Knowing Passed Knowledge
Paul once prayed that we would know the love of Christ that passes knowledge. That means that it must be possible. But how do we know something that passes knowledge?
The Greek word translated passes, in Paul’s prayer, means to throw beyond the usual mark, i.e. to surpass. It can also mean exceeding and excel. There is a knowing that surpasses knowledge. And this kind of knowing excels exceedingly beyond usual knowledge. This knowing is speaking of experience. Experiential knowledge.
Experiential knowledge far surpasses usual knowledge. When I say usual knowledge, I am referring to natural, intellectual knowledge. Knowledge that comes through our five physical senses. We could also call it sense knowledge or carnal knowledge. In order to know the love of Christ we need something more than this kind of knowledge. We need spiritual knowledge. Paul is speaking of a spiritual experience of the love of God.
The love of God is spiritual. It can only be spiritually discerned. God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). But the scriptures also reveal that God is love (1 John 4:8). And so, God is a Love Spirit. Love is the fabric of His very being. Love is the essence of His spiritual make-up as a spiritual being. He is a spiritual being Whose character and nature is love.
Again, I say, the love of God is spiritual. We cannot come to know it through mere natural, intellectual, carnal knowledge from our five physical senses. We have to come to know it by the spirit. By spiritual experience. By revelation. By a knowing that passes knowledge. But how do we do that?
Romans 5:5 NKJV
…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The Holy Spirit is the One that pours out the love of God into our hearts. The love of God has to be received through our spirits by revelation from the Holy Spirit. This is what relationship with God is all about. Our relationship with God is now comparable to a marriage relationship.
Ephesians 5:33 NLT [Brackets Mine]
This [marriage] is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
1 Corinthians 6:17 NLT
But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
In natural marriage, the man and the wife are joined together and become one flesh. Marriage is a picture and an illustration of Jesus Christ and His Church, which is made up of individual believers. We are the Bride of Christ. The wife of Christ. We have been married to Jesus and have become one spirit with Him. Inseparable. Undecidable. United. One… He is the Head; we are the body. And that is why we are called the Body of Christ.
The knowing that passes knowledge is a marriage term. Genesis 4:1 says: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived…” This is talking about sexual union – the greatest form of intimacy and closeness. Eve didn’t conceive because Adam had an intellectual knowledge of her. She conceived because he had an experiential knowledge of her. He didn’t just know about her; he knew her. They experienced each other’s love in the intimacy and closeness of the “one flesh” union.
This is the illustration of the relationship we can have with God. We are married to Jesus. We are one spirit with Him. In this union we can come to know His love which passes knowledge. We can come to experience Him through the Holy Spirit. As we do, we will conceive in the womb of our hearts. And we will have children. But more about that, next time…
Have a blessed day!
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