Knowing Jesus Christ
By The Late Pastor Mac Rauhihi
This article was written out of a concern to share with you the importance of a firsthand experience with Jesus Christ. If, after reading this, you feel constrained by the Spirit of God to re-examine your relationship with Christ, then something worthwhile is accomplished for God’s glory. Hallelujah! Let me ask you these questions:
These are the most vital questions in life. I am not asking you if you go to church, sing in a choir, or preach from a prayer book. Nor am I talking about belonging to a religion, living a good life, or knowing the Bible from cover to cover. Christianity is much more than this!Let me assure you ~ it is one thing to quote the 23rd Psalm from memory, but it is quite another thing to experience personally the leading and loving care of the Shepherd!Christianity, therefore, is a meeting together ~ between Saviour and sinner ~ between Jesus and you! And, without doubt, He is the One Who puts “much more” into our Christian experience. Praise His name forever!
Doing service unto God is profitable, but without Jesus Christ as its centre, it can become a duty and not a joy. One day as He walked and talked with His disciples, Jesus asked them a tremendous two-fold question. We can read about it in Matthew 16:13-20 . Briefly, the first question was:
They replied that some thought He was John the Baptist, or one of the prophets. Now, notice something here: though Jesus was right there in their midst, yet they did not know Him!This is a great pity. But it is nothing unusual. Even today we find this ignorance amongst us. People just cannot figure Jesus out!
The second question Jesus asked is perhaps what you would call “the crunch question.” It concerns us all. He said to His disciples:
The Scripture goes on to declare that Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” You may ask, “But how did he know that?” The other men did not know ~ and they all beheld the same Jesus. The Lord Jesus gives us the answer and reason for this when He told Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My father Who is in heaven.” It was a direct revelation from God the Father! And, friends, this is the only way that you can come to knowwho Jesus really is! It will never come to us through human understanding or from any human source. The Bible says that God reveals these things “to us by His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 ). It is the Holy Spirit alone Who reveals and interprets Christ to us, and through us. Jesus Himself said, “No one can come to Me unless the father Who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44-45 ). It is also written that “a man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven”(John 3:27 ). Knowing Jesus Christ is to also know the Father. The Scripture says, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27 & Luke 10:22 ). In fact the Scripture is careful to point out that“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23 ).
A sobering word here: Knowing Jesus Christ does not mean that you can go on sinning and pleasing yourself. Jesus gives us freedom and life alright ~ Hallelujah for that ~ but it is our responsibility to “Go and sin no more” (see John 8:1-11 ; John 10:10 & Revelation 22:11 ). The quickest way to sever fellowship with Jesus Christ is to allow sin to reign in our lives. If we do sin, we have a way out. The Bible declares, “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1 ). But remember, we have to confess that sin to God and renounce it (see 1 John 1:9 ).
In conclusion, a word of warning to all: The Word of God (the Bible) teaches us that there are some who are preaching another Jesus (read Paul’s account of this in 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ; also Christ’s warning in Matthew 24:23-27 ). These are false prophets and teachers. They claim to know Jesus Christ, even use His name freely. Yet they are deceivers ~ and indeed are deceived themselves!
The Apostle Paul wrote and said, “For I will not venture (presume) to speak thus of any work except what Christ has actually done through me” (Romans 15:18 , Amp. Bible). In other words, a witness and bearer of the good news of Jesus Christ must first become acquainted with Christ ~ personally. 1 John 2:6 goes even further. We are told, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” No wonder Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruits” (see Matthew 7:15-20 ). Another way to try and prove to see if the message is true, is this:
The Bible declares that God the Father has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (see Acts 2:36 & Colossians 1:14-20 ). On top of this, He (Jesus) has been “highly exalted” and given “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:5-11 ). In fact, God is speaking to us in these last days by His Son (see Hebrews 1:1-3 & Matthew 17:1-8 ).
A Closing Prayer: “Our Heavenly Father, we come to You in the highly exalted name of Jesus. Open our eyes, our understanding, and grant us a revelation of Your Son, Jesus.Help each one of us to come into a closer relationship with Him. If we have slipped, dear Lord, lift us up again into the heavenly places. Let us see no man, save Jesus only! Amen.”
Pastor Mac Rauhihi was a part of The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry for a number of years. He pastored churches in Marton and Napier, New Zealand, before going to Murray Bridge, South Australia, to pastor there.