One of the most important truths about faith in Jesus Christ is, it is rooted in importance of knowledge. This is evident in Jesus’ declaration in John 17:3 that,
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Clearly, believing and
knowing are two different things.
It is important to have reasons for believing. Presence of reasons for believing does not imply, however, that what is reasonable already is experienced.
A man can believe that a woman loves him, marry said woman. Arrival at knowledge of the woman’s love, knowledge of what that love is, knowledge of what the love really means or connotes is developed or occurs in context of challenges of life. Same goes for a woman’s belief that she is loved by a man.
Anyone can claim to love and not be found out because life is all easy and smooth. It is in midst of challenges of life (e.g. new baby, new career, new job, relocation, spouse’s job taking more time than anticipated etc.) that true nature of professed love is discovered.
The problem in today’s world with marriage? People no longer get divorced primarily because promised love is not demonstrated. Many divorces occur because couples allow themselves to grow separately, as opposed to in consonance with one another. But this is antithesis of God’s command that a couple grow in consonance with one another, as opposed to embarking on separate trajectories of growth.
Not a secular concept, true. But if we believe in Jesus Christ, yet eschew His principles, we live in contradiction with ourselves. If Jesus says divorce is justifiable only whenever a man or woman gives love due to a spouse to another, it means couples must attempt to grow in consonance, as opposed to on separate trajectories.
However, will we know just how well faith in Jesus Christ works if we never abandon ourselves to practicing principles embodied in our belief?
But I digress.
Consistent with dichotomy of belief from knowledge, at the point where Jesus challenged His disciples as to whether they would choose to remain with Him, or leave with the disenchanted crowd, which hitherto had followed Him, the disciples declared (John 6:68–69),
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The disciples started off believing because John the Baptist pointed Jesus out as “the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:36–37).” The disciples eventually arrived at revelation of who they perceived Jesus to be in context of their interactions with, and development of personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Consider for instance, the question posed by disciples of Jesus Christ when He woke up from sleep and rebuked a storm (Luke 8:24–25).
The disciples went and woke him, saying, Master, Master, we’re going to drown! He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. Where is your faith? He asked is disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.”
The disciples started off believing, then in course of interactions with Jesus Christ arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was who John the Baptist professed Him to be to the world.
By the way, if this event never occurred, the Bible really cannot be said to be a good book. A book filled with lies is not a good book.
The problem with acquisition of knowledge is, it can puff up, make people proud. This is why the desire for knowledge is supposed to be predicated on Christians’ love for God, and love for their fellow man (2 Peter 1:5). Whenever desire for knowledge is for achievement of building up of people — the acquirer of knowledge inclusive — knowledge is acquired in meekness of wisdom (James 3:13), and serves for building up, not tearing down.
What then are some of the things Christians are supposed to know? Well, Christians are supposed to have understanding of,
Resources made available to those who choose to place faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Benefits available to those who choose to place faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Rights that accrue to those who choose to place faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Authority that accrues to those who choose to place faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Power of faith that is reposed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Responsibilities or Actions that actualize Resources, Benefits, Rights, Authority, and Power that accrue to faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
In the slides embedded below, you will find a summary discussion of some of the important concepts associated with the Six Facets of Christian Living that I enunciate above. I have included pointer verses that can get you started on your journey of discovery on the different concepts. I pray you find the slides useful and encouraging for your Christian journey to knowledge of the Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all of this in power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.