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The Absolute Essential of Knowing Christ
By David A. DePra
Jesus Christ said, "I am the Truth." Paul also wrote, "IN HIM (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col. 2:3) The fact is, it is impossible to come into the knowledge of the Truth unless we know Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, many Christians DO try to come into a knowledge of the Truth through other means. Most don’t do it on purpose. Most of us don’t even realize our error. But what ends up happening is that we acquire a factual knowledge of the things of God and then try to live in it based on the futility of our own natural minds. It is quite religious. But this cannot enable us to stand in the day of crisis. We have to do more than just learn facts ABOUT Christ. We have to, "learn Christ." (Eph. 4:20)
But here we find the key as to why professing Christian people – as sincere as they might be – can be so easily deceived. Here we find the cause as to why we can be, "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph. 4:14) It is because we have not, "come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4:13) Most of us don’t KNOW HIM. Indeed, we have never been told we are supposed to know Him!
Now, maybe you missed that last point. I am saying that, yes, many Christian people do not KNOW JESUS. But more than that, I am saying that many Christian people do not KNOW that we are supposed to KNOW HIM. Such a possibility is rarely taught today. Indeed, it is not even on the table for discussion. This is alarming, since, according to Jesus Himself, and according to so much of the NT, the primary job of the Holy Spirit today – the PURPOSE of God – is to reveal Christ so that we can personally know Him.
Once you are saved, there is nothing more essential than knowing Jesus Christ in an inward, personal way. This is equal to knowing the Truth. It is what it means to walk in the Light as He is in the Light. It is what it means to be SET FREE.
All the Treasures
If you wanted to work for the United States government as a person who is able to identify counterfeit currency, the focus of your training would NOT be the study of the various counterfeit bills. Rather, the focus of your training would be the study of the REAL currency. It is only if you know the REAL and the TRUE that you will be able to immediately spot the false. So it is with spiritual discernment. The only protection against the wiles of Satan is the Truth of God in Jesus Christ. You have to personally KNOW JESUS CHRIST. Only then can you know what is NOT of Christ.
Discernment is really nothing more than a by-product of knowing Jesus Christ. You will spiritually discern NOTHING otherwise. It is true that brainpower will enable some of us to keep our wits about us. But Satan does not get to us there. He gets at us at the heart level. And it is there – as well as in our minds – that we must know the Truth.
The only protection, and thus, the essential, is to KNOW CHRIST. As quoted, Paul wrote that IN CHRIST, "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Thus, it is only as Christ is personally unfolded to us through the work of God’s Spirit that any treasure of wisdom or knowledge that is of spiritual value becomes ours. They are IN HIM – they are NOT available outside of Him. Yet Christians by the millions continue to try to figure out truths and seek to decode the Bible using brainpower, superstition, and the traditions of men. God says, "Grow to know Jesus Christ. IN HIM you will find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Just try to know the Truth without knowing Jesus Christ – the One who said, "I am the Truth." You will eventually end up deluded. Just try to develop a Christian theology without a personal knowledge of the Truth in Christ – you will operate in the futility of your own mind -- even if it is your religious mind. The best that the most sincere person in the world can come up with outside of a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ is dead religion, subject to the bias’ of their own heart. In Christ alone is true knowledge possible.
The letter of Paul to the Ephesians is filled with doctrine and Christian teaching. It is all inerrant and inspired by God. Yet despite this, Paul wrote something else in this same letter. He told the Ephesians what was his prayer for them. And since this, too, is part of the inspired Word of God, we can be sure that what Paul desired for the Ephesians – and by extension, for us – is likewise what God Himself desires:
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints….(Eph 1:15-18)Paul’s prayer doesn’t not contradict any of his other teaching. In fact, this prayer reflects God’s desire that the Ephesians come into a spiritual understanding OF that teaching. But notice HOW this understanding of Paul’s teaching would be assured: It would be through, "a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM." In short, if we want to know what the Bible means, we have to know the ONE who inspired it.
Anyone can read what the Bible SAYS. People do that all the time. But only God can reveal to us what the Bible MEANS. And God does that, not merely by giving us some insight – He can and does do that sometimes – but primarily God shows us what the Bible means by revealing to us HIS SON. Come to know Jesus Christ and the meaning of scripture will unfold. You will know what God means because you will know the nature, character, intent, and person of Jesus Christ.
