My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:10-11 NET)
Paul has just explained that he has put his faith for eternal life in Jesus. But his faith was not a blind faith. His faith was based on his knowledge of who Jesus was. One would think that Paul would have known everything about Jesus by this point. But here he states that the goal for the rest of his life is to “know Him”. This should also be the goal of every Christian.
The Greek word for “to know” here is γινοσκο (pronounced: ghin-oce’-ko) and it means “to gain an understanding over time”. When we initially meet a person we do not know them. If we meet a person once and never see them again we will never know that person. We need to spend time with someone in order to get to know them.
But that does not mean that we can ever fully know someone. Even couples who have been married for many years continue to learn new things about each other. Getting to know someone is a life-long process.
In the same way we need to cultivate a life-long relationship with Jesus by spending time with Him. We do this primarily through Bible study and prayer.
Man-made religions like Catholicism, Hinduism, and Islam emphasize human accomplishment. These are examples of the false teachers Paul referenced and debunked earlier [Philippians 3:2-3]. These people erroneously claimed that one can enter heaven on his/her own merit.
Christianity, on the other hand, is not a religion. It is a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, who is a friend to those who believe [John 15:15, James 2:23]. Friends know each other.
God has revealed Himself through the Bible. He is more than willing to meet with us in prayer and give us more knowledge and wisdom [James 1:5]. For this to happen we need to spend time with Him. This means the responsibility lies with us.
Deists believe that God created the universe and then left it alone to go on without Him. This is not true. God is here. He is active in our lives. And He wants His children to know Him. He has proven that by giving us the Bible and making Himself available through prayer 24/7.
This is important because it is only through knowledge of Him that one can have eternal life [John 17:3].
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