The Christian Life: God's Will

20. Are You Pursuing Proficiency in the Knowledge of Christ?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Knowledge of Jesus Christ is the foundation of everything for the Christian, for this life and for the life to come. The Apostle Paul said that his great quest was "that I may know Him."

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part twenty (final) of a series. Read part nineteen.

Because knowledge of Jesus Christ is the foundation of everything for the Christian, you need to eagerly pursue proficiency in knowing the One who is "all in all".

Proficiency (noun): skillfulness in the application of fundamentals gained through progression in knowledge

As we saw in our previous article, knowledge of Jesus Christ is the foundation of everything for the Christian. Because that is true, you as a Christian need to eagerly pursue proficiency in your knowledge of Jesus Christ. That knowledge is the basis upon which you can know God's will. There is no other. As we conclude this series on knowing the will of God as individuals and as the church corporately, I cannot emphasize this enough.

Needed: A Teachable Spirit

Since this is true, you need to be ready to listen to what God's Word has to say. You need to have a teachable spirit. This is an area in which your need to make progress never stops as long as you live. You can never be at a standstill in your knowledge of God. You can never say, "I've arrived. I know enough, I don't need to learn any more." You can never say, "My knowledge of God is superior to other people's knowledge of God, so I don't need to learn any more."

Notice what Paul says in Colossians chapter one, beginning at verse 27: "Him [Christ] we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Notice that Paul is saying that every Christian needs to be warned - no exceptions. Every Christian needs to be taught - no exceptions. And the goal of this warning and teaching is so that every Christian may be presented perfect - that is, mature - in Christ Jesus. There are no spiritual elites in the kingdom of God. We all need to continually grow into the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ.

Obey the Knowledge You Already Have, To Gain More

Furthermore, obedience to the knowledge of God that you have already received is a necessary ingredient for the reception, assimilation, and application of further knowledge of God. If you are not of a teachable mind and heart, you cannot progress in your knowledge of God or of His will. If you are not continually seeking to build on the knowledge of Christ you have obtained, you will regress.

Your heart attitude needs to be the same as that of David in Psalm 25:4-5: "Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day." We find the same heart attitude in the great psalm on the Word of God: "Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments" (Psalm 119:66).

Christian, Pursue Proficiency in the Knowledge of Christ

The excellent musician or athlete knows that proficiency comes through skillfulness in the application of fundamentals. I know a man who is a world-class concert pianist and recording artist. He begins every day as he has for five decades, with the practice of scales, chords, and arpeggios - the fundamentals he began to learn as a child. Of course, he has far greater facility in these things after life-long practice, and the exercises he practices today are much more complex and demanding than those of his early childhood. But his skillfulness in the application of these fundamentals is the basis of his consummate proficiency in the performance of the most demanding music in the classical repertoire. And, he knows that if he neglects these fundamentals for even a few days, he loses ground that he must regain.

Anyone who is highly competent in any field of endeavor knows that these things are true. And what is true in every other pursuit of life is no less true, and no less essential, for the primary pursuit of the Christian - what the Apostle Paul calls "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8).

If you are a Christian today, your number one task is to grow into the knowledge of God in Christ. Here, dear friend, are deep riches, far surpassing anything the world can offer. They are eternal riches that will never pass away. And so I ask you this question today: Are you growing in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, by growing in your knowledge of the Bible, the written Word of God? Are you pursuing proficiency in the knowledge of Christ?

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. (Proverbs 2:6-9)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

Sinner, Come to Christ

And if you are not a believer in Christ today, do you understand that you need to know God by coming to know Jesus Christ? I invite you to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, right now. Acknowledge before God today that you are a sinner, that you have broken God's holy law, that you are lost and without hope on your own. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for sinners, who shed His blood in order that the fallen, the condemned, the hopeless might have eternal life. Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. Repent of your sins, place your faith in Christ alone for eternal life, and begin living a life that is pleasing to Him by growing into the knowledge of God, by reading and studying His Word.

Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior today, we would love to hear from you. We want to help you understand more about the Bible and about the Christian life. If you don't have a Bible, we would be glad to send you one. So please contact us.


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