Experiencing Christ

Experiencing Christ

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 so that I may gain Christ, . . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. – Philippians 3:8, 10

Psalms 25:4-5

 4 Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.

 5 Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long, I put my hope in you.

The Spanish verbs saber and conocer both mean “to know” in English, but they are not interchangeable. There is a cardinal rule when translating in any language: translate meaning, not words.

The two verbs have different meanings. The Spanish verb conocer, which comes from the same root as the English words “cognition” and “recognize,” generally means “to be familiar with.” Conocer also can mean “to meet.”

The most common meaning for the Spanish verb saber is “to know a fact,” “to know how,” or “to possess knowledge.” It can refer to learned skills or information you’ve memorized.

In simple terms, conocer means to know people while saber means to know facts or ideas (www.thoughtco.com). Knowing facts about a person is not the same as truly knowing the person. 

When Scripture speaks of the Father’s ways, it’s referring to much more than His actions or facts about His nature. His ways include His manner, motivations, desires, thoughts, and purposes. One of the reasons believers often become discouraged is that they don’t understand what the Father is doing in their life. That’s why it’s essential to learn how the Father operates. As long as we remain ignorant of His ways as revealed in His Word, we won’t trust or know Him intimately (Stanley).

REFLECT & PRAY

The goal of trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ is to have and experience a personal relationship with Him.

Father I aspire to know You and experience You. I do not want simple head knowledge. I want to know You and Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, personally and intimately. For me, nothing else will do.

INSIGHT

The Bible is such a big book that some believers may be tempted to give up, thinking it will take too long to learn how the Father works. But it’s important to remember that we all have the same starting point. When we’re born again, the Father doesn’t automatically download everything we need to know about Him into our brains. Learning to understand Him and how He does things is a process; He teaches us as we continue to read, obey what we know of Scripture, and spend time with Him.

Do you long to grow in intimacy with the Father? If so, you must live closely with Him by listening as He speaks through His Word and humbling yourself to learn, accept, and delight in His ways above your own (Stanley).

Eternal life comes by knowing and being connected to the Father’s Source of all life. Through faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, the life of Christ fills us. We are united with Him and the Father forever (Stanley).

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The Greek verb translated know is ginosko. Ginosko is somewhat similar to the Spanish verb conocer. However, it is a bit more versatile. The primary sense of ginosko is to know experientially.

When ginosko is used in connection with knowing a person, it means knowing through direct personal experience. It has a sense of becoming acquainted via a relationship. Ginosko is not about simply obtaining information about a person. Ginosko is not about merely head knowledge but heart knowledge.

If we learn the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ, we have head knowledge. However, when we enter into a personal relationship with Him, we have heart knowledge. The difference between heaven and hell is about 12 to 18 inches, the distance between our heads and our hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ invites us to enter into a personal relationship with Him by faith.

Revelation 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.

Imagine for a moment the Lord Jesus Christ knocking on the door of your heart, seeking to come in. When we open the door and allow Him to come in, we receive Him into our lives forever. We will never depart.

John 1:12 To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

We believe the facts and accept Him as our Savior and Lord; we are adopted into the Father’s Forever Family. We become children of the King. How amazing! How delightful!

1 John 5:20 We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Both Greek words translated as know are found in 1 John 5:20. The first Greek word translated as know (know the Son of God) is oida. Oida means to know or have knowledge about someone or something. This knowledge is typically acquired through thought and/or reflection.

The Scriptures provide the sequence that leads to eternal life. First, we learn and know facts. We know that the Son of God has come. These facts are not an end in themselves. These facts are presented in the Scriptures so that we may know Him.

First comes the head knowledge, then comes the heart knowledge. By faith, the basic information we have come to know and understand is transformed into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our head knowledge becomes experiential knowledge of the living God when we choose to believe in and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

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© Dr. H 2022

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