Words Every Christian Should Know-Omniscience

I was recently talking to a guy who changed careers (pharmaceutical sales), and he mentioned that one of the greatest challenges he faces is learning the new vocabulary associated with the job. In fact his new employer requires weeks of intensive study and tests before he will be allowed to pitch drugs to doctors.

Every field has its own vocabulary that can intimidate the newcomer. We’ve all had to stop the doctor and ask him to explain an angioplasty or ask the sushi chef what unagi is.

Christianity isn’t any different. The Bible is full of unfamiliar words. What do you do when you come across a word you don’t know? Skip over it? Ignore it? Read your own meaning into it?

If you take any of these approaches, you will always have a superficial understanding of the Scriptures. Would you want to go to a doctor who decided not to learn the terminology and important words in the medical field? Of course not. So why should you tolerate ignorance when it comes to your faith?

J. I. Packer authored a book called Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. In some ways it reminds me of a glossary for the Bible because it gives 2 or 3 page explanations of key biblical terms. It might be something that you want to purchase and keep next to your Bible.

For now, we will use it to help us with our word of the day…”Omniscience.”

Omniscience simply means “to know everything” and is a quality that only God has. Referring to God, Packer writes, “He knows everything about everything and everybody all the time.” Also, God knows the future just as well as he knows the past and the present (Isaiah 46:9-10). He even knows what would have happened if we’d made other choices (Matthew 11:21). He knows every detail of our lives (Psalm 139:1-2). He knows every word we will say before we say it (Psalm 139:4). He knows our every moment of our entire life before we are ever born (Psalm 139:16). There is nothing God doesn’t know.

What difference should that make in our daily lives? Here are two applications that the Bible gives…

1. We should find great comfort that God knows all things and that he misses nothing. Isaiah 40:27-28 reminds us how silly it is to say that God isn’t aware of our hardships.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

2. We must always be aware that no action, no word, and no thought escapes God’s notice. Personally, I find Hebrews 4:13 to be quite sobering.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

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