How to know Jesus

30 06 2013

We must know Christ if we are to know Him at all, in the reality and power of His spiritual Presence.

It is worth noting that the apostle Paul makes hardly a reference to the earthly life of our Lord Jesus. The only exceptions are when he refers to His birth, death, and resurrection, and those he makes for purely doctrinal purposes; yet he must have been familiar with the events of that life, especially if the Gospel of his pupil Luke was written, as is generally believed, under his influence and direction.

Paul was so absorbed in the glory of the risen Christ, whom he had seen when He appeared to him of the road to Damascus, that he declared,

2 Corinthians 5:16 (AMP) 16 ……….[No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].

With something of impatience he answers the boast of those who gloried in the fact that they had been acquainted with Christ in the flesh, saying in effect, “That is now behind you; it belongs to a past condition of things: you can no more live upon it than your forefathers in the desert could live upon the manna of the day before; you can know Christ in that way no longer; you can know Him now not as the Man of Galilee, but as the living Spirit of Christ.” It is in this way that the world must know Christ today.

Since the time of Paul down to the present, the testimony of the Church to the presence of the living Christ has been continuous and cumulative. It has been the bridge which has connected the past with the present. The Church has lived because He has lived within her. Throughout the centuries she has toiled, and suffered, and triumphed, because of the unshaken assurance that her heavenly Bridegroom has not forsaken her. She has looked upon her indwelling Lord as her actual ruler and leader, the source of her illumination and strength. Her power has waxed or waned in proportion as this assurance has been bright or dim. Every revival in the Church has been a revival of the sense of the Master’s presence.

During recent years the historical method of New Testament study has been somewhat closely followed, with the result that the evidential value of the experience of the living Christ has been in a measure obscured. The historical method sends us back to the first century to find our Christ. It puts Him more than two thousand years away. It does not give us a Christ who is alive today. It sends us to seek the living among the dead. All that the Gospel story can give us is the evidence of the Christ who was. To find evidence of the Christ who is, we must look elsewhere. That evidence is found in the working of His Spirit in our hearts. That Christ is right here, He has not left His people in a state of orphanage. He has fulfilled His promise made at the time of His departure,

John 14:17-21 (AMP) 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. 19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.

This promise is a matter of present experience.


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