Years before Paul spoke about knowing, Jesus had spoken about the possibility of ordinary people knowing God, and having eternal life. He said:
"... this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent," John 17'1-3.
Jesus is saying that anyone who has eternal life will know Him, the true God, and Jesus Christ. Knowing the true God would be absolutely amazing. And Jesus? How do we know Him? And how does anyone obtain eternal life?
Ordinarily, no one can know God. What we do know is that our lives are such that we can't know God of ourselves. We seem to be alienated from Him.
Here's what the Bible says:
"... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3'23.
It also says:
"For the wages of sin is death ...," Romans 6'23.
It doesn't stop there but goes on to say that:
"... the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".
Eternal life comes as a gift from God Himself. That is amazing! However, our self-centred lifestyle completely hinders us from receiving it because it is sin.
Nevertheless, He still offers us the gift of eternal life but it is in Jesus Christ. How does anyone receive Jesus Christ then?
Obviously, since our sin, with all its self-centredness and worldly thoughts, is anti God we need order to be rid of them. Here's the good news:
"Christ died for our sins ... He was buried ... He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 14'3-4).
Believe these words, repent which means change your mind absolutely. Repenting involves acknowledging your wrongdoing and your sin against God and turning away from all ungodly things and receive Christ into your heart.
John 1'12-13, in the New Testament, says:
"... as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God".
This is saying that through your sincere faith and repentance you have been "born again", born of God.
Now what about God's gift of eternal life? It came with Christ when you received Him. 1 John 5'11-12 assures all Believers:
"... this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life".
On earth eternal life is a life of knowing God, thanking Him for sending Jesus Christ. and possessing eternal life. If you're not already part of a Christian group who believe these things, look for one. And remember to check everything you hear, read or taught with the New Testament scriptures.