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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Knowing vs. Knowing About

2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which have committed unto him against that day.

The wording of this verse of scripture points to a profound concept. Note that it does NOT say, 'I know in whom I have believed, ' but I know whom I have believed.' The difference is remarkably significant.

The writer is not simply declaring that he knows in whom he believes, that is, he knows he believes in Christ. He goes much further than that. He says he knows the one he has believed in!

In the first instance, the wrong assumption is being made that the writer is simply putting forth a supposition, an intellectual conclusion, that he knows he believes in Christ, the connotation being that he has no cognitive doubt that he believes. In the second instance, which is the correct understanding of this verse, the writer declares that he knows the one in whom he has believed.

That is, he knows Christ personally. He has met Him face to face, through faith. He has encountered Him on a personal level and has intimate knowledge of Christ.

This is much, much more than an intellectual exercise or a cognitive declaration of what one believes. This is stating that Christ can be known on a personal basis.

I know a lot about Ronald Reagan. I loved Reagan. I believed in him from a political standpoint. But I did not know the man personally. I never met him.

One can know a lot about Christ and never meet Him personally. The personal experience of Christ is key to understanding the essence of the Christian faith.

My friend, Rev. Paul, way up north in Alaska, posted a moving blog this week on the nature of the Christian of the best I've ever read. I encourage you to read it here. 

Song: 'Then I Met the Master' by the Statesmen Quartet, featuring the late, great Jake Hess. Another classic.

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