Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Knowing Christ

Php 3:10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…  Whatever Paul meant when he said he wanted to know Christ we know he didn’t merely mean that he wanted to know about Christ.  A lot of people know about him and have not been affected at all because it is a head knowledge that came apart from a heart transformation.  The knowledge that Paul is speaking of is one that will affect him profoundly.
Perhaps one way to think of this knowledge of Christ is to think of knowing in the biblical sense.  Just as Adam knew Eve goes well beyond knowing about her or knowing she existed; so is the way a Christian knows Christ.  Yet the marriage relationship might help illustrate it since it is often used to teach of our relationship to Christ.  Biblical “knowing” is to know in a deeper, intimate, complete way in which you do not know anyone else.  This is why God’s foreknowledge in election uses the same word.  To know Christ is to experience him in a way that profoundly affects one’s life that transcends all other relationships.  To know about Christ is to remain unattached to all that he is; when one gets married they are no longer unattached.
I can remember the time right after I got married thinking that I am no longer single; I can no longer think of myself in the same way I did before.  There was another aspect to my life; I could no longer make decisions solely based on what I want to do.  I was two and no longer one.  To me this was a great and fulfilling addition to life and it is a sad commentary on our society that so many young people think they must be unattached to be fulfilled.  But that is another subject for another day.
Unfortunately it is easy for a Christian to think about Christ as many do about their marriages.  They might be legally married but they walk around mentally like they are still playing the field.  They don’t live with their spouse in mind.  As Christians we will readily admit that a man who is married but lives as if he is unmarried is committing a great sin before the Lord.  But my point here is that we often are quite guilty of doing a similar thing when we live life as if we are still single spiritually. 
When I get up in the morning I do not think only about what I want to do that day without also considering my wife and family (back when the children still lived with us).  To do so would be a breach of my marriage vows because I know that I am no longer one, but two.  So as a Christian we are no less obligated to think and make decisions based on our “Spiritual Spouse”.  We are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price.  We have come into a relationship with Christ, a vital union through the Holy Spirit and we know Christ, not after the flesh but after the Spirit.  So it is no surprise that the Lord uses language of spiritual adultery when people who are supposed to be his have the idea that they can find satisfaction in things other than the one to whom they belong and live accordingly.
We want to know him in all his offices, prophet, priest, king, Lord, strength, hope, wisdom, etc. and live in light of this knowledge.  Is it not telling that we would have a strong reaction if our spouse lived as if we didn’t matter, without taking our feelings and needs into consideration, yet we assume the Lord doesn’t care if we go all day long without listening to him and talking to him and living with him in mind.  And, of course, we need to remember that we are speaking of our God and Savior, not just our spouse.  Our most intimate, personal needs and desires should be laid out before him and nothing in this world can take his place.

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