According to statistics, more or less 5 billion people know about Jesus Christ (but sadly 2.8 billion has little to no access to the Gospel). Some nations are even identified as predominantly Christians.
But how well do “Christians” know Jesus Christ whom they are identified with?
Take a look two centuries ago. The apostle Paul once said, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
If there is one knowledge–that single most important knowledge–any human being should possess, it’s knowing Christ.
1. Be Desirous of Knowing Christ.
Perhaps you’ve been told that your “wants” are not necessarily “needs.” That is only partially true.
For Paul, however, his “want” is everything he needs. It is the single most important knowledge he is passionately pursuing.
Even though Paul is a brilliant thinker, highly-educated scholar, strictly religious person, and influential leader, this fanatical former-persecutor of known Christians turned to Christ.
His one utmost desire after a life-changing encounter? “I want to know Christ.”
This is not about mental exercise, emotional hype or physical desire but about the passion to personally know Christ. It is not mere googling information about Jesus but an intimate knowledge of Him as one’s loving Savior and dear Lord.
2. Break the Wall of Ignorance and Shallowness.
There is no apology, but being a Christian is not all about some emotional hoopla of “praising the Lord” and “hallelujahs.”
It’s also not about pursuing prosperity as if it is the sole validation of Christianity. Such shallowness has become detrimental to the identity of being Christian.
The truth is, genuine Christianity did not promise all about heaven and happiness.
For Paul, everything is “yes” in Christ and “yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings.”
In places where Christians have the freedom to exercise their faith, the tendency to be shallow is a constant temptation.
But in the hostile countries where Christians are severely persecuted, Christians grow stronger as they identify with the sufferings of Christ.
3. Become Like Christ in the Process.
I firmly believe that any knowledge of Christ that do not lead to Christlikeness is a Christless Christianity. It is either conceited or cheap.
The true knowledge of God results to “becoming like him” and that’s nothing less and nothing more than the supernatural transformation of becoming like Jesus, especially “in his death.”
The reason why self-help is limited in transforming a person is that it may change a person’s mindset, behaviors, and habits, but it cannot change the soul.
Only the Gospel of Christ can totally transform the person.
If you are not willing to spiritually die for Jesus, you’re not actually living for him. You just know him but is not necessarily persuaded in full faith.
Knowing something about Christ does not make a person a Christian, as someone who knows something about history would mean the person is already a historian.
In fact, there are many theologians who are still considered “unbelievers” or “borderline skeptics” and “slightly convinced academicians.”
The truth is, head knowledge “about” Jesus is different to knowing Christ.
But the final test is this: If your knowledge of Christ does lead to becoming like Him, then you are, indeed, knowing Christ in spirit and in truth.
Are you becoming like Him every day?
Remember this: Knowing Christ is different from just knowing “about” Christ.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2018