Friday, July 12, 2013

Growing in Christ Part 11

The man who despises knowledge is a fool, and the man who despises the knowledge of Christ is the greatest of fools. Ignorance has cost many a soul their lives, and has been the cause of untold suffering.

Although there are myriad reasons why the knowledge of Christ is superior to the knowledge of anyone or anything else in the universe, there are three in particular I want to discuss today because they are encouraging, emboldening, and sustaining.

When I speak of the knowledge of Christ, I do not speak of it as some dry, dusty thing, or the knowledge of a philosophy, but the knowledge of the person of Christ in all His majesty and divinity.

The knowledge of a person will always be superior to the knowledge of a thing, a set of rules, or a philosophy. The Word of God calls us to have a relationship with the person of Jesus, and not the philosophy of Jesus, or the teachings of Jesus.

It is in knowing the person that we come to realize the pricelessness of His teachings, and His philosophy, and the unequaled promise He made to those who would deny themselves, pick up their crosses and follow after Him.

It is by far a better thing to know a good person than to know a historical fact, or an event. Friendship and the knowledge of another individual is one of the greatest and most precious gifts God has given to man. Friendship and the knowledge of His Son Jesus, and what the knowledge of Him entails in regards to our eternity, is by far the single-most greatest gift God has ever bestowed upon mankind.

The knowledge of Christ is a saving knowledge. Once we gain Christ and are found in Him, we are plucked from the darkness and despair of sin and death and translated into the kingdom of He who has gone to prepare a place for us.

We cannot be content with merely knowing of Christ but must strive wholeheartedly to know Him.

Many individuals today know of Christ. They hear sermons, sing songs, and read books about Him, thinking this sufficient. It is not.

We must endeavor to know Christ, for only the personal knowledge of Him will lay the foundation for a relationship with Him.

Whether you know of someone or personally know someone makes all the difference in the world. I’m sure you know of singers or artists or actors or athletes, but so do millions of other individuals. Those who know them, spend time with them, and have a friendship with them are surely far fewer than those who know of them.

The same can be said of Christ. Countless individuals know of Him, but far fewer truly know Him.

The knowledge of Christ also sustains us and keeps us when all else has fallen by the wayside and has utterly failed us. When all other knowledge has been done away with, become outdated, or irrelevant, the knowledge of Christ remains true and pure and ever a necessity in our daily lives.

For many the knowledge of Christ is an appealing endeavor until they are made aware of the caveat. We cannot have a true knowledge of Christ until we count all other things as loss, as rubbish, as readily forfeited for the excellence of the knowledge of Him.

Though to this day men teach we can have Christ and the world simultaneously, Jesus taught otherwise, insisting upon the foundational truth that the human heart is only big enough for one.

Whether that one is Jesus or the world and the things thereof is a choice we must make on an individual level.

Jesus did not shy away from encouraging individuals to read the fine print. He did not shy away from insisting upon the fact that those who desired to follow after Him must first know the cost of discipleship, weigh the cost of discipleship, and decide of their own volition of they were willing to part with everything else for the sake of gaining Him.

Jesus wasn’t pitching anyone. Unlike the modern day preachers roaming late-night television, Jesus presented a balanced Gospel to those who would hear, telling them not only of the great promises of God if they chose obedience but also of the things they would have to part with and surrender in order to attain those great and wondrous promises.  

Peter knew that the knowledge of Christ and the desire for more of this knowledge were indispensable ingredients when it came to building a strong and lasting spiritual house. He knew, whether instinctually or from personal experience, that absent the knowledge of Jesus in all His majesty, we would never mature to the point of possessing self-control, perseverance, godliness and all the other building blocks we are admonished to add throughout our journey here on earth.

Hence the reason he began with virtue, then went on to knowledge.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Suzy said...

Hi Michael,

Thank you for so clearly writing about the distinctions between "knowing of someone" and "personally knowing someone". Also as I was reading along, some verses came to mind: 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 says 'Therefore “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the Lord Almighty.”'
Jesus says in John 14:23,24
'23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.'
I think these verses back up what you have explained.

May the Holy Spirit continue to work through you as you teach us from God's Word.


Anonymous said...

I am so happy for this series. It is a great message and I look forward to hearing more and more! God bless you, and thank you for this guiding series.