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.

Christ in You

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Church Epistles reveal many wonderful truths to the believer, and the Apostle Paul was given the New Testament truths concerning the administration of God’s divine grace. God called Paul to be a minister of Jesus Christ, to reveal to God’s Church new light that was never made known before the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Jesus had said in the Gospel of John 16:12; “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Those things were finally given to Paul and he revealed them to us throughout the Church Epistles.

Colossians 1:25 – Whereof {in the revelation of God’s Church, which is the body of Christ, and in him we are members} I am made a minister, according to the dispensation {administration} of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Paul was given the revelation that even Jesus Christ in the Gospel period could not reveal to the believers, but Paul in grace was given what we can now carry in the heart of our understanding, which information would “fulfil the word of God.”

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

The mystery was given to Paul, and Paul shared the information regarding the mystery with fellow saints, fellow believers. The mystery literally is that believers, Christians, are members of the spiritual body of Christ. Ephesians chapter 3 reveals to us “whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4). Paul’s job was to make the mystery clearly understood, and as believers began to understand it, then, and only then, would God reveal even greater truths directly to His children by inspiration and by direct revelation.

Colossians 1:27 – To whom {His saints} God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

What is it to have “Christ in you?” Many people may think that they can explain this to you; however, my Bible, and every other Bible clearly says that God Himself makes known the full extent of the riches of the glory of the mystery, which is having Christ in you. Everything Christ is, is in you, his love, his power, and his standing at the right hand of God which is our riches in glory in Christ with God! Only God, and God alone, can inspire your heart with heavenly inspiration and divine revelations giving you perfect understanding to personally know the “Christ in you!”

The word “Christian” means Christ within; this is not a symbolic term, but rather it is a spiritual reality that we absolutely have Christ within. Paul in the Epistles fulfilled his ministry and his calling by making known the mystery of the oneness of God’s Church, the body of Christ of which we are all members. As we continue believing and understanding this magnificent revelation, God Himself, as the inspiration and Creator of life, goes to work revealing within our own hearts His riches within us, His Christ within us, His spiritual seed that continues growing within.

This is our eternal gift, and the hope of our future glory to be with God in heaven with Christ for eternity.

May our God continue revealing to you the true riches of His glory, the “Christ in you!”