Jun. 13, 2020

The Importance Of Knowing God

Colossians 1:7-9. "You learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also informed us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding."
The emphasis of Paul’s prayers for the saints here is similar in content to the ones in Ephesians 1&3. I is shorter and aimed more at how the “ knowledge “ of God ought to increase and to flesh its way out into the life of a child of God in the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit.
Our Christian life is about the manifestation of Christ in us! We’re supposed to increase in the “knowledge” of God. This how we grow up into greater likeness to Christ.
I think this gets majorly thrown under the bus by dancing around the flagpole of objective justification and an unbending monergism which severs the Body of Christ from her head. Soldiers of the Cross not only must plant a flag, but they must go on into the interior and overtake the kingdom!
Knowledge as used here is Strong’s 1922 / “epignosei” means recognition, full discernment, acknowledgement, and even intuition. There’s an interior reality component to our faith that features in the Apostle’s prayers for the churches. This is gained through first hand relationship, contact knowledge, first hand experiential knowing. There is definitely a “gnosis” component to living faith.
There is a related form of this word “ginosko” Strongs 1097. It is this same expression used by Mary when she questioned Gabriel, How can this be, since I know not a man? Lk 1:34.
Whenever Paul prays for the Church, the subject of this kind of knowledge features strongly. He is not advocating for head knowledge about God, but rather implying that it is through spiritual intimacy that we grow in Christ likeness. We are meant for this intimate fellowship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
In the early days there were no Bibles, study guides, concordances and many books as we have now. Few people were literate. Spiritual life was not lived in one’s head! It was experienced in personal involvement and relationship with God and others in real life, real time, and a real intense anti Christian milieu. Religion was real, not just the topic of books and discussions over coffee. It was lived out in the context of the reign of God beginning to supplant the stranglehold of Satan. Clearly the pagan world was not friendly to this mission.
Such intimacy with God, a oneness, a fusion, a joining with what He bestowed through Christ by truly being filled with His Spirit, is the only way the Church could have survived, thrived, and had a viable witness not just of lips but of life - against a hostile backdrop of pagan darkness and opposition!
This was the dirt and fertilizer into which the Seed of the primal church was planted and “died” and so bore fruit that would remain unto eternal life.
We do well to enter into the practice of spiritual intimacy with God daily, through prayer, meditation on His Word, song, and worship as life. Paul is clear in a little considered verse Philippians 4:9 “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.” A powerful consideration!
We should ponder this well, in a time where that ancient darkness seeks to take back and overwhelm not only the whole world, but especially the sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus - its biggest threat.