There are scores of well-trained ministers today, highly respected men of advanced learning. They've spent years in seminary, studying theology, philosophy and ethics. And they've been taught by gifted teachers, esteemed men who are experts in their fields.
But when many of these trained ministers stand in the pulpit to preach, they speak only empty words. They can tell you many interesting things about the life and ministry of Christ. But what they say leaves your spirit cold. Why? Because they have no revelation of Jesus, no personal experience with Him. Everything they know of Christ has been filtered through the minds of other men. Their insights are merely borrowed teachings.
In Ephesians 4 and especially verse 20, Paul was asking, "How did you learn Christ?" In other words, who taught you what you know of Jesus? Did it come from the many sermons you've heard or your Sunday school classes? If so, that's good. But is that the limit of what you know of Christ? It doesn't matter how powerfully your pastor may preach, or how anointed your teachers may be. You need more of Jesus than mere head knowledge.
Many believers are satisfied with what I call an initial, one-time revelation of Christ's saving power and grace. This is the only revelation of Jesus they've ever had. They testify, "Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior. He's the Lord, the Son of God." Every true believer experiences this wonderful, life-changing revelation. Yet that's only the first step. What lies ahead is a lifetime of deeper, more glorious revelations of Christ.
Paul knew this. He received an incredible revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was literally knocked off his horse, and a voice spoke to him from heaven. No person ever had a more personal revelation of Christ than this. Yet Paul knew this was only the beginning. From that moment on, he "determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon