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Page 132

Some people believe that experiential knowledge of God is not necessary, but that only mental knowledge is sufficient. Why is this view both wrong and deceiving?

Mental knowledge of God and His truth is good and necessary. Experiential knowledge does not contradict mental knowledge, but it is different from it. How is it different? Which is saving? Why?

The Lord is free to deliver one sinner sooner than another. God knows what is best for each of his children. Do all persons who are saved experience misery, deliverance and thankfulness in the same depth or length of time? Can you name some scriptural examples of people experiencing salvation in Christ very rapidly or more gradually, and dramatically or more calmly?

Concerning true experiential knowledge of God, what must we carefully teach on one side, and not teach on the other?

The Form for the Administration of the Lord's Supper states that true participants at the Lord's table need to know something experientially of the following three items:

First. That every one consider by himself, his sins and the curse due to him for them, to the end that he may abhor and humble himself before God: considering that the wrath of God against sin is so great, that (rather than it should go unpunished) He hath punished the same in His beloved Son Jesus Christ, with the bitter and shameful death of the cross.

Secondly. That every one examine his own heart, whether he doth believe this faithful promise of God, that all his sins are forgiven him only for the sake of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and that the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed and freely given him as his own, yea, so perfectly, as if he had satisfied in his own person for all his sins, and fulfilled all righteousness.

Thirdly. That every one examine his own conscience, whether he purposeth henceforth to show true thankfulness to God in his whole life, and to walk uprightly before Him; as also, whether he hath laid aside unfeignedly all enmity, hatred, and envy, and doth firmly resolve henceforward to walk in true love and peace with his neighbor.

How can the experiential knowledge of misery, deliverance, and thankfulness be related to experiential knowledge of God?

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