There are two Greek words in the Bible for knowing. First there is the Greek word oida. It means “to know in the mind;” it means “to know the facts.” But there’s a second word for knowing that we really need to understand and it’s gnosco. Gnosco means “to know by experience.”
Let’s explore the difference between these two words. I can’t come to you and say, “I know (gnosco) Abraham Lincoln,” I don’t know him by experience. I have no relationship with him. The word I would use here would be oida. “I know Abraham Lincoln.” I’ve read the history books and I know the facts about his life. So which word do we find in the New Testament when it talks about us knowing God? It’s not oida—it’s gnosco. This is so very important because so many people live in oida. They know about God, they read the Bible, they know the facts, they study the history, and they know about God but they don’t know Him. Do you realize how sad that is?
Let me illustrate this again. I don’t want to know about a kiss. I don’t want to oida a kiss. Oida is the facts: two mouths coming together, exchanging tongues and saliva fluid. Yuck. I don’t want to know that. I want to experience it! Isn’t that strange, especially after that definition? But you want to experience it too, because that’s the first act of giving yourself to another human being and receiving another human being. And that’s gnosco, my friends, the Lord Jesus Christ came to live inside of us. Why? Well, so He could empower us, so we could experience Him so that we could know Him, not by mind only, but by experiencing His love.
I don’t want to know about love. I want to be loved, don’t you? And that’s why the Holy Spirit came inside of you. So you could experience the love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, kindness, and goodness of God and know Him (gnosco) by experience.
What a great God. Have a great day!
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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