So, working my way up in the verse I saw the word “Knowledge”, and I thought “Yeah! I can relate to this! I know a fair amount.” So I looked this word up and I was surprised to say the least! The word “Knowledge” here means:
Knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding
The general knowledge of Christian religion
The deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
Of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
Moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living
I was thinking “Ok, that’s not exactly what I was expecting to see but whatever. Well let’s finish this up.”
Looking up a little more I noticed the word “Passeth” it was right before knowledge; that got me wondering! So I (you’ll never guess!) looked up “Passeth” (Bet you didn’t see that one coming!)
To transcend, surpass, exceed, excel
Here’s a word picture I got with this. Imagine a race car, track: “Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, leading in first place we have the Goodyear car! It’s flying along the race track at incredible speeds! It’s so far ahead of the others that it looks like there may not even be a chance for them to catch u………… WAIT! Oh my goodness! LOOK! There’s the Firestone car! It’s gaining! Look at that speed! Now it’s coming up behind Goodyear!! Now it’s neck and neck! Unbelievable!!!! Wait WAIT!!!!” VROOM…..FFFUME….. WHOOOSH!!!—– “THERE GOES THE FIRESTONE CAR SHOOTING PAST THE GOODYEAR CAR!!!!!!!! Firestone has passed, surpassed, and EXCEEDED the Goodyear car and Ladies and Gentlemen! The Firestone car has WON THE RACE!!!! (Wild Cheering!)”
That’s kind of what I thought of when I looked at this word.
So the next obvious question was, “What is doing all this surpassing and exceeding.”
Well the phrase that came before all this was “And to know the love of Christ.”
Ah! Here we are. This is where my whole quest started! The question “So what does God want us to know?” And it was answered right here… God wants us to know the love of Christ.
But this was a little confusing. Why did the verse say “And to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge”? Why put that in there? Well I …. yeah I know I sound like a broken record…. looked up the word “Know” and after that, it all snapped together!!!
To learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
To become known
To know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
To become acquainted with,
I realized after reading these definitions that God, in this verse, had made a point of telling us something that is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to living a real, joyful, and incredible life in Him!
It’s this; “Knowledge” about Jesus, will NEVER get you “filled with all the fullness of God.” Only knowing Jesus gets you that!
Knowing about the ten commandments, and the commands of Christ, and what Christians should do and shouldn’t do, and should wear and shouldn’t wear, and which doctrines are sound and which are crazy, and knowing not to hang out with the wrong people, and going to church, and listening to sermons, and going to youth group, and memorizing tons of scripture, and even going on missions trips, will NOT make your life complete if you are missing the first part of this verse.
Knowing the Love of Christ, understanding it, feeling it, perceiving it! Becoming acquainted with Jesus, and not only that, but becoming known BY Him.
The definition for “Knowledge” was all about facts and figures. Anyone, even unsaved people can have a “Knowledge of the Christian religion” or “Moral Wisdom” The Hypocrites of Jesus time were chock full of this kind of “Knowledge”! If anyone had: “The deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced” it was them! They for sure knew what things were “lawful and unlawful for Christians” but they were not drawn to Jesus. In fact he constantly rebuked them, and said many times that they did not know Him, or the Father. (John 8:19)
So here we have it, the fullness of God is not gained by the knowledge of how a Christian is supposed to live. That knowledge is surpassed by a living and real knowing of Jesus and His great love for me.
So then the last question I had was “How do I learn to know the love of Christ.”
My Journey a few years ago gave me an amazing taste of this. When I was on my Journey, I was challenging God. I had told Him that I would give Him everything (I never got anywhere with God until I came to a point where I was ok with letting go of everything). But I told Him that He had better prove to me that He was real, that He cared about me personally, and that Christianity wasn’t a big mountain of “Dos and Don’ts”with no joy and just duty and drudgery. Self denial with nothing in return was how I saw it.
Well on my Journey, as I actually took the time to (now pay attention to this) talk to God, He began helping me to perceive His presence. When I grabbed my Bible at first I wasn’t too thrilled, but I took the time to ask Him (are you getting this?) to show me something, and I really meant it, and all of a sudden, my Bible changed from being like the Encyclopedia Britannica, to being an exciting story, or a letter from someone really special.
That is how God wants it to be. And as we go down that path we begin to know Him for real, not just know about Him!
So, the Love of Christ.
I had started out thinking that I already knew all about that. Since I knew about Jesus, I knew Him! Like those questions in the last newsletter, I could have answered them all right (Good thing since I thought them up!) So, see? I know Jesus! What’s the big deal?
Yes, I knew all those things, but they didn’t MEAN anything to me.
I thought I just needed to have knowledge about Jesus, God, and the Bible in order to be a good Christian; but I was missing the very heart and fire of what God wanted my life to be.
God is full, so very full, and He wants to fill me, but he can only do that if I know Him, and know His love. All the knowledge in the world can’t do it. I could memorize the whole Bible, and I could still be empty, I could have all the riches of the world, all the degrees anyone would ever want, I could have relationship after relationship, but I’d still be miserable because only God is full enough to fill me up; and He can only do that if I know Him.
I love the words to this old song: It gives a beautiful picture of Christ’s love and what it should mean to us.
“What wondrous love is this O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.
What wondrous love is this!!!!
Let’s get to know it!!
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”Ephesians 3:17-19