Apostle Paul’s Confession: To Know Christ Jesus is the Greatest Knowledge

 

 

A scene from the movie "Paul, the Apostle of Christ". James Faulkner(right) plays Paul, John played by Jim Cavizel.

A scene from the movie “Paul, the Apostle of Christ”. James Faulkner (R) plays Paul, John is played by Jim Cavizel.

By Rev. Seo-Kwon Kim
Pastor of Jesus’ Love Church

Seoul: How regrettable would it be to end up regretting going to church, after a lifetime of devotion to it?

During the days of Peter, there was such a man who ended up crippled and begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, even after 40 years of belonging to his religion. To this man, Peter proclaimed:

“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Fate and destiny cannot be resolved by simply attending spectacular temples like Herod’s, adorned with dazzling gold; we can truly meet Jesus only when our essence of life becomes centered around Him.

How tragic is it to live a life that comes up empty? Like an apple that looks deliciously red on the outside but is mushy and rotten on the inside, a religious life that lacks the life of Christ is hollow. Its end is meaningless.

Apostle Paul, who was perhaps the greatest intellectual of his generation, confessed, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Thus, I consider everything rubbish.” However, priests and teachers of the law who were a part of the establishment framed Paul as a rebel heretic and plotted against him.

“Jesus is the Christ!” This is a confession that stakes one’s life. We cannot meet God if we do not abandon our fear of being called a rebel heretic like Paul against religion and religious ideology.

People are objects of love, not objects of trust. The only one who is deserving of trust and faith is Christ. If we put our faith in people, we are bound to face disappointments and all kinds of trouble. Remember, humans are weak beings who are powerless even against their own droopy eyelids!

As for those who boast of their success in the world, they all lack peace. The more we obsess about things the more problems arise. Jesus died on the cross, resurrected, and is now with us as the Holy Spirit in order to take this plight upon Himself (Isaiah 53:1-6).

Having water turn into wine is indeed a miracle, but the greatest miracle is in coming to believe that Jesus is the Christ.  To illustrate, there was no more wine at a wedding banquet in Cana. At the brink of the host’s humiliation, Jesus turned still water into fragrant wine, bringing joy and satisfaction to everyone. This miracle is known as the first public evidence that showed Jesus as the Creator God, our Savior, the Messiah. The true miracle here, however, is that the servants who drew water in obedience realized and came to believe in the secret behind that miracle.

Religion cannot solve the fundamental problem of life. Religion poses itself as a sustainer of social order by offering a variety of programs to console and encourage people. It even demands repentance and condemns people with its standards. However, Jesus called these religious people – teachers of the law, Pharisees, Sadducees – a brood of vipers and whitewashed tombs. Why? It is because they habitualized criticizing and condemning others, instead of examining themselves.

 

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