This is the second blog in the Why The Resurrection series.
Jesus was raised from the dead so that genuine intimacy could be attained between people and Himself.
All people are made up of a spirit, soul and body [1 Thessalonians 5:23]. Even pre-Christian people have a spirit. Their spirit has been disconnected from God, who is Spirit. When a person receives Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their Lord and Savior He reconnects their spirit to God.
This is crucial because until this happens we are led in life by our soul [intellect, emotions or will], or our body [carnal, base desires].
Any relationship that begins and is sustained at the body or soul level can never achieve genuine intimacy. There can be a measure of intimacy but it is unfulfilling, especially over the long haul. Those who live by their soul or base desires end up consuming those they want to be intimate with.
Are there exceptions to this rule? Possibly! But I have seen the carnage left as a result of relationships that never entered into the realm of God’s Spirit.
Paul the apostle, one of the brightest minds the world has ever seen said some amazing things about intimacy.
There are two words used in the New Testament Greek primarily for our words ‘know’, ‘knowing’ or ‘knowledge’.
One is gnosis [gno’-sis] and this word means general knowledge, intelligence that comes from study or observation. The second one is ginosko [ghin-oce’-ko’ which means to know through experience. This word is used as an idiom for sexual intimacy.
Paul uses both of these words in the following text.
Philippians 3:7 – 11 ~~
Verse 8 ~ “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value on knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
‘Knowing’ is gnosis. Paul is saying that he learned through loss the importance of having a relationship with Christ. He realized that stuff could be replaced but Christ could not.
Verse 10 ~ “that I may know Him”
‘Know’ Him is the word ginosko. Here Paul is saying that He wanted to encounter Christ at a deeper level which would include the release of the power of a resurrected life. This life would result in a fellowship with His sufferings so that he could be conformed to His death.
There is a lot to digest in this verse that I will leave alone right now. Suffice it to say Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus [Acts 9] and that encounter transformed his life. Paul desired to continue to grow in his intimacy with Jesus so that his life would be a complete reflection of Jesus. In other words, Paul wanted people to see Jesus when they looked at him.
Paul gives another glimpse into this life of intimacy in Ephesians 3:19.
“And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowldege, that you may be filled up to the fullness of God.”
This is a portion of a prayer that Paul was praying for the saints in Asia Minor [modern Turkey].
In this verse he uses both words for knowledge. The first word is ginosko [to know] and the second one is gnosis [knowledge].
He is communicating that it is possible to be so intimate with Christ that our minds cannot grasp it. Have you ever heard the saying, “I have not wrapped my brain, or head around that?”
When a person says that they are communicating they have encountered, or experienced something they do not understand.
In fact, Paul says that our spiritual encounter with Christ surpasses our ability to understand Him with our head. A great lesson to learn is this, our mind is a better student than teacher.
The word ‘surpass’ means to transcend, to exceed, or to go way beyond. It is possible to live beyond our brain. In fact, Christianity cannot be Christianity without faith. Faith is trusting God even when we do not understand with our head.
Those who are led by God’s Spirit are sons of God. Maturity comes from following God’s Spirit, not by our ability to understand what He is saying or doing.
The end result of coming to a place of genuine intimacy that begins in our spirit and is sustained by God’s Spirit is being filled up with the fullness of God. God wants so much to fill us up to overflowing with His life and love. We crowd Him out with our attempts to control Him through our intellect or emotions.
Our spirit is to be led by God’s Spirit and our soul [intellect, will and emotions] and our body must be led by our spirit in order for God to fill us with all of Himself.
Religion says this, “More or you God and less of me.” God says, “I tried that and it did not work.” God wants more of Him in all of us.
The world has only seen that one time [2000 years ago] in one Man [Jesus Christ of Nazareth].
Can you imagine what the world will experience when all of God’s sons get completely filled with the fulness of God? God can!
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury