Jesus makes it clear in John 17:3 that eternal life is to know Him—but what does it mean to know God? Is it merely facts, data, and information, or is it more than that?
In this episode, we discuss whether we actually have
Taken from one of my most popular messages called Ginosko, this message is not only humorous in parts, but is deeply stirring and pressing as we seek to discover what it means to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).
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Show Notes / Additional Resources
- Philippians 3:4b-11 – “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Chri
st,the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
- Acts 1:18-19 – [Peter speaking of Judas] “Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known [gnostos] to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.”
- John 14:5-6 – “Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know [oida] where You are going, and how can we know [oida] the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
- Luke 1:34 – Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this
be,since I do not know [ginosko] a man?”
- Matthew 1:24-25 – Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know [ginosko] her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
- John 17:3 – [Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer]: “And this is eternal life, that they may know [ginosko] You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
- Matthew 7:21-23 – Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew [ginosko] you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Other Notes + Quotes:
- σκύβαλον (
skybalon) – dung / rubbish– any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs; of things worthless and detestable
- Gnostos – facts, information, data (where we get the word gnostic)
- Oida – understanding, perception, “I see”
- Ginosko – knowledge but found through experience or relationship, an intimate understanding
- Song: Mistaken (by Warren Barfield)
I shouldn’t have to tell you who I am
Cause who I am should be speaking for itself
Cause if I am who I, I want to be
Then who you see won’t even be me
Oh the more and more I disappear
The more He becomes clear
Till everyone I talk to hears His voice
And everyone I touch feels the warmth of His hand
Till everyone I meet
Sees Jesus in me
This is all I wanna be
I want to be mistaken for Jesus
May He touch with my hands
See through my eyes
May He speak through my lips
Live through my life
- Quote by Ian Thomas:
“The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you – your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything – than although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it! If the way you live your life as a Christian can be explained in terms of you, what have you to offer to the man who lives next door? The way he lives his life can be explained in terms of him, and so far as he is concerned, you happen to be “religious” – but he is not! “Christianity” may be your hobby, but it is not his, and there is nothing about the way you practice it which strikes him as at all remarkable! There is nothing about you which leaves himMajor Ian Thomas
guessing,and nothing commendable of which he does not feel himselfequally capable without the inconvenience of becoming a Christian! … It has got to become obvious to others that the kind of life you are living is … beyond all human explanation! That it is beyond the consequences of man’s capacity to imitate, and however little they may understand this, it is clearly the consequence only of God’s capacity to reproduce Himself in you!”
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Question: What is the hardest thing for you about knowing (ginosko) Jesus rather than merely knowing about Him?
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About NRJohnson & the Deeper Christian Podcast
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
The Deeper Christian Podcast is the podcast to help you study God’s Word, know Jesus intimately, and discover how you can build your life around Jesus Christ. This weekly audio program, hosted by NRJohnson, dives into Scripture and encourages Christians to keep their focus upon Jesus Christ—equipping believers in how to study the Bible and know God’s Word, grow in their spiritual lives, and change the world. Main discussion topics center around practical advice on Christian living, Bible study, prayer, the Gospel, freedom from sin, evangelism and how to share your faith, the Christian disciplines, and the lives and messages from the Christian heroes from yesteryear such as A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, Major Ian Thomas, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, C.T. Studd, George Müller, Andrew Murray, Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds, and others. Learn more about the deeper Christian life.