Chapter 2 (Part 2) Is That I May Know Him . . .
To know Him. This word "know" is so powerful. Let me show you what some of the wonderful definitions are in the Greek language.
First, this word "know" in the Greek transliteration is "genasco." It generally means "acquired knowledge." And this knowledge is primarily acquired through perception. That understanding is very important to keep in mind. In fact, the word "genasco" to a very great extent means "to perceive." In other words, when we read God's Word, we cannot read it with the eyes of the natural man and even understand what God is trying to say. It is supernaturally perceived.
So to know Christ is to perceive what He is saying to us through His Word. Do you get that? You cannot know Christ until you perceive His truth through His Word.
This is something I've wanted my daughters to understand. I have told them, "Don't you even think about looking at that Book like just a normal book of 'how to's and 'what to's. You ask God to jump that Word off the page, to make that thing become 3-D. To have it just turn fluorescent for you."
And I challenge you to the same thing. I challenge you to pray the words of the 119th Psalm, Show me the wonders of your Word.
My prayer, my cry is, "Thrill me with Your Word. Delight me with Your Word. Make this my bread and my meat. Cause me to perceive You through what I read, through what I see, through what I experience. Disclose yourself to me. Give me perception."
I challenge you, make that your prayer, too!
As we consider this idea of knowing Christ, we need to understand what that means at even a deeper level. In Philippians 3:8 it says this: What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
In this verse Paul uses the noun form of this same verb "to know." That word in the transliterated Greek is "nosis." Now this is the noun form of the word for "knowledge," and in some translations you will see this word in this passage translated as "the knowledge." But it is something more intentional than that. What this word means when it is distinguished from other similar words is this: it implies present and fragmentary knowledge.
It's very important that you get that. Present and fragmentary knowledge. A fragment of real knowledge. This is important because what Paul is implying here (that you and I cannot understand and distinguish in our English language) is this: "The little that I know, the fragments that I have, are worth the loss of everything I've had to give up to know it."
Do you understand what he's saying? This little bit, this little fragment of Christ would be worth the loss of everything else that I identify myself by. These fragments of knowledge I've gained about Christ along the way are worth everything to me. Isn't that an amazing thing?
But the good stuff doesn't stop there. Let me show you another word which is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 13.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Now I don't want you to miss the importance of this passage, because it takes this word for knowledge that we've been looking at, this present and fragmentary knowledge, and suddenly it gives us the hope of "full and complete" knowledge.
Paul's point is that our goal in life is to pull together as many of these fragments of knowledge about who Christ is . . . what He does, what His ways are like . . . as possible. So as we go through life--through every single season--we need to see that every situation gives us opportunity to pull together another fragment, and another fragment, and another fragment, and another fragment. And what we're looking for while we're walking on this planet is to pull together enough of those fragments so we have a working knowledge of who our God is.
But then one day when we see Him face to face, we will have all these little fragments laying out in front of us that we will bring before Him like pieces before an altar, and in a millisecond it will be made one piece . . . complete. And that is the goal.
My determined purpose is that I may know Him.
My determined purpose is to grab as many fragments of knowledge about Christ Jesus my Lord through this lifetime as is humanly possible. So that when I see Him face to face, He can take those fragments and make them complete. At that moment I will know Him, as I've been known.
In this life who we are is all about Who we know.