The phrase “know thyself” is an incredibly important statement. We must first know ourselves if we are ever to understand how we should relate to others, our surroundings, and ultimately God. We have already answered how we can know these things, but I think it bears repeating. We are tempted to think that we are the ultimate authority on ourselves. But remember, just as the artist knows everything about the painting, so the Creator knows everything about the creation. We might be able to explain some things about ourselves to those around us, but what we say about ourselves is only true inasmuch as it lines up with what God says about us. With this premise, who are we?
Man is valuable
Mankind, men and women, has been created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Mankind is valuable (Gen 9:6). Man knows that God exists (Rom 1:20), and God has given each person a conscience and an inherent knowledge of God’s law (Rom 2:15). Therefore, mankind is morally accountable to God (Rom 2:15-16).
man is wicked
While God made man upright, man rebelled against God (Ecc 7:29). Sin entered the world through the first man, Adam, and death came in as a result of this sin (Rom 5:12). Like Adam, all of mankind has sinned (Rom 3:23). And we are not merely those who have sinned, but we are sinners in our very nature (Eph 2:1-3). Mankind is not inherently good. Mankind does not seek after God. No one is righteous before God (Rom 3:10-11). There is no natural goodness that resides in mankind (Rom 7:18). Man is born in sin (Psa 51:5). Every intention of the thoughts of man is only evil continually (Gen 6:5). Man is dead in sin and, by his own nature, is utterly incapable of coming to God (John 6:65).
man is separated from god
Because of this, mankind is separated from God (Isa 59:2), enemies of God (Rom 5:10), and hostile towards God (Col 1:21). Mankind loves sin (John 3:19) and hates God (Rom 1:30). Mankind suppresses the truth about God through unrighteousness (Rom 1:18), and worships the creature over the Creator (Rom 1:21-23). Man is dead in sin (Eph 2:1), and the wrath of God hangs over all mankind (John 3:36).
These truths fly against our pride and may be difficult to accept, but we must humble ourselves beneath God’s word. God is the authority over his creation, so we must agree with him about who we are. But what does all of this mean? If all of these things are true about God and about us, what are the implications to these truths?
Do you really “know yourself”? Do you agree with God about who you are?
What does this mean for you and how you relate to God?
©️Jacob Crouch 2020