Monday, February 6, 2023

Knowing Christ (John 17)

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

It is not accidental that God inserted an entire chapter in the book of wisdom on the very essence of Wisdom. If you want to live according to wisdom, you must intimately know Wisdom. Essentially you must know Christ. And you can’t know Christ if you have wrong conceptions of Him.

Our understanding of the person and work of Christ has direct bearing on every aspect of our theology and our lives. If you worship a Christ who is not the risen Savior of Scripture, the way you live will reflect that error. If you do not believe Christ to be God incarnate, you will not trust His Word as infallible and inerrant. If you do not believe Christ’s life and death merited the righteousness necessary for you to have eternal life, you will try to earn your way to heaven through good works.

Many heresies have infiltrated the church because people were not diligent to study the Scriptures and gain a proper, objective understanding of Christ. This week and part of next, we will explore Christology, the study of Christ, and how various heresies have impacted the church. We are taking the time to examine the person and work of Christ because He is central to everything we believe.

How then do we come to a correct understanding of who Christ is? First, we do not gain our understanding of Him through our own subjective ideas and experiences. History can testify that deviations from the objective truth lead men to fashion God in their own image. If the philosophy of the day is stoicism, Christ becomes the ultimate stoic with no emotions. If the philosophy is social empowerment, Christ becomes the ultimate revolutionary and social activist. If the philosophy is feminism, Christ becomes the embodiment of the superiority of femininity. Because we are sinners, we inevitably think of Christ as we want Him to be instead of who He is. The only way we really know Christ is by going to the Scriptures. The Scriptures provide us with everything we need to know about Christ in an objective and truthful context. If you want to know Christ and live in a way that is pleasing to Him, let your ideas about Him be shaped by Scripture, not by the latest philosophy or your own opinions.

What are some of the misconceptions people have about Christ? If you have the opportunity this week, ask a couple of people who Christ is and what He did. See what kind of answers you get. How (and why) do people who believe things contrary to Christian beliefs still assimilate the person of Christ into their system?