“Do you know; do you know my Jesus? Do you know; do you know my Friend?
Have you heard He loves you and that He will abide till the end?
Have you a heart that’s weary tending a load of care?
Are you a soul that’s seeking rest from the burdens you bear?
Who knows your disappointments? Who knows each time you cry?
Who understands your heartaches?
Who dries the tears from your eyes?
Do you know; do you know my Jesus? Do you know; do you know my Friend?
Have you heard He loves you and that He will abide till the end?”
Do YOU know Jesus in the N.T. sense of knowing Him? Do I know Jesus in that way? It is eternally important that we do. In writing to his young mentor, Timothy, Paul gives an excellent inspired meaning of KNOWING Jesus Christ. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed for I KNOW whom I have BELIEVED and am PERSUADED that He is ABLE to KEEP what I have COMMITTED to Him until that Day. HOLD FAST the PATTERN of SOUND WORDS which you have heard from me, in FAITH and love which are in CHRIST JESUS. (II Tim 1:12-13). In this short passage, Paul states that he KNEW his Lord, and provides four steps for us to truly KNOW Jesus:
- BELIEVE in Him – You can only KNOW one in whom you truly BELIEVE. The Hebrew writer makes it clear that FAITH in Christ is the basis for our obedience and salvation. “Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…But without FAITH it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is and that He is a rewarded of those who diligently seek Him”. (Heb 11:1, 6). Biblical BELIEF in Christ involves putting our complete trust in Him and not ourselves. “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my TRUST in the Lord, that I may declare all your works”. (Ps 73:28). “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we TRUST in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe”. (I Tim 4:10). As our FAITH in Jesus grows stronger, we TRUST Him more, and as we TRUST Him more, our FAITH grows and His blessings abound.
- Be PERSUADED by Him – Paul was thoroughly PERSUADED or confident that Christ would guard and keep him, and had reached this point by Faith and Trust. While Saul was a determined persecutor of Christians, he was as far from the Lord as a man could get. However, when Jesus spoke directly to him and told Saul what he must do, he was ready to listen. In Damascus, Ananias informed Saul that God had chosen him to be a witness for Christ and that he should be baptized in water to wash away his sins. Saul obeyed immediately and his name was changed to Paul. (Acts 9, 16). He was fully PERSUADED by Jesus to the point of totally changing his life. Luke later records this statement about Paul’s preaching/teaching in Corinth. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and PERSUADED both Jews and Greeks”. (Acts 18:4).
- REALIZE What Jesus is ABLE to DO and to KEEP. – Paul said he had made his COMMITTMENT or DEPOSIT with the Lord, meaning that he had fully ENTRUSTED his faith, his soul, his eternal wellbeing, his everything to Him. The apostle was both convinced and PERSUADED of God’s power and ability to GUARD all that he had DEPOSITED with Him. Paul REALIZED that our Lord has no limitations. Writing concerning the FAITH of Abraham, “..Being fully ASSURED that what God had promised, He was ABLE also to PERFORM”. (Rom 4:21). Only when we realize all that He can do for us will we COME TO KNOW JESUS. “Now to Him who is ABLE to KEEP you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”. (Jude 24, 25).
- HOLD FAST the PATTERN of SOUND WORDS. – Timothy had heard Paul’s teachings many times and had known the O.T. Scriptures since he was a child. But a warning was in order for the young evangelist – HOLD FAST to the PATTERN of JESUS TEACHINGS. The apostle used the same terminology in Titus 1:9 when giving the qualifications of bishops. “..HOLDING FAST the FAITHFUL WORD as he has been taught, that he may be ABLE, by SOUND DOCTRINE, both to exhort and convict those who contradict”. Paul pointed out to Timothy one reason that his preaching should follow the teaching he had received. “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of JESUS CHRIST, nourished in the WORDS of faith and of the good DOCTRINE which you have carefully followed”. (I Tim 4:6).
In order to really KNOW JESUS THE CHRIST: WE MUST BELIEVE IN HIM. WE MUST BE PERSUADED BY HIM. WE MUST REALIZE WHAT JESUS IS ABLE TO DO AND TO KEEP. WE MUST HOLD FAST HIS PATTERN OF SOUND WORDS.