JESUS IS SUPERIOR, #2 The Means to the Blessing
"For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:2-3a)
A word concerning the Divinely appointed means of appropriating salvational benefits is in order. This is particularly relevant as we review the Spirit's exaltation of the Son of God. It is not enough to have an academic understanding of Scripture--particularly as it relates to Jesus. Mind you, we are not to despise such knowledge, but it is elementary, and incapable of bringing eternal benefits to you. How wonderfully this is expressed in God's Word. " . . . making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Eph 1:16b-17, NASB). " . . . seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him . . . " (2 Pet 1:3, NASB). "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Pet 1:2, KJV). "For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . . " (2 Pet 2:20a, NASB). The "knowledge" mentioned in these texts is not limited to intellectual knowledge. This is experiential knowledge. It speaks of spiritual involvement with the Son of God. The word "knowledge" comes from the Greek word epignosis, ep-ig'-no-sis); and means recognition, i.e. full discernment, acknowledgment. Thayer's Greek Lexicon says, "to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly; to know accurately, know well." This is knowledge that comes from acquaintance with Christ Himself, not merely the record about Him. It necessarily includes Scriptural knowledge, but it extends beyond that. Faith goes further than the intellect. It is rational, but goes beyond rationality. This means that our exposure to the text of Scripture must be coupled with a believing heart. Jesus has promised identity with the individual that is intent upon knowing Him. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him . . . Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:21,23). This is the "knowledge" that characterizes the New covenant. " . . . they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest" (Heb 8:11). This is joyful familiarity with the Lord. It began with our exposure to God's Word. It was brought to culmination by means of our faith, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no salvation without this type of knowledge. In fact, eternal life, which is salvation in its totality, is knowing the Lord. As it is written, "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3, NASB). Because the Spirit works with the Word of God (which is His "sword"), time will be spent proclaiming the Lord Jesus. He will be declared in His exalted state, which is altogether glorious. This proclamation will exert a compelling influence upon the hearts of men, drawing them into the circumference of Divine influence. There, in the light of the Son of God, recovery from withdrawals to a system of Law will be experienced. Thus, we are not merely viewing information in this text. Rather, we are being exposed to an undiluted proclamation of our Savior. These words will become the building blocks for our perception of Christ. That perception, if true, will be the vehicle through which the Lord will stabalize us, and finally gather us to Himself.
-- More on this tomorrow --