Experience versus Knowledge

December 12, 2012

Romans 15:18
For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed,

Experience versus Knowledge

The apostle Paul makes this declaration from Romans 15:18, ” For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed.”
Paul was a very intellectual man. He knew the Word as far a being well versed in the letter of the law, but since his conversion from Judaism and being a Pharisee, he came to the revelation that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). He realized that all of that knowledge that he had acquired hadn’t led him to life, but death. After he came to know Christ, he came to the realization that the Word of God is a two edged sword. One side produces life, the other death and yet it is the same Word. It is like a surgeon’s scalpel, it could easily cut through arteries and kill a person, but used in the hand of a skillful surgeon that same blade can work to save, heal and bring life.
That is how God’s word is in us. If we are only full of a lot head knowledge or lofty revelations, no matter how true, and then use and flaunt that to show everyone how spiritual we are; it only produces pride and does not bring forth life.
In 1 Corinthians 8:1 Paul says, “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Love will use the knowledge that the Spirit has quickened and made real to us to produce life in others. It won’t be to show how smart and spiritual we are, but to put tools in the hands of others that can help them grow in the Spirit and overcome in life’s trials and adversities.
Paul gives us a principle here if we can hear it. The best things that we can share are those things that we have seen worked out and seasoned in us through life experience. It is not what we know in our heads, but what we have seen the reality of by walking in faith concerning those truths. The strongest voice, is the voice of experience.
In our inexperience, we all like to take the truths and revelations that we have received and run with them. We want to share them with everyone that will listen. There is a time and season to share the things that we know, but Paul says, “I will not dare speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me” and to what end? “For the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed.” In other words for life giving purposes I will share only those things that God has made real in my life. I have proven them, by walking them out. I don’t just know them in my head, but I know the reality and substance of them through life experience and being led by the Spirit.
Knowing the Word, is not knowing how to regurgitate what someone else has taught us, but by allowing it to marinate in our life and heart till it becomes substance in us, then we can best share it with others. It is not any longer what was spoken to us, but what has now become a part of us through life experience and walking it out.
We live in a society of very educated Christians as far as knowledge of the Word is concerned, but it is not what we know in our head that give us wisdom and character. It is that which we walk out in daily life and living. It is not the knowledge of the Word that makes us godly, it is the application of the Word in real life situations that gives us a right to speak out of what we know, not intellectual, but inwardly in our hearts and lives. That is the same way we have to know Christ. Someone can know all about Christ, who He was, where He came from, what He did and how to become a Christian, but until that becomes a living reality in their heart through faith, it is only head knowledge and vanity. I know lots of people, but the one I know best is my wife. We have more than just an intellectual exchange or knowledge of one another. We have an intimate knowing exchange on every level of our lives. When I speak to you about my wife, I am speaking from a place of intimate knowledge and relationship with her. That is the same way it has to be with Christ in us. That is the same place we must speak and move out of; that intimate personal knowledge of Christ. That is the knowledge that will change people’s lives and help them grow up into Christ.

Blessings,
kent

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