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Knowing Christ through the Spirit

SpotlightI’ve been posting about having an intimate knowledge of Christ. We must allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in us. That’s where the supernatural wisdom and revelation comes from.

The problem arises when we’d rather have the foolish thinking of the world. Sometimes we buy into the promises of happiness that bombard us from all sides.

The book of Hebrews contains a quote from the prophet Jeremiah. He was looking forward to the blessings of the New Covenant.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Hebrews 8:11

One of the greatest blessings that we’ve been given is the ability to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, can speak to you.

Even though it’s our foundation of faith, reading the Bible is not enough to give us this knowledge. Hearing my teaching or that of other godly men and women isn’t enough.

If we want to know Christ on a personal level, then we need to make ourselves available to the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Only then can I recognize who He truly is and what He wants to accomplish in and through me.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:7-9

This passage sums up everything that I’ve been saying. Paul talks about the wisdom of this world and the resulting desire for the things that our flesh thinks will make it happy. He says that they’re all rubbish compared to knowing Christ.

Why? Because knowing Him intimately will change me. It will revolutionize my life. I will never be the same.

How will it happen? Paul continues…

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

That’s where true change takes place. When you tap into the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you recognize Him as He is in you. This is where we receive the power for victory.

The question is; do we want to share in the fellowship of His sufferings? That means that we choose His wisdom, even when the flesh wants something else. It’s emotionally painful to choose the Spirit over the flesh, but that’s the path to power and victory.

Allow the Holy Spirit to work in you. Let Him change you by His wisdom and revelation. Then watch as He works His power in you.

Question: How does your flesh react to God’s wisdom?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Really Knowing Christ

JesusI’m posting about the importance of knowing Christ. I talked about not wanting to know Him in the worldly way – just for the blessings He could give you.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24

The knowledge of Christ that I’m talking about is that which is based in relationship. It’s the knowledge of Christ that changes your life. Nothing is off-limits to the Holy Spirit.

This was the basis of Paul’s prayer that we looked at in the last post.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17

What is this knowledge actually about? He uses the Greek word epignosis. There’s really no exact word in the English to translate it. It means to have full discernment or recognition.

It’s like this…I can tell you that I know Abraham Lincoln. But you would immediately realize that I was lying. That’s because you know that there’s no way I could have ever met him.

I may have studied about him in history. I might have watched documentaries about his life. I know about him – but I don’t know him.

That’s what Paul is trying to tell us in this verse. He didn’t pray that we would read the Bible more; or that we would attend church and listen to more sermons about Christ. Instead, he prayed that we would tap into the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. He wanted our knowledge of Christ to be more intimate than second-hand word of mouth.

In order to truly know the Lord, we need wisdom – the ability to interpret and apply the facts that we know. We also need revelation; the uncovering of things that we don’t know. That’s how we learn to know Christ in the way He wants to be known.

“Well, then it’s up to God to give me this knowledge.”

Actually, He already did. When we were saved, He placed the Holy Spirit on the inside of us.

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

This has already been accomplished in us. If we are in Christ, then we have the Holy Spirit. Now it’s up to us to receive the wisdom and revelation that He desires to give to us.

But that seems to be the hard part. Because receiving God’s wisdom means that I leave the foolish thinking of the world.

Question: How does worldly thinking have a negative effect on the life of a Christian?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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How Will the World See Jesus?

JesusJesus called us to be the light of the world. We are to bring people to the knowledge of Christ. How does this happen? There’s a picture of this in the book of Revelation.

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
Revelation 1:12-13

Through this passage we can gain great insight into the function of a church. This is the point where John begins to see his vision. The first thing that happens is that he hears the voice of the Lord.

Where’s it coming from? He turns around to locate the source and the initial objects of his attention are the golden lampstands. Verse 20 tells us that the lampstands are the churches. So the first thing John sees is the church lighting up the area.

Then, as the view comes into focus, he starts to see the Lord Jesus Christ walking among the churches. We must always remember that when the world hears the voice of the Lord calling them, the first view they’ll get is of the church. It’s only through the light of God’s people that the world will see Christ.

It’s sad today that, in the United States, the church has become the object of such disrespect. The worst part of it is that most of this was brought on by ourselves.

Our pride, arrogance, and foolishness have caused the world to write us off as worthless. Many godless people today feel that if there are any answers to the problems of life, they won’t be found in a church.

Is the picture in Revelation a representation of your church? Can people hear the voice of the Lord there? When they turn to look, do they see Jesus Christ in all His glory?

We are the body of Christ on earth. It’s ultimately through us that the voice of God is heard. How well are we communicating the message?

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:19-20

The presence of the Lord is an incredible thing, and must not be taken lightly in our churches. Jesus walks among us – He is present in all that we do. This knowledge should motivate us to come together in unity of spirit.

The original Greek of the above verse reads that where two or more come together in My name, there I am in the middle of them. The Lord is not just off to the side watching as a spectator does. He stands between us. He wants to be at the center of all that we do.

Walking in unity assumes that there’s more than one person in the mix. We must come into agreement – for that’s the place of power in God. I can’t do it alone.

God has ordained that there’s a special manifestation of His presence when we come together as “the Church.” It must not be ignored or taken lightly. I need to be a part of a local body of believers. I need to be in unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

That’s how the world will see Christ in us.

Question: How do we show more of the light of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Revival, The Church, The Gospel

 

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