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Purifying Conceptions of God

By A.W. Tozer


      . . . if superstition dishonors God, is it not an evil thing and is not the Christian who harbors it guilty of serious sin against the Majesty in the heavens? The answer to these questions is not as pat as we could desire it to be. An unqualified yes or no would both be wrong. Here is the reason:
      When we first come to God through Christ, we are pagans at heart and our ideas of God are likely to be a mixture of truth, half-truth, ignorance and error. Conversion lifts the veil of darkness in some measure from our minds and allows the light to shine in, but no one who is capable of self-analysis will deny that there still remains a great many shadowy images that have not yet come into clear focus. The newborn child knows God in the deeply spiritual meaning of the word know as found in John 17:3, ?Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.? But this intimate, vital knowledge does not immediately result in a perfect conception of God. The mind may yet suffer from imperfect religious teaching, prejudices, mistaken judgments and faulty theological instruction; and in the exact measure that these things are present there will be unworthy and superstitious notions of God and spiritual things.

      This kind of error is inevitable at first encounter with God. Let the Christian ?follow on to know the LORD? (Hosea 6:3, KJV) and the margin of error will become narrower day by day and year by year as the body of truth becomes greater. So at any given moment in the Christian?s life, he may be entertaining imperfect or even unworthy ideas of the Deity, but the Spirit ?working unseen like a miner in the depths of the earth? is laboring to purge away the error and fill the heart with pure and lofty notions of the Triune God. While this is going on the patient heavenly Father bears with our imperfection, ?for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust? (Psalm 103:14).

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