Paul could have said that he prayed that the Ephesians would memorize his teaching. He could have prayed that they would hold Bible classes. Well, nothing wrong with that. But it would not accomplish God’s goal and Paul knew it. Thus, even though Paul had given much doctrine, and even though he knew that the Ephesians could memorize and parrot every word – he knew this would not automatically mean they knew the TRUTH. They could know the doctrine but not realize what it all meant in Christ. This is why he prayed for them. Paul was essentially praying that God would reveal to the Ephesians Jesus Christ so that they could grasp the meaning of his teaching to them.
Why do we think that so much of the Christian world disagrees over virtually every point of the Bible? Why do we think that so many Christians are easily deceived by some of the most insane teaching? Is it because the Bible is too hard to understand? That only people like heretic Harold Camping are smart enough to figure it out? That you and I must have our personal GURU to grasp the Truth of God? That God has left us to ourselves, and our natural thinking, to figure out His plan and purpose?
You know, this is a vital question to answer because many people have stumbled over it. People have discarded Christianity because they feel as if it is impossible to know what the Bible means. There are folks you once believed error only to discover they were deceived – and so they refuse to ever believe again. What is the answer to this dilemma?
The answer is that we must personally come to know Jesus Christ. ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are IN HIM. Come to know Christ and doctrine becomes clear. The meaning of Bible verses become clear. Personally knowing Jesus Christ is not some strange or weird suggestion. It is the key and the solution that the Bible itself offers – indeed God specifically warns us that Christ is the key and nothing else. God wants to reveal in us HIS SON.
If Christian ministry would do what it is supposed to do – edify the Body of Christ through the knowledge of Jesus – and stop all the other stuff -- spiritual health would be ours. But we have left our first love. Against this very possibility the Bible warns.
We have quoted Colossians 2:3:
…and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
But now let us read on. Paul goes on to actually warn us as to why he wants us to know that IN CHRIST are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He warns:
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
Note what Paul is saying: He is saying that there are going to be people who might beguile or deceive us with, "enticing words." Or, to put it another way, there are going to be those whose personality, delivery, and words will ENTICE or BAIT us. But unto what end? Clearly, they will seek to direct our faith towards something or someone OTHER THAN Christ Himself. They will offer solutions other than Christ, and knowing Him.
Now, perhaps you think that Paul is talking about someone who will try to get us to renounce our faith in Christ. Maybe you think he is talking about a false teacher who would seek to get us to become something other than a Christian. This isn’t the point at all – probably such a suggestion would not entice many believers. No.
What Paul is saying is clear: He is telling us that, "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid IN CHRIST" – he is stating this LEST someone present to us another object or source of wisdom and knowledge -- WITHIN THE CONTEXT of Christianity itself. This is a warning and a protection. Paul is warning us against those who would, IN THE CHURCH, trick us into straying from Christ – Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ, the Truth. They will offer OTHER solutions.
For example, a few years ago, we were told that there were secret messages or Bible codes hidden in scripture. From these, we were assured, we could derive certain Truths and revelations. Recently, heretic Harold Camping demanded that he had determined the second coming of Jesus Christ through mathematical calculations that no one else had discovered. He hurt many. These are some of the more obvious examples of how people have suggested knowledge from God is possible – not through knowing Christ, but through some other means.
Unfortunately, the devices of Satan are usually more subtle. Probably the most common way in which believers get enticed is through their own natural thinking. We read the Bible and try to grasp it, and are left to the futility of our own minds and understanding. We think there is some resource within ourselves that we can call upon to know the Truth. The results can be devastating. When will we learn that it is entirely possible for a person to be absolutely certain that they are right about what the Bible means, but to be absolutely wrong? What is the problem? The problem is often that they have NOT, "learned Christ," but have put their faith in their own ability to know Him through natural thinking.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph 4:17-24)
Of course, the same potential for error and deception becomes greatly heightened when we introduce into the equation false teachers, false prophets, and what the Bible calls, "seducers." We become susceptible to them when they happen to preach or teach error that personally appeals to us. Then we are more easily enticed with their beguiling words.
