“Knowing” Christ

In my sermon this past Sunday, I noted that one of the key points drawn from Ephesians 4:17 is that believers are to know our Savior — not just facts about Him, and not just head knowledge of theology.  We are to know Him personally, relationally, and intimately.  In fact, Christian maturity is squarely grounded in a deepening knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Given that truth, I wanted to set some pertinent Scriptures before you on the subject of “knowing” Christ.

Jer 31:33-34   “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Hosea 6:3   “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”
Matt 11:27   “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

John 10:14-15   “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
John 17:3   “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Phil 3:8-11   “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

By God’s design, we are saved as the Spirit causes us to “know” the truth of the gospel and bear out that knowledge in repentance and faith.  Such knowledge is not a mere intellectual grasp of facts, but of personally appropriated truth resulting in the deliberate move of our will and the radical realignment of our perspective.  Likewise, our sanctification is principally defined by a deepening knowledge of Christ and the resulting growth into His likeness.

Such realities bring us to a very poignant question:  As believers, how are we doing at “knowing” Christ?  Do our hearts long for more of Him?  Do we see Him as our ultimate joy, goal, and reward?  Or, have we shrunk back from knowing Him more deeply because we think we know enough or because we do not want to be challenged further?

Charles Spurgeon said the following:  “He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the heart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.”

“Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.”

May we press hard after Christ, growing in our knowledge of Him, and rejoicing in the grace of His divine love!