A Wonderful Thing

It is a wonderful thing to know all about Jesus. To know of the things He did and the things He taught. There is an absolute advantage in knowing everything about Jesus just as there is every disadvantage in not knowing everything about Him. The absolute is that one need not fear; fear relating to failure, belief, sin and the mesmerizing works of Satan that are mistaken as the works of God. Knowing all about Jesus is quite different from reading all about Him or even preaching Him. One can read all about Jesus and yet, may not reach to the true knowledge of Him. One can preach about Christ without having fully reached maturity in Him and still assume to be a pastor, leader or a preacher. Reading the word will always give us information, but not necessarily understanding. One can know where Jesus is from or plainly know of the works He did and still be without understanding. This does not produce belief, but a superficial belief. On the other hand, knowing Him is actually having an intimacy with Him by understanding the word. This certainly causes belief and fellowship with Him.

Intimacy with Christ will allow a believer to fully understand the purpose behind His works and teachings. This understanding is not that which will cause confusion with the whole word of God, but harmony. In reality, the word, which is Jesus, came in lieu of Jesus, the Son of Man. Hence, it is all powerful. Nevertheless, it is grasped only when Jesus is wholly understood i.e. His teachings and works are truly understood. For this reason, the second composition of Luke, the physician, was succeeded by his first. “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). I wonder what would be more important for a Christian than to actually have in him the principle, which Luke was granted to give to Theophilus. How important would it have been for Theophilus to actually understand Jesus before he was introduced to the works of His disciples and His body, the church? I believe it to be immensely important; not for his sake alone, but to the manner in which Christ must be understood even while He is no longer in the flesh. It provided Theophilus a reason to transfer his mind from the teachings and works that Jesus did while in the flesh into His teachings and works performed while being in the Spirit. This was greatly necessary for belief to be held firm, and is the “knowing everything about Jesus.” It gives any believer the absolute advantage.

Now, a question does remain amongst us. How well have we known Jesus and by what principle? To have known all about Jesus must mean to have the faith that was first begotten in the disciples and the early church by Christ. In this case, there is no room for assumptions. In other words, our knowing of Jesus is not begotten on postulations, hence, is an absolute advantage. This indicates that our knowledge of Jesus is built or being built on the working of the word and works of Christ. “For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth” (2 Cor. 7:14). Now we know how a Christian with the knowledge of Christ can be boldly spoken of. Why was Paul so confident about the Corinthian Christians? It was not only because he taught them, but also because their knowing of Jesus was so intimate that though Jesus was not in the flesh, they were able to grasp Him through the teachings and works He did and was still doing. This also arouses two equally important things. First, for a Christian to have known all about Jesus must have the teachings and works of Christ. Second, the one who preaches or teaches must have Christ and His works in him that those who hear may also have them.

In order that both are established, there is a mystery present that is plainly revealed in the word of God. “That you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 6:14). I say mystery, because it remains a mystery to those who do not practice it. As to what must be kept, for how long and in what way are all made evident in this one verse. To keep the commandment of Christ is to love Him and hence, to have known Him. However, the great difficulty in keeping it is to keep it without stain or reproach. As great as the difficulty is, it is nonetheless, very possible. Or else, Paul would have never been able to commend the Corinthian Christians, whose knowing of Jesus was very intimate. It must be acutely understood that unless Christians begin to keep the whole commandment of Christ intimacy with Him is not possible. Now, it would utterly be silly to ask as to what the whole commandment is, especially if your reading of the word has informed you of it. Evidently, Christians know the commandment regarding sin. Yet, the reason many are unable to keep it is because they do not keep the commandment regarding righteousness. Many times prayer is regarded by Christians as a work and perhaps spoken of as a work of faith. This is not all so well, because in reality it is a work of righteousness. Righteousness necessitates certain belief, a belief that is without stain. This righteousness, i.e. Christ, in you is what is needed to pray. The primary reason for a believer to pray is to be enabled to keep the commandment. This is how we keep the commandment, not by our strength, but by the strength availed to us by our Savior. Hence, when we read it, we actually know Him. When our keeping the commandment has become as common as breathing the air, we have nothing to fear. “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them” (Rev. 8:6).

O, how often many make the mistake of asking God for the many things in life except to first ask God to enable them to keep the commandment! For they are unaware that in this is the mystery hidden that avails many blessings. If we had not found the strength to keep the commandment, what will we do when the seven angels sound the trumpets? It is terrifying even to contemplate the outcome. May all those who call themselves Christians pray to be enabled to keep the commandment. With this comes great wisdom and knowledge that provides the character necessary for the kingdom of God. On the other hand, if you are already strengthened by Christ to keep the commandment, God has prepared those seven angels with trumpets for your sake that you should enter His heavenly kingdom. Dear brethren, listen to this: “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?” (Rom. 3:1). If circumcision was no advantage to the Jew, he would never have had the oracles of God. Circumcision was of advantage to him in that he received the commandment of God in order to keep the faith that God induced in his father, Abraham. Christ is of advantage to Christians. If those who received His commandment have no eternal advantage in keeping it, then praying to God for strength to keep it is meaningless. If the sounding of the trumpets by the angels has no advantage for all who have intimately known Christ, keeping the commandment is useless. When keeping the commandment does not provide for us the commending of the Corinthians, then knowing all about Jesus is vain.

Therefore, let that which is not vain, useless and meaningless be born in us. “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:36). O, the powerful wisdom of God and how it has been revealed to give understanding to the simple! No one can reap unless he first sows. What have we sown and by what principle have we sown? If the Jesus of the gospels has not been sown in us, if His teachings, works and their purpose have not been perceived, Christ in the Spirit has not been reaped in us. Yet, if one is reaping wages, his wages are of sin. Reap wages for eternal life by sowing in you the commandment of God. Then, your knowing of Jesus, which becomes one with those who have gone before you, will enable you to rejoice with them. The only evidence that must remain in us is the gathering of fruit for eternal life. This fruit comes by knowing all about Jesus i.e. knowing His teachings, works and their purpose. Only those who gather the fruit will be able to rejoice with those who gathered the fruit, because of the common intimacy they obtained with Christ. This is the principle present from “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) that all may know Him fully and rejoice together eternally.

Posted in 2010, Archives.