Many moons ago I was convicted to study “holiness” on a deeper level. I believe it’s important to not just believe in Jesus and what He did for us, but also to study the faith – read books written by more experienced and educated people than myself and gain a broader knowledge and discernment for what God has truly called us to do in this world.
That said, I have been working through The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. Admittedly, I have finished several books since beginning this one (I’m always reading multiple books at one time), but I also enjoyed taking it slow and soaking it in.
“The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. It is possible to have some truth in the mind without having the Spirit in the heart, but it is never possible to have the Spirit apart from truth.” – A.W. Tozer
It’s not a very big book, but it’s thick. I mean, the language is not “modern” and Tozer goes into some heady stuff. Each chapter focuses on one of God’s attributes and each is short. I enjoy that he can say what he means to say in just a few pages, yet wholly convict and strengthen my faith.
God’s attributes are such as to make impossible the existence of another God. – A.W. Tozer
Tozer emphasizes multiple times that all these attributes work together at the same time all the time and never replacing another for even a moment.
“…God’s attributes are not isolated traits of His character but facets of His unitary being. They are not things-in-themselves; they are, rather, thoughts by which we think of God, aspects of a perfect whole, names given to whatever know to be true of the Godhead… To have a correct understanding of the attributes it is necessary that we see them all as one. We can think of them separately but they cannot be separated… In studying any attribute, the essential oneness of all the attributes soon becomes apparent… All of God’s acts are consistent with all of His attributes. No attribute contradicts any other, but all harmonize and blend into each other in the infinite abyss of the Godhead…”
I think one of the reasons he wrote this book was because of how low a view of God we have. We try to make him more of a friend than The Holy God. Tozer writes:
“With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshiper in this middle period of the twentieth century.”
I underlined and marked so many paragraphs in this book, it’s hard not to want to quote the entire thing to you! Tozer wanted this book to help us rediscover God’s holiness, His majesty and all His other magnificent attributes. His first couple chapters quickly prove God’s existence, why we must have a proper view of his existence and why we must be familiar with his attributes. The subsequent chapters cover:
- The Holy Trinity
- The Self-existence of God
- The Self-sufficiency of God
- The Eternity of God
- God’s Infinitude
- The Immutability of God
- The Divine Omniscience
- The Wisdom of God
- The Omnipotence of God
- The Divine Transcendence
- God’s Omnipresence
- The Faithfulness of God
- The Goodness of God
- The Justice of God
- The Mercy of God
- The Grace of God
- The Love of God
- The Holiness of God
- The Sovereignty of God
Like I said, each of the above chapters is only a few pages long. It’s remarkable how Tozer can address these subjects so efficiently – which makes this a great book to keep for reference, for personal study and for spiritual growth.
Here are just a few more of my favorite quotes from the book:
The tempted, the anxious, the fearful, the discouraged may all find new hope and good cheer in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is faithful. – A.W. Tozer
Nothing that has occurred or will occur in heaven or earth or hell can change the tender mercies of our God. Forever His mercy stands, a boundless, overwhelming immensity of divine pity and compassion. – A.W. Tozer
To say that God is omniscient is to say that He possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. But it is more: it is to say that God has never learned and cannot learn. – A.W. Tozer
…we rest our hope in the only wise God, our Saviour, and wait with patience the slow development of His benign purposes… We rest in what God is. I believe that this alone is true faith. – A.W. Tozer
There is a glorified Man on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven faithfully representing us there. We are left for a season among men; let us faithfully represent Him here. – A.W. Tozer
I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads.
Have you read this? Which chapter was your favorite? (I’m not sure I can answer that for myself.) Do you have any books like this you’d recommend I read? I’m always up for suggestions!