“KNOWING CHRIST”, BY CHARLES SPURGEON (GRACE, FAITH, Christian RESOURCES)

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  —2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward—having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness.

He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.”

Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:8

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. No, I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know Him, not as the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices—His attributes—His works—His shame—His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”

It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time, it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more.

To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the everliving Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’ feet and learn of Him all this day.

From Charles Spurgeon’s daily devotional, Mornings and Evenings with Spurgeon. Go to www.daily-devotional.com to sign up to receive emails with each day’s reading.

Links to resources to Know More About Jesus-

Billy Graham.org

The Gospel Coalition.org

Connection Points

About Jesus from Christianity.com

Scripture on Faith in Jesus

The Side B Podcast (castos.com) (Podcast for Sceptics)

Resources to Know God from CRU

Spurgeon on Knowing Christ

Eternal Perspective Ministries

The Truth about Christianity

Blue Letter Bible and Commentaries

Mongerism (Articles on the Christian Faith)

Tim Keller podcast “Why we believe in Jesus” 

Tim Keller podcast “The Timing of Jesus”

“Humility, Hope, Faith & Excellence”, Quotes on Discipleship from Tom Holliday (Spiritual Leadership)

In 2019 I had the honor of listening to Pastor Tom Holliday, of Alexandria Presbyterian Church teach in a small fellowship group at his home in Alexandria, VA. I am so glad that I took notes to look back on and share! The theme was spiritual leadership and discipleship.

He spoke for about an hour listening for questions and comments focusing on the nature of the heart of a disciple. In this session, he focused on Humility, Hope, Faith, and Excellence.

Humility

We looked at Matthew 16:24-25 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”. Pastor Tom described that we are examining our character, the very core of our hearts, and how we live out our lives.

The heart of the learner is humble, he is not above his master, he must learn to follow. We ask ourselves to examine our hearts for all things within our own nature and in our lives that may be in opposition to God. The one that follows after Christ, in discipleship must constantly be denying and dying to himself so that he or she finds the Spirit of The Lord and walks in the Light.— Tom Holliday

Galatians 2:20-21 –I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

He continued, saying that none of us could ever be as trained as Jesus. Paul said, “Follow me, as I follow Christ”. (1 Corinthians 1:11)

Lord let me live an indwelled Christian Life. Teach us. We want to be as fully trained as possible as we can be in this life.” –Tom Holliday

Notes: The humility that is spoken of has a deep purpose. Humility as it alters the heart from the very core equips the disciple to

  • Follow Christ.
  • Examine one’s heart for all that is our nature that is in opposition to God.
  • In the Spirit of Christ, to die to self and walk in the light.

Live by faith in Christ whose death paid the price of our sin. We die in Him and He begins to live in us.

Hope

“There is no hope without effort. Hope in Christ he said- must be grown. We cannot remain passive. Many live with no hope at all.” –Tom Holliday

1 John 3:3 –And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

“Is your hope in the right thing? If you love if you hope, do you know that your hope is in Christ? Are you sure that you know what your hope is in? Is it in anything but Christ? What else might it be in? Is it in a perfect wife, a perfect husband, in being right?”–Tom Holliday

“If you don’t have a growing hope in all that He purchased for you by dying on the cross, in that you will see Him, and that you will become Like Him, and be changed instantaneously, then you need this HOPE.  You need that HOPE. This is what we anticipate. Also, in this life, today wants to be more like HIM.” –Tom Holliday

“You offer yourself to Him. We do that to the Power to make ourselves Holy. Without Effort. It is His Effort. Not our own. It is Divine Power.” –Tom Holliday

Faith

“Faith. It starts with faith- but don’t put your faith in faith. Your faith can’t be your hope”. –Tom Holliday

2 Peter 5:5 -For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.

“The word, Virtue. The Greek word “arete”, means excellence. It implies the ‘property’ of something. Example: what you were made to be. The excellence of a horse is to run fast. The excellence of a knife is made to cut well… The excellence of a disciple is to be like Jesus.” –Tom Holliday