How are people enticed? Well if we are enticed, indeed, if we are deceived, there is a REASON for it that is found in our own hearts.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. (James 1:13-16)
Error can appeal to the heart in either a positive way or a negative way. The positive appeal is to offer us something we want. Like the Word of Faith teachers offer: Riches and health in exchange for the money you give THEM. The negative appeal is to threaten us with punishment from God. Like Harold Camping who said that if you don’t believe his May 21, 2011 prophecy, it is evidence that you are not saved. Of course, the negative appeal has man forms – legalism in some form being the most common. But the root cause of deception is most often is found in us – and core of which cause is that we do not KNOW HIM. Again – error takes many forms. There are many counterfeit teachings out there. But ALL counterfeits are exposed if we KNOW THE TRUTH. That is why Paul said, "I am telling you that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in the person of Christ, LEST any one try to deceive you by suggesting otherwise." God wants us to KNOW CHRIST – for if we do, we will learn to spot error immediately.
Paul goes on in the same chapter of Colossians 2 to repeat his warnings:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of Godhood bodily. And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power: (Col 2:6-10)
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the substance is of Christ. (Col 2:16-17)
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from whom all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God. (Col 2:18-19)
All of these are the same warning: We are to personally know and hold to the PERSON of Jesus Christ – rather than put our faith upon religion about Him, or philosophy that speaks of Him, or upon supposed LAWS that are a shadow of Him. Christianity is CHRIST IN US, and the Christian life is a continual unfolding of Him to us.
God’s Revelation of Jesus
There is nothing you and I can do to initiate knowing Christ. But that is not a problem because Jesus promised that God would initiate this – He promised that the primary work of God’s Spirit would be to, "guide us into all Truth." He said that once God gave His Spirit that this same Spirit would, "take what is of Jesus and show it to us." He said that the Holy Spirit would, "testify of Jesus." The point is that the work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus Christ TO us, IN us, and THROUGH us. God is already doing this, for God, "seeks those to worship Him in spirit and in Truth." (John 4:24)
This could not have been stated more clearly than it was at the beginning of the epistle to the Hebrews:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. (Heb 1:1-2)
A quick look at the Greek in this passage shows that it should be translated, "in these last days has spoken to us IN HIS SON." Or, as one Greek scholar puts it, "God has spoken to us, "Son-wise." In other words, yes, all the words spoken by Jesus were the words of God to us. But more than this, Jesus Himself IS God’s revelation and word to us. And yet not in merely an objective sense. No. Christ is IN US. Thus, the same Christ who is IN US is God’s revelation of Himself IN US.
Paul said this directly. He said:
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (Gal 1:15-16)
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. (Gal 4:19)
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col 1:26-27)
Indeed, the apostle John – once again to WARN US against those who would seduce us by distorting this Truth – wrote in his first epistle:
Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:24-27)
John is not dismissing ministry as needless. But AS a minister of God, he is pointing out that ALL ministry should focus believers on the fact that Christ is in each one of us individually – he is saying that ALL ministry should build up EACH believer in Christ individually – and that ALL ministry should be a continual cry that, "Christ be formed in you!"
You and I do not need a GURU. We need CHRIST. And all who honestly and truly teach the Word of God – all who minister in Christ – are going to not only tell us that we can know Christ for ourselves, but they are going to be an instrument unto that end – that we might KNOW HIM for ourselves.
Avoid like the plague anyone who even suggests that you have access to God through THEM. This is never the Truth. In fact, anyone who knows Christ, and teaches the Truth, will make themselves less and less the focal point in your life. They will encourage and edify you to find the will of God and the knowledge of the Truth for yourself – they will do this because they know it is what God wants, and they will know that God will be faithful to do for you what they claim He has done for them.
Paul wrote to Timothy: There is ONE MEDIATOR between God and man, that man Jesus Christ. (I Tim. 2:5) He is echoing exactly the teaching above from I John. We have personal and individual access to God solely in Christ. We do not need – indeed, we must NOT TRY – to come to God through another mediator in addition to Christ, such as a minister or teacher or group. Because of the Redemption of Jesus Christ, we are not only individually saved, but we personally and individually have CHRIST IN US – and it is the will of God that Christ be formed in us personally, that we might personally KNOW HIM and WALK with Him.
This is Christianity. It is the ONLY Christianity there is. It is what Paul and John are teaching – indeed, they are WARNING us against those who would suggest otherwise. They are warning us against anyone who would say we need a GURU – namely them. They are warning us against any suggestion that knowing God, or knowing Truth, is possible outside of KNOWING CHRIST HIMSELF.
God wants to form Christ IN US; to reveal Christ IN US. This is not just for leaders. It is for everyone – it is, in fact, the outcome of being under the New Covenant. When you read the New Testament you cannot escape this as the primary purpose of God for those who are saved.
