This is eternal life: that we may know Him. And by knowing Him, we have eternal life. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus make knowing our Creator possible. So what exactly does it mean to know God?
The greek word here for know is ginosko, which means “to know especially through personal experience, by first hand acquaintance.” The knowledge of God which leads to eternal life comes through a personal relationship with Him in Jesus Christ. Walking with God and experiencing Him not just with our minds, but our hearts as well. Paul speaks of knowing the love of God in a way that even surpasses a kind of head knowledge when he says,
“May we have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
The deepest understanding of who God is and how He loves is only gained through intimacy with Him; walking and talking with Him, listening and learning from Him, and just living life in daily relationship with Him. There should be no greater priority or deeper joy than pursuing intimacy with our Savior. Listen to the words Paul penned so very late in life. Nearing the end of his time on earth, Paul wrote,
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
So here is this mature believer in Christ who had committed His entire life to understanding God and serving Him by bringing the gospel to those who were lost. If anyone knew and loved Jesus, it had to be Paul. Yet despite his obvious maturity in Christ, all he had seen and experienced, Paul was compelled by one thing: “that I may know Him.” Didn’t he already know Jesus more closely than perhaps one ever could? Of course he did! But the more he knew Jesus, the more he wanted to know Him. Earthly riches and treasures pale in comparison to the worth of knowing Christ, so much so that Paul calls all things “rubbish” in comparison.
A soul satisfied in Christ longs for more of Christ. Our love and affection for Him stimulate a desire for more! We can’t get enough. May the highest goal and greatest joy of our lives be to know Him. And by knowing Him, have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Held by Him,