You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The knowledge of Christ that I’m talking about is that which is based in relationship. It’s the knowledge of Christ that changes your life. Nothing is off-limits to the Holy Spirit.
This was the basis of Paul’s prayer that we looked at in the last post.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
What is this knowledge actually about? He uses the Greek word epignosis. There’s really no exact word in the English to translate it. It means to have full discernment or recognition.
It’s like this…I can tell you that I know Abraham Lincoln. But you would immediately realize that I was lying. That’s because you know that there’s no way I could have ever met him.
I may have studied about him in history. I might have watched documentaries about his life. I know about him – but I don’t know him.
That’s what Paul is trying to tell us in this verse. He didn’t pray that we would read the Bible more; or that we would attend church and listen to more sermons about Christ. Instead, he prayed that we would tap into the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. He wanted our knowledge of Christ to be more intimate than second-hand word of mouth.
In order to truly know the Lord, we need wisdom – the ability to interpret and apply the facts that we know. We also need revelation; the uncovering of things that we don’t know. That’s how we learn to know Christ in the way He wants to be known.
“Well, then it’s up to God to give me this knowledge.”
Actually, He already did. When we were saved, He placed the Holy Spirit on the inside of us.
We know also 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 — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20
This has already been accomplished in us. If we are in Christ, then we have the Holy Spirit. Now it’s up to us to receive the wisdom and revelation that He desires to give to us.
But that seems to be the hard part. Because receiving God’s wisdom means that I leave the foolish thinking of the world.
Question: How does worldly thinking have a negative effect on the life of a Christian?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015