“That I may know him…” (Philippians 3:10a)
There is a great difference between Revelation and Regeneration. The Bible reveals this difference many, many times.
Note the following statements of revelation:
- Jesus asked Simon Peter this question, “But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16). Jesus answered Peter in verse 17, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
- Look at John 6:66-67, “…many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” In verse 67, Jesus said to the Twelve Apostles, “Will ye also go away?” Verses 68-69 reveal Peter’s answer, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- In John 11:27, John records Martha’s comment to Jesus’s statement, “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
These Scriptures reveal that Peter and the Apostles and Martha knew who Christ was. They had revelation (John 3:27; Matthew 16:17). And yet none of these; not Peter, nor the Apostles, nor Martha; were converted until the Day of Pentecost (Luke 22:31-32; Acts 2:33-39). They had revelation, but were not regenerated.
When you have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, it means you have been born from above by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8). It means you have been made a New Creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). It means you have been made free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of Life (Romans 8:2).It means you are now a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-16). It means that you now know (by experience) you are a son of God (by adoption, son-placing) (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:1-7). It means that you know you have been raised from being dead in sins and trespasses; that now you are alive in Christ, in His Resurrection. (Read Romans 6:1-22, especially verses 4-18.) Now you walk in the “newness of life” (Eternal Life, who is Christ Himself; 1 John 5:20; Romans 6:4). It means you have received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the Gift Himself living and abiding in you (Acts 2:38-39); whereby now you have the Power of God to perform His Commandments. You now have a discernment of Spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:9-16), for you now possess “the mind of Christ.” Now you have been given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” having “obtained like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1-4).
But does it stop here for one born from above? No, there is the life of growing and developing in the knowledge of Christ. (See 2 Peter 1:3-4; 3:17-18; 1 John 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; and many, many more Scriptures that teach the process of Sanctification, or the daily setting apart of your body, soul, and spirit, to and for Christ.)
This is what the Apostle Paul was speaking of in Philippians 3:7-14. Paul wanted to “know” Him (“ginōsko”); that is, to know Him by experience, intimately in knowledge; to be conformed to His image (Philippians 3:10-11). Paul wanted more than just to know he was Born Again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit; Paul wanted to win the “prize.” Paul wanted to be One in Christ to behold His Glory.
(Philippians 3:12-14) “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
(John 17:21-24) “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (22) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
My question to all of those who know they are born-again sons of God is, Do you really:
- Know Him;
- And the Power of His Resurrection;
- And the Fellowship of His Sufferings;
- Being made Conformable to His Death;
- That you may apprehend that for which also you are apprehended of Christ Jesus (verse 12c)?
If you do, there will be a “forgetting” of things in the past; and a “reaching forth” to things set before you. There will be a “pressing” (verse 14); a setting and seeking (Colossians 3:1-3). There will be a “panting” after God, as David described in Psalms 42:1-2:
“To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (2) My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
If not reader, you will not receive “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” What is the prize? It is to be in His Presence, beholding His Glory (His Perfection, His Preeminence, His Perception, His Power), becoming One with Him in knowledge (John 17:21-24).
Why not stop and search your spirit today to see what you desire most in 2013. Is it to be more like Christ; to be found of Him spotless and blameless; to be holy and to walk in peace? Or is it to attain this world’s honor and wealth?
(2 Peter 3:17-18) “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”