THAT I MAY KNOW HIM
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
The book of Phillipians was written from Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. This was toward the end of Paul’s life, he had been a Christian for about thirty years. Paul’s terminology is quite interesting , he talks about “knowing” Christ. Today we live in a far different time, a time of cheap grace and recited prayers. All a person has to do today is just repeat these words and now you are saved, now that you have prayed, you “know” the Lord. Do you really know the Lord in the way Paul was talking about? Paul seemed to be describing a lifetime of pursuit with increasing degrees of knowing the Lord. Mathew Henry wrote about knowing Christ over three hundred years ago, how did he view knowing Christ?
“Here the apostle explains himself. He tells us what it was that he was ambitious of and reached after: it was the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord, a believing experimental acquaintance with Christ as Lord; not a merely notional and speculative, but a practical and efficacious knowledge of him. So knowledge is sometimes put for faith.”
Listen carefully again to how Henry described knowing the Lord, he said it was an “experimental acquaintance”, we would call it, in our words, experiential. Do you have an experiential knowledge of Christ? Is that relationship increasing as time goes on? If so, you are on the journey Paul was describing, a journey that will last the rest of your life. The first time you called out to the Lord, this relationship began, today it continues as you press on to know the Lord. When will this process end, actually never. In eternity it will change as we step into the fullness of His Presence, but heaven is the eternal unfolding of this infinite God. We will be growing in the knowledge of God throughout the ages.