“Faith can default to being only knowledgeable. It can lead to being “puffed up”, and stuffed with information.  What end does that lead to? Puffed-up knowledge can lead to the Three C’s getting mixed up- confidence preceding competency, competency preceding character, and so on.” –Tom Holliday

“Virtue is not what I do. It is not who I am. It is my life in family, school, community, church, and outward.” –Tom Holliday

Galatians 5:6 –For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

“Faith expressing through love. Love is the crowning Jewel.”–Tom Holliday

Notes: Faith working by love is the same as a new Christian being baptized into Christ in order to become new. Faith alone is not enough. That Love, Who is the crowing jewel of The Kingdom is Christ.

A quote from Huxley adds that “”Faith operative through love” must be identical with, or involve “the keeping of God’s commandments,” and “a new creature.” And Tyndale said, “faith, which by love is mighty in operation.”

Romans 1:4 -in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Excellence

Pastor Tom continued, “What would you call your Spiritual Ceiling? Is it this high? (above the forehead), this high (above the head?) Do you think that you have grown all that you can? Does this make God sad? I believe that the ceiling is higher!”

“C.S. Lewis said that life is miraculous. That it was not like teaching a horse to jump, but that it was like teaching a horse to FLY. Can prayer teach a horse to fly? How are you limiting God in your life? Look to Jesus. What do you want His Spirit to do?”–Tom Holliday

“The Temptation is to see this life in terms of what “I” have done. Stop measuring experiences. Go to scripture. Jesus is doing the work.”–Tom Holliday

“We may not give grandeur or glorification, ‘apostification’ to ourselves. It is sin, it is attempting to do the work of Jesus, ourselves.” –Tom Holliday

As we begin to close in prayer, Pastor Tom reminds us, “Jesus gives you The Wanting. You can ask for it. Ask.”

Notes: The root of excellent is excel, meaning to raise, to raise oneself, surpass, literally—to rise out of, project. Excellent, therefore, is reserved for a thing unusually good for its kind, of exceptional merit and virtue. We strive for excellence because it is part of our nature. We are made in God’s Image and His excellence pours into everything that He does. Deuteronomy 32:4

Phillippians 1:9-10 —And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Tom Holliday – Alexandria Presbyterian Church

A study on Spiritual Leadership taught by Tom Holliday begins on September 18, 2022, at APC, Alexandria VA.

“Knowing Christ”, by Charles Spurgeon (Grace, Faith, Love God, Christian Resources)

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  —2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward—having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness.

He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.”

Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:8

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. No, I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know Him, not as the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices—His attributes—His works—His shame—His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”

It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time, it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more.

To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the everliving Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’ feet and learn of Him all this day.

From Charles Spurgeon’s daily devotional, Mornings and Evenings with Spurgeon. Go to www.daily-devotional.com to sign up to receive emails with each day’s reading.

Billy Graham.org

The Gospel Coalition.org

Connection Points

About Jesus from Christianity.com

Scripture on Faith in Jesus

The Side B Podcast (castos.com) (Podcast for Sceptics)

Resources to Know God from CRU

Spurgeon on Knowing Christ

Eternal Perspective Ministries

Peace with God.net

Knowing and Doing Podcast (C.S Lewis Institute)

Questions that really matter with Randy Newman (C.S Lewis Institute)

Resources to Know God from CRU

Enjoy this list of Learning Resources:

Bible Reading, Bible Study online: 
Blue Letter Bible
The Listening Plan
Bible.org
Study Light Bible
Bible in One Year
The Olive Tree
The Enduring Word

Here are some More Resources to explore:

SeeJesus.net
Redeemer City to City
Redeemer Ministries
Desiring God     
Christianity Today
Hope for The Heart.org
The Christian History Institute
Ligonier Ministries
Westminster Seminary Publication Archive
CS Lewis Institute
C.H.Spurgeon.org
A Puritan’s Mind
John F. Walvoord – Theologist, Educator, Author
The Wheaton College Billy Graham Center
Precept Austin.org
Grace Online Library