries out to be found? His sickness before he needs a physician? His misery before seeking deliverance? His sins before needing the Savior?

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