The Rock of Revelation
The very foundation of Christianity is Christ in the individual, and the on going revelation of Jesus Christ to the personal heart. Christ died so that you could have a one-on-one relationship with God through Him. Indeed, it is only if that is established in individuals that the Body of Christ can possibility function. Note the words of Christ to Peter:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mat 16:13-19)
This was a big event in the experience of the disciples. Note that Jesus first asked, "Who do MEN say that I am?" He quickly moved from there to, "Now, who do YOU say that I am?" Can we see, that for you and I personally, that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says about Jesus? No. It matters what we personally say. In the end, it is the purpose of all ministry to help others personally and individually KNOW JESUS.
Peter confessed the Truth about Jesus Christ. And you will note that Jesus did not commend Peter for listening to his favorite teacher. Rather, He said, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, Peter. My Father revealed it." This is the ONLY WAY any of us come to see Jesus Christ. It is not through any vehicle of flesh and blood. It is not even through our OWN flesh and blood assets. Rather, it is through a revelation of the Father directly to us – God makes us to KNOW HIM.
Again, all ministry today is nothing more than a means unto that end – that the Father may reveal to others, in a personal and individual way, the Truth of Jesus Christ. Indeed, unless someone receives a revelation from God, in an inward way to their personal heart, they aren’t going to get far.
Jesus went so far as to say that it was this revelation of Himself to each one personally that is the very ROCK upon which the church is built. Notice: The rock is not merely teaching about Jesus. No. The Rock IS Jesus – indwelling and revealed IN US. There is no church otherwise. "Christ in you," is Christianity, and is the foundation of the church.
For the last two thousand years, Christians have tried to achieve unity by IMPOSING it through rule, law, authority systems, and peer pressure. This is all fake, and really, in the end, evil. The only way in which Christians can have unity in Christ is if they all – personally and individually – know Christ for themselves. Unity is the result of individuals having the SAME mind of the SAME Christ – of them all being governed by the same true knowledge of God in Christ. Preach Christ and Him crucified. Preach the Truth. Let God work in each. Unity can come. Try to impose unity through any form of religious, or through an authority system, and yes, you will have unity – in religious flesh. It will end up being corrupt and destructive.
How to Know Jesus
To know Christ personally He must first dwell within you. It is impossible to know Him otherwise. Jesus alluded to this in John 3. He said, "Unless you are born from above you cannot SEE the kingdom of God."
But once Christ does dwell in us and we are born from above, then we must, "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ." (II Peter 3:18) In fact, this growing to KNOW HIM is the very core of the purpose of God. As we have been seeing, there is little else that can be established or known unless we are growing to know Jesus.
We have already seen that we cannot initiate knowing Jesus – there isn’t any way for us to force this. But God has already promised that He will be in the process of revealing to us Christ. Our responsibility is to submit to Him as He does.
How does this happen? Well, first of all, we must be sure that we know our condition once we are saved. We DO have Christ in us. We DO have new life. And because Christ is the LIGHT, we have all the potential for knowing Him. But just as real is the condition of our natural minds. By nature, we have NO Truth in us. Worse, we are filled with error. Consequently, despite having the embodiment of all Truth in us, He dwells in us in the midst of terrible darkness. This ought to tell us something: Fundamental to the process of learning Christ will be the necessity of UNLEARNING error.
Here is where people fail: They are eager to know the Truth. But they will not confess their untruth. Especially if it means confessing the underlying place where their heart may have not been right with God. Well, when Light comes, we have to choose whether we love light rather than darkness, or love darkness rather than light. In the end, we will either be made true to God by the Light, or we will corrupt the Light so that it will fit ourselves.
Now, if all we think there is to learning Christ or knowing Truth is doctrine or teaching, well, then let’s all take a Bible class. But no. In the Bible, "to learn Christ," and, "to know the Truth," means to be morally and spiritually shaped by, and governed by, the Truth. In effect, if I really know the Truth – the way the Bible means it – I will BE MADE TRUE to God. I will become rightly related to Him by the Truth in Christ.
"The knowledge of God," in the Bible, is always EXPERIENTIAL knowledge. It is not merely academic or theological knowledge. Of course, it is a fact that any experiential knowledge of God is going to agree completely with the theology of the Bible. Hopefully, it is not difficult to realize that it is one thing to grasp a doctrine, but another to come into the reality of relationship of which that doctrine speaks. It is one thing to believe God loves me. But it is quite another to actually be governed by His love. For that I must BE MADE TRUE – adjusted and altered – by the Truth of His love so that I can fellowship with God.
