Friday, January 31, 2020

Dodd: knowing God personally

Friday, January 31, 2020
    Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888
    To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
    —1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (ESV)
    The Judaism [in which Paul had grown up] had become largely traditional: the word of the Lord, the Rabbis held, came to the prophets of old, but we can only preserve and interpret the truth they handed down. Jesus Christ, with a confidence that to the timid traditionalism of His time appeared blasphemous, asserted that He knew the Father and was prepared to let others into that knowledge. He did so, not by handing down a new tradition about God, but by making others sharers in His own attitude to God. This is what Paul means by “having the mind of Christ.” It was this clear, unquestioning conviction that gave Paul his power as a missionary: but he expected it also in his converts. To them too “the word of knowledge” came “by the same Spirit.” He prayed that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Such knowledge is, as Paul freely grants, only partial, but, so far as it goes, it is real, personal knowledge. In friendship between men there is a mutual knowledge which is never complete or free from mystery: yet you can know with a certainty nothing could shake, that your friend is “not the man to do such a thing,” or that such-and-such a thing that you have heard is “just like him.” You have a real knowledge which gives you a criterion. Such is the knowledge the Christian has of his Father.
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 131-132 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 12:7-11; 8:1-3; 2 Cor. 10:3-6; Gal. 4:9; Eph. 1:17; Phil. 1:9-10; 2:5; Col. 2:2-3; 1 Thess. 1:5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You know me better than I know myself, for You have granted me exactly those gifts through that same Spirit that most benefit of Your church.
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