There are two predominant words in the Greek translated know . One word is oida, which means to know (intuitively-by instinctively) without effort. Perhaps the best way to think of this word is when we say that we know who the president or prime minister is of our country. We certainly do not actually know this person, but rather know of them. The second Greek word is ginosko, which means to know (by experience or effort); to acquire knowledge, become acquainted with; hence, to come or get to know. This word carries with it the connotation of action in personally and experientially knowing something or someone instead of simply knowing about them.
The problem most Christians have is that they are content to simply know about (oida) Christ and have no desire to become like Him. In my books, Christianity without the commitment to know (ginosko) Christ is nothing but religion. The basis for true Christianity is built upon the relationship we have with our Lord and Savior and the overwhelming desire within our hearts to please Him, serve Him, bless Him and be like Him. The first step in building this type of relationship is getting to know (oida) Christ. The second step is REALLY getting to know (ginosko) Christ.
A person must first hear about Christ in order to believe in Him, but our Christian faith does not stop there. We then spend a lifetime becoming intimately acquainted with who Christ is, how He thinks and what He desires us to do with this life. Certainly it is well worth the time and effort to sometime do a simple word study on the word ginosko and see all the things we are to know by experience when it comes to God and Jesus Christ. God does not want us to know (oida) Christ and then sit back and wait for His return. No, God wants us to know (ginosko) by experience who Christ is, what He went through, and what it means to be a Christian (have Christ in you).
Perhaps nowhere in the New Testament is there a greater usage of ginosko than in Philippians 3:10:
That I may know (ginosko) him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death;
American Standard Version (ASV)
The very thought of knowing by EXPERIENCE Jesus Christ sends chills down my spine. How exciting is the concept of not only knowing about Jesus but experiencing everything He is? The question then becomes HOW do we know by experience the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings and become conformed unto His death? Wrapped up in this one verse are so many important spiritual keys and principles I could not begin to explain them all in one blog. I can assure you that not only is this a VERY DEEP verse but one that when understood, radically changes our outlook on life, both now and for eternity.
Please look at how this verse is translated in the Amplified Bible. Please try and not get lost as this verse seems to go on forever in this translation. Bbut the reward is stupendous if we are willing to follow the words and explanations of the words:
10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope].
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
As we progress in this study of Philippians 3, it is my desire to share the principle of Christ living vicariously through us and us through Him. Vicarious simply means to experience through another. There is no greater goal in this life than to want Christ to live vicariously through us in this world today. For this to take place, we must live vicariously through Christ which is what Philippians 3:10 is trying to show us. Is this material easy to understand? NO!!!!! Is it worth the time and effort to try and understand it? YES!!!!!
Many years ago I pleaded with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to allow me to experientially share fully in His sufferings so I could empathize and better help those who suffer horribly in this life. My prayer has been answered and I feel strongly that my many physical battles have been how Christ has shown me (as much as I can handle) what it means to know by experience the full sharing of His sufferings. Times like the other day when the pain was so intense I just wanted to scream, I understand that the pain Jesus endured was a billion times greater. Because He endured all that pain, He can empathize with us in our pain and comfort us.
All I want in this life is to experience the power of Christ's resurrection, fully share in His sufferings and ultimately be conformed unto His death. That phrase, conformed unto His death , is the subject for the next blog in this series.
Excellent, excellent lesson, Kirk; so well-prepared and informative.
"Many years ago I pleaded with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to allow me to experientially share fully in His sufferings so I could empathize and better help those who suffer horribly in this life. My prayer has been answered and I feel strongly that my many physical battles have been how Christ has shown me (as much as I can handle) what it means to know by experience the full sharing of His sufferings. Times like the other day when the pain was so intense I just wanted to scream, I understand that the pain Jesus endured was a billion times greater. Because He endured all that pain, He can empathize with us in our pain and comfort us."
Yes, I agree. I truly believe that your physical sufferings have -- and are -- taking you to greater heights of "knowing" the "true love of Christ;" and because of the desire of your heart to "share fully in His suffering"... He is giving you a "golden heart of love" to know how to minister to the neediest of the needy. Praise the Lord!
What can be said ?
But keep pressing on until you reach your goals in Christ !
Those who have achieved are awaiting your arrival .
Be forever blessed
A friend of mine has a ministry where people who have gone through some sort crisis such as illness, financial, divorce, addiction, etc, are able to post their stories and reach out to others who are facing those same issues. He calls these people "storytellers". Today, I read the story of a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer a while back and I was so moved by her story that I emailed her and she responded.
While I listened to her story, it was as if I was re-living my own in many respects and it was not merely the physical, it was the spiritual lessons which she had been taught. It is indeed through our suffering, regardless of what that suffering may look like, that we truly come to know Christ.