The Knowledge of Christ
A person’s eternal life is intimately connected with knowing Christ (Jn 17:3). There is no greater priority, in one’s vaporous existence in this evil world, than to know the Son of God sent from heaven (Jn 3:16). This is why the apostle Paul determined to know nothing among the Corinthians, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2).
God gives His elect, redeemed people the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), who is the Teacher of the child of God (Jn 14:26). The content, taught by the Spirit, is the Word of God, which is the Word of truth (Ps 119:43; 2 Tim 3:16–17).
Knowing the person and work of Jesus Messiah is accomplished by the Spirit’s illumination of God’s Word. Seeing Jesus with the eyes of faith, hearing the voice of Christ in the preaching of the Word, is the believer’s salvation. The believer loves Jesus Christ, and she follows Him (Jn 10:4).
With the Christian’s focus on Jesus Christ (Heb 12:2), every thought is to be captive to His perfect obedience (2 Cor 10:5). The believer’s focus is removed from himself, and it is placed on the One who does all things well. When a saint is self-absorbed, with his own performance in the Christian life, then he is distracted from the only agency of his sanctification (Jn 17:17; Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2). Move the focus back to its rightful place, “Let’s not talk about you (ie. Christian counseling), let’s talk about Christ and Him crucified (e. g. preaching).” The spirit of wisdom and revelation is in knowing Him, not so much our sinful selves (Eph 1:17).
Knowing the love of Christ is beyond all knowledge that might be gleaned in this world (Eph 3:19). Knowing the Son of God is like growing to maturity (Eph 4:13). We must increase our knowledge of Him to spiritually mature (2 Pet 3:18). To do so, we must value the knowledge of Christ above everything, even registering other knowledge as a loss (Phil 3:8).
It is God’s will for Christians to receive the riches of the glory of this mystery, now revealed in us (Col 1:27). The increase, in knowledge of Christ, is equated with one increasing in wealth (Col 2:2). There is nothing more valuable than one’s salvation, known from the wisdom applied from Scripture (2 Tim 3:15). Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24); and Christ in us is the glorious realization we have been, are, and will be saved.
The knowledge of the truth, who is Christ, dispels the worthless lies of the world (Titus 1:1; 1 Pet 2:20). The only good in a Christian is Christ (Rom 7:18), who is manifesting every good thing toward godliness. The Spirit and the Word are the sanctifying agent and instrument, in the regenerated believer being conformed to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29). The Christian is neither useless, nor unfruitful because it is Christ in her, willing and working His good pleasure (Gal 2:20; Phil 2:13).
The apostle Peter acknowledged that growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior is essential (2 Pet 3:18) . It is vital to our spiritual well-being. It is essential in our spiritual warfare, against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:10–20), who prowls to deceive, devour, and destroy the ignorant and unsuspecting. Christ came and gave us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true, the true Christ of God, who is true (Jn 14:6; 1 Jn 5:26). The truth sets us free (Jn 8:32), to serve our Lord with one’s whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27).
Christian, here is your daily challenge. You are to order your life, day by day, in such a way that distractions are diminished. This world offers you no hope and no future because its system is a façade constructed by the adversary, Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Your corporation, your favorite sports team, your favorite vacation destination, your favorite restaurant are cheap imitations for your pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor 11:3).
Examine your life, and honestly assess the place you have prioritized Christ Jesus (Mt 6:33). Is He truly Lord of your life? Are your thoughts primarily of Him? Are your words representative of the place He has in your heart? If you sense any lack, simply pray and ask Him who supplies more of Himself to those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).
Knowing Christ should have primacy in all you do. Here is your salvation. Here is your sanctification. Here is your protection against the enemy. Here is the Sword that brings clarity to your understanding of life in this world. Here is the food that feeds your soul. Here is the instrument that conforms you to the image of the perfect man, Jesus Christ. Here is your real life, found in Scripture alone, illuminated by the Spirit alone, for God’s glory alone.
Christian, follow the apostle Paul’s example and forsake the world. Get more knowledge of Christ, and when you do, you are getting more wisdom for living in godliness and righteousness. In this, God is glorified, Christ is exalted, and you have joy unspeakable because you know Him. There is nothing better.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 30, 2021