If I am changed by the Truth – MADE true – I can then fellowship with God. This is what I call, "The one true relationship." It is the relationship God wants – it is another way of saying that we are walking in the Light as He is in the Light. You cannot walk with the Truth Himself unless you are made true to Him. And if you are, then you are in the one true relationship.
So the Truth of Christ will make me true unto God – this is what KNOWING the Truth really means. It is what Jesus meant when He said, "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free." The Truth sets us free to be rightly related to God IN THE TRUTH. Sure. Jesus IS the Truth. Thus, there is no way to walk with Him or fellowship with Him unless it be IN the Truth – in THE ONE TRUE RELATIONSHIP.
But as noted, in the beginning we are NOT true unto God. Thus, to know the Truth – to be made true – we have to unlearn error and come into the Light. This is not intellectual or academic. It is moral and spiritual. In short, I have to be set free from the FALSE relationship I have with God – I have to be set free by the Truth – so that I can walk with Him.
Many people think that God is simply going to feed them INFORMATION, or tell them what they want to know about His will. Well, maybe He will. But usually He will not. Rather, God wants to reveal to us Jesus. He is the key to everything else we need to know. If we don’t know Him, INFO won’t get us far.
Now, how does God do this? How does He set me free? He does so through LIFE. God will bring me into experiences intended to set me free. He will allow situations wherein we MUST know the Truth to get through. As God draws us along in these things, we will find ourselves less and less asking God for information, and more and more asking Him for an inward knowledge of His Son. And of course, along the way, we will have to confess and discard any false ideas about God.
The key here – the core here – is really my heart. Do I seriously want to know Christ; know the Truth? Or do I have other goals? It will come down to that choice. God wants to make my eye and my heart single, holy, and pure. It is this condition of holiness – oneness in heart towards God – that will ultimately enable me to, "see the Lord." (Heb. 12:14) Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Now again – can we see what this means? It means that the work of the Holy Spirit is to PURIFY OUR HEARTS towards God, which means exactly the same thing as BEING MADE TRUE unto God. That is the key. Not information. Not theology. Not brain power. Not a degree in religion. No. The key is to be made true by knowing Jesus – and thus, rightly related to God. Then all of the theology and stuff will fall into place.
Thus, if you find yourself in a perplexity – needing to find the Truth – don’t ask God so much for direction or for information. Ask Him for a greater knowledge of Jesus. His answer will probably come in the form of an opportunity to have your heart purified. Then, and only then, can you see God – and then your prayer to know Christ will be answered.
The fact that knowing Christ in a personal way – in an inward way – is the purpose of God, and the fact that a purified heart is how God accomplishes it – this explains so much. It explains what so often God is silent when we ask Him to show us things. He cannot show them to us. He wants to, and has to, show us Christ. He has to purify our hearts – make us true to Him – or we will never get far in His purpose.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Pet 1:22)
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Mat 6:22-23)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Heb 12:14)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (Mat 5:8)
The Essential of Knowing Christ
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (2 Pet 1:2-3)
The above passage says something you almost never hear preached – it says that grace and peace are multiplied to us through the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Sure. Knowing Him means we will have grace and peace. Just try to accomplish that through studying theology. When the test comes it won’t get you through.
The passage also says that God has, "given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the KNOWLEDGE of Him." "All things" -- that pretty much covers everything. We are not going to get far in the purpose of God unless we know Him – indeed, knowing Him IS the purpose; it is the foundation -- the Redemption included -- upon which all else is built.
Christianity is Christ in us. But the Christian life is then an ongoing revelation of the Person of Christ – the forming of Christ within; being formed together with Christ; having Christ revealed in us. Everything else depends upon this – for He is the Rock.
You and I need not be deceived. Focus on knowing Him. Yield to God. Let God make our hearts pure. Let Him make us true. We don’t need a guru. We need Christ – to know Him in everyway.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor 10:5)
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (Eph 4:13)
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Phil 3:8)
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Col 1:9-10)
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:3-4)
Christian people must live on SOME basis. What other basis can we live except on the basis of Truth -- on the basis of Christ? That is what it means to, "walk in the light," and to, "walk in the Spirit." Thus, knowing Christ is not only essential for discernment, but it is essential for LIVING for God. We cannot live for God unless we walk in the Truth of Christ, and that Truth is a revelation IN US of the Son of God.
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