For centuries people have asked the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” From the time Jesus was conceived until His death on the cross, He was a mystery (Col. 2:2; Rom. 16:25). When He walked the earth, even His closest followers obtained only a partial understanding of who He was (John 16:12, 14). Nevertheless, if we are to become useful to God for the accomplishment of His purpose, we must increase our knowledge and experience of Christ. Regrettably, the vast majority of God’s children today are satisfied with an incomplete knowledge of who Christ is.
In order to know Christ in a deeper way, we must first consider who Christ is to God. Paul’s epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians reveal that Christ is both God’s goal and the means for God to reach His goal. Ephesians 1:10 speaks of God’s goal to head up all things in Christ; Colossians 1:18, of Christ as the Head having the first place in all things; and 3:11, of Christ as the One who is all and in all. Seeing Christ as God’s goal should increase our aspiration to take Christ as our goal as well. Furthermore, Colossians 1:15-23 show that creation was brought forth through Christ, that our redemption was accomplished through the blood of His cross, and that we are being reconciled to God through Christ. All these point to the fact that in the spiritual realm God answers all things in and through Christ as the means to carry out His goal.
Just as it is profitable to know who Christ is to God, so also it is crucial for us to advance by receiving a personal revelation of who Christ is to us. The apostle Paul not only received a direct revelation of Christ from God but also petitioned that others would receive a revelation of Christ (Acts 9:5; Gal. 1:15-16; Eph. 1:17). In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prayed that God would grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, for without a personal revelation from God it is impossible to know and subjectively experience Christ. It is only by receiving a personal revelation of Christ that we progress to know Him through the many matters and things in our daily life (Acts 26:16). God desires that we would see all of our situations as opportunities to know and gain Christ (Rom. 8:28; cf. Phil. 3:8-10). Then we would know Christ not merely in an objective way, but Christ would become the One who is the essence and goal of all matters and things pertaining to us. Our love, patience, and forgiveness would become Christ as our love, Christ as our patience, and Christ as our forgiveness. When Christ is our unique focus we will be delivered from merely knowing about Christ and His works to knowing Him as everything to us from God (1 Cor. 1:24,30).
“When we know the Lord as the One who is, our things will become a person, and everything will be settled. Then God’s purpose, which He intends to fulfill in eternity, will be fulfilled in us.” – The collected Works of Watchman Nee, Vol. 36: Central Messages, Chapter 12, Section 6