Love and Knowledge

Now concerning the things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he has come to know nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one has been known by Him. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Knowledge as an end in itself is empty, it does nothing other than puff one up. As a means of finding the True God and of helping others to do so, it can be very helpful but only once it becomes fulfilled in the love of God. Only love and relationship have any real eternal value. It is only in sharing our life with others that we truly live and the core of sharing our life is love, without which we cannot truly bond with the other in communion. Why God? Because only God has life and love eternally and only in Him can we also participate of this life and love in a permanent and meaningful manner because human love is temporary and partial.

Knowing God is participating in His life. His life becomes our life and our life becomes His life. God is not an object that we behold from outside in some form of beatific vision, there is no outside of God from which to behold Him, but a subject within Whom we participate in relationships in love. We know God from experiencing this love and these relationships that is why to love God is to obey his commandments, the greatest of which is love. It is by living as He lives in all purity and virtue that we get to know Him as He is, not through some external knowledge about Him. We participate in Him by sharing His energies/operations and not by beholding His essence. This is impossible because to know His essence is not a matter of something to see or to grasp intellectually but something that can only be known by being. Yet, only God is God, only the hypostases of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit are God in essence. It is impossible for anyone else, any creature, to have this essence otherwise they would be one of the hypostases of God and hence not a creature. The essence is not an object to be considered but the substance of a being and only that being can know its essence. This is why we partake of the energies of God, that is the operations/energies of His life. We know God because we will live like Him not in a partial limited reflection of His life, such as knowing someone in a mirror, but by truly partaking of His own life, such as knowing someone face to face but much more deeply than this analogy allows.

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One Response to Love and Knowledge

  1. Mark Downham says:

    “This is impossible because to know His essence is not a matter of something to see or to grasp intellectually but something that can only be known by being”

    You are still going round in circles – still circling….try Noesis – we can know the Essence of the Trinity ‘Noetically’ and this is constantly restated in Patristics, even in the mature thought of Gregory Palamas.

    When do you plan to come down and land on terra firma or to be more exact terra incognita?

    ‘Partaking’ means exactly what it says – enhypostatic communion with the Essence of the Trinity.

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