Knowing God - Gospel in Life

Knowing God

Tim Keller |  June 3, 2007

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • God the Father
Deuteronomy 6:4-23
RS 196-04


We’re looking at the book of Proverbs every week, and that means we’re looking at the subject of wisdom every week. Wisdom, while not being less, is more than being moral and good. Wisdom is knowing what the right thing to do is in the vast majority of life situations in which the moral rules don’t apply, that they don’t address.

Today we come to a theme that runs all through Proverbs and, in fact, all through the whole Bible. That is, that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. There’s a place in Job where God actually shows how important the term is when he says, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him in all the earth; a man who fears God and shuns evil.” It’s obvious the term fear of the Lord is something that is a summary of everything we’re supposed to do and be.

So why is it so important and what in the world is it? Today we’re going to see how the fear of the Lord is 1) beginning with God, 2) knowing God, 3) trusting God, and 4) discovering the grace of God.

Deuteronomy 6:4–23

Deuteronomy, especially the Shema passage, teaches us how to truly know God. It’s not just about understanding God with our brains, but knowing Him with our whole selves. This involves four key things: really believing in God, letting our love for God change us, trusting God no matter what, and sharing God’s story with others. These elements highlight the importance of a deep, personal relationship with God.

1. You have to believe in God truly

Deuteronomy tells us that there is only one, real God. This is different from the common idea of having many gods. God isn’t something we made up, but He made us. His existence doesn’t depend on whether we believe in Him or not. Interestingly, our deepest needs are met by a God who is real and not a figment of our imagination.

2. You must love him transformatively

When we love God, it’s supposed to change us completely. Everything about us, from our secret thoughts to our public actions, should show our love for God. This love should also make us care for people who are overlooked and use what we have to help others, not just ourselves. Being part of a faith community and letting others challenge and inspire us is key to showing this transformative love.

3. You must trust God unconditionally

Wanting proof that God is worthy before we trust Him doesn’t work. We can’t fully understand His plans or what’s best for us. Our relationship with God is like a shepherd and his sheep—we need to trust Him completely, even when we don’t understand why. This unwavering trust, even when life is tough, brings deep peace.

4. You must tell God’s story

Why should we follow God’s rules? The answer is found in God’s story, particularly the story of how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, symbolized by a lamb’s blood. The real point of the law is that God stepped in to save us. Following the law is a way to say thank you. The ultimate symbol of being freed from our wrongs is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Truly trusting God means understanding this story and finding reminders of it, just like a rainbow reminds us of God’s promise not to judge us harshly.



Father, Son and Holy Spirit

By Tim Keller

Praying in the Spirit

By Tim Keller

A Covenant Relationship

By Tim Keller

July Book Offer

Reading Galatians Can Change Your Life!

Galatians is a powerful book that shows how people can think they know the gospel but are actually losing touch with it. In this study of the book of Galatians, Dr. Keller helps you understand how this short book in the New Testament can transform your life.