The Knowledge of Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once there was a man who hated Christians. He persecuted them at every opportunity; he put them into prison, and gave his vote to have them executed by stoning them to death. He carried written permission from the leaders of his day to go anywhere, into any home, and forcefully drag out men and women and take them to jail. From the depths of his heart he loved God, and walked faithfully and blameless before others who believed in his religion and he somehow did this with a clear conscience. Yet he was a very religious man who prayed and worshiped the same God we pray and worship. He believed in his heart that the Christian movement came from the pits of hell.

I have no doubt that I would not allow him into my home or around my friends because his very presence could mean death. He thought in his heart that he was a great believer and that he was doing the right things before his God as he personally anticipated the coming of the Redeemer.

This man lived in the first century as a Pharisee, he had the best schooling that money could buy. He also had the right credentials as he sat under the greatest, first century teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures, named Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, Acts 22:3), and he was one of Gamaliel’s favorite pupils. This man was Saul, also known in the Scriptures as Paul (the difference in the two names is that Saul comes from the Hebrew spelling, while Paul is from the Greek).

Acts 22:4 – And I {Paul} persecuted this way {this way represented the followers of Jesus Christ who was, is, and shall always be “the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6} unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

I Timothy 1:12-13:
-12: And I {Paul} thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
-13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious {an insulter}: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ignorantly in unbelief means that Paul did not have the right information to believe correctly, even with all his religious training in the Scriptures which foretell and announce the coming of Christ, the promised Messiah. Paul completely missed the truths in the Scriptures that reveal Jesus Christ to be the promised Redeemer and the Savior of humanity.

One day when Paul was on the road to Damascus he, for the first time in his life met Jesus Christ, and as we know from the Scriptures, Paul had an immediate change of mind and heart, because he for the first time in his life saw the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!” Can you imagine?

Personally — if I were Paul — this meeting would have given me a heart attack! Yet, Paul recognized the error of his ways, changed his mind, and he became one of the greatest believers this world has ever known, he received perhaps more revelation and inspiration than any man or woman has received in all of history.

The great Apostle Paul from that day forward dedicated his life to teaching and showing others the depths of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul helped believers receive an understanding of the healing Word by preaching Jesus Christ, who in turn reveals the righteousness of God to our inner hearts, as His Word continues blessing our lives with spiritual truth.

Philippians 3:8-9:
-8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered {or allowed} the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ {there is nothing as precious as learning about Christ},
-9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Discovering our Lord and Savior in the Word of God is a rewarding adventure in this life as Jesus said, the Scriptures testify of me (John 5:39). It is Jesus who opens up our understanding to the Word of God, so with him the words in the Word begin making perfect sense. Luke wrote: ”Then opened he {Jesus} their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

Grace and peace is something we may expect to receive simply by going to our Bibles and looking for the knowledge of Christ, who is according to I Corinthians 1:24, ”the power, and wisdom of God.”

Grace and peace being multiplied in the Apostle Paul’s heart is what changed his life around and presented to him great deliverance, and this will also bless us with the inner comfort of having grace and peace in our hearts through discovering the wondrous knowledge of Christ.

Serenity Now – and Then

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also– Matthew 6:21. When we are thinking about God and His wonderful Word, our hearts will be right-on with God’s thoughts, which are His treasures. Nobody walks around continuously thinking about God and His Word (for we are not perfect); however, we can at least have precious moments of serenity throughout the day that can help us to remember God and His many promises to us.” ~LMJ~

See the Father

“Jesus said to Philip, he that hath seen {or perceived} me hath seen the Father– John 14:9, for it is through Jesus’ eyes that God not only becomes clearly known, but also a relationship with the Father (i.e., your heavenly Father) blossoms into something very meaningful. Then your heavenly Father is not just out there somewhere in nebulous particles of thought, space, and time, but everywhere as well as in your heart, and you will be enabled to see and acknowledge Him as your Creator, real, and at work in your life (Psalms 139:8-10, Philippians 2:13), For in him we live, and move, and have our being- Acts 17:28.” ~LMJ~

Walking With Our Lord Jesus Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Matthew 14:28-32:
-28:  And Peter answered him {Jesus} and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
-29:  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
-30:  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
-31:  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
-32:  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

For the Apostle Peter, walking on the water with Jesus took a tremendous amount of courage and believing. In order for Peter to do this, he had to trust that this was available to do, and when Jesus said come, he came, but as Peter “came to his senses” he began to sink. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus – he fell into trouble. When Peter began looking around at the circumstances of life (that are always around), two things began to happen; one was that he saw the storm and simultaneously he forgot the promise (the Word) that Jesus gave him.

Secondly, the storm induced fear into his life.  Doubt, worry, and fear will defeat the promises that God’s healing Word reveals to us through Christ as we walk with him.

Two things that also need to be mentioned here is that Peter did not completely sink, he only began to sink.

Secondly, his Savior reached out to help him. The same lifeline is promised and given to us when we look to our Savior, to Jesus Christ, as we walk with him. In Hebrews 7:25 we read: “Wherefore he {Jesus Christ} is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

John 8:12:
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The lesson here is that when and where we follow Jesus through the revealed Word of God, then we will be walking with him just as Peter had done that day on the sea. True – we will fall from time to time as we look at the circumstances around us, yet as Jesus reached out for Peter, Jesus can also pull us up and out of any worldly negative circumstances.

The Bible says that if we do not faint we will reap (Galatians 6:9). In other words, as we continue looking to our Savior, even when the circumstances around us seem bigger than our abilities, Jesus will come to our rescue. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:6), because Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5).

In Hebrews 13:8 we read: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” The mission of Jesus Christ has never changed; he will literally run to our aid when we are living through life’s challenges since we can accept him into our lives and look to his strength.

Philippians 4:13:
I {you} can do all things {promised in God’s Word} through Christ which strengtheneth me {through Christ who infuses us with his strength}.

Not only do we have the God-given right and permission to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and triumph over life’s negative happenstance, but as we continue walking with Jesus Christ through an understanding of the Scriptures and by way of his daily inspiration, God will continue giving us daily victories “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”