A Sermon by the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon   Do You Know Him? - Philippians 3:10 (Preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, January 31st, 1864)  “That I may know him” (Phil. 3:10, KJV) The       objective       of       the       apostle’s       life—that       for       which       he       sacrificed everything—country,   kindred,   honor,   comfort,   liberty,   and   life   itself,   was   that   he might    know    Christ!    Observe    that    this    is    not    Paul’s    prayer    as    an    unconverted man—that   he   may   know   Christ,   and   so   be   saved—for   it   follows   upon   the   previous supplication   that   he   might   win   Christ,   and   be   found   in   Him.   This   is   the   desire   of one   who   has   been   saved,   who   enjoys   the   full   conviction   that   his   sins   are   pardoned, and   that   he   is   in   Christ.   It   is   only   the   regenerated   and   saved   man   who   can   feel   the desire,   “That   I   may   know   Him.”   Are   you   astonished   that   a   saved   man   should   have such    a    desire    as    this?    A    moment’s    reflection    will    remove    your    astonishment. Imagine   for   a   moment   that   you   are   living   in   the   age   of   the   Roman   emperors.   You have   been   captured   by   Roman   soldiers,   and   dragged   from   your   native   country;   you have   been   sold   for   a   slave,   stripped,   whipped,   branded,   imprisoned,   and   treated with   shameful   cruelty. At   last   you   are   appointed   to   die   in   the   amphitheatre,   to   make holiday   for   a   tyrant.   The   populace   assembles   with   delight;   there   they   are,   tens   of thousands   of   them,   gazing   down   from   the   living   sides   of   the   spacious   Coliseum. You   stand   alone   and   naked,   armed   only   with   a   single   dagger—a   poor   defense against   gigantic   beasts.   A   ponderous   door   is   drawn   up   by   machinery,   and   there rushes   forth   the   monarch   of   the   forest—a   huge   lion!   You   must   slay   him   or   be   torn   to pieces;   you   are   absolutely   certain   that   the   conflict   is   too   stern   for   you,   and   that   the sure   result   must   and   will   be   that   those   terrible   teeth   will   grind   your   bones   and   drip with   your   blood.   You   tremble;   your   joints   are   loosed;   you   are   paralyzed   with   fear, like   the   timid   deer   when   the   lion   has   dashed   it   to   the   ground.   But   what   is   this?   O wonder   of   mercy!—a   deliverer   appears!   A   great   unknown   leaps   from   among   the gazing   multitude,   and   confronts   the   savage   monster!   He   quails   not   at   the   roaring   of the   devourer,   but   dashes   upon   him   with   terrible   fury,   till,   like   a   whipped   cur,   the lion   slinks   towards   his   den,   dragging   himself   along   in   pain   and   fear.   The   hero   lifts you   up,   smiles   into   your   bloodless   face,   whispers   comfort   in   your   ear,   and   bids   you be of good courage, for you are free! Do   you   not   think   that   there   would   arise   at   once   in   your   heart   a   desire   to   know your   deliverer? As   the   guards   conducted   you   into   the   open   street,   and   you   breathed the   cool,   fresh   air,   would   not   the   first   question   be,   “Who   was   my   deliverer,   that   I may   fall   at   his   feet   and   bless   him?”   You   are   not,   however,   informed,   but   instead   of it,   you   are   gently   led   away   to   a   noble   mansion,   where   your   many   wounds   are washed    and    healed    with    salve    of    rarest    power.    You    are    clothed    in    sumptuous apparel;   you   are   made   to   sit   down   at   a   feast;   you   eat   and   are   satisfied;   you   rest upon   the   softest   down.   The   next   morning   you   are   attended   by   servants   who   guard you   from   evil   and   minister   to   your   good.   Day   after   day,   week   after   week,   your needs   are   supplied.   You   live   like   a   courtier.   There   is   nothing   that   you   can   ask   which you   do   not   receive.   I   am   sure   that   your   curiosity   would   grow   more   and   more intense   till   it   would   ripen   into   an   insatiable   craving!   You   would   scarcely   neglect   an opportunity   of   asking   the   servants,   “Tell   me,   who   does   all   this;   who   is   my   noble benefactor,   for   I   must   know   him?”   “Well,   but,”   they   would   say,   “is   it   not   enough   for you   that   you   are   delivered   from   the   lion?”   “No,”   you   say,   “it   is   for   that   very   reason that   I   long   to   know   him.”   “Your   needs   are   richly   supplied—why   are   you   vexed   by curiosity   as   to   the   hand   which   gave   you   the   gift?   If   your   garment   is   worn   out,   there is   another;   long   before   hunger   oppresses   you,   the   table   is   well   loaded.   What   more do   you   need?”   But   your   reply   is,   “It   is   because   I   have   no   needs,   that,   therefore,   my soul   longs   and   yearns,   even   to   hungering   and   to   thirsting,   that   I   may   know   my generous loving friend.” Suppose   that   as   you   wake   up   one   morning,   you   find   lying   on   your   pillow   a precious   love-token   from   your   unknown   friend,   a   ring   sparkling   with   jewels,   and engraved   with   a   tender   inscription,   a   bouquet   of   flowers   bound   about   with   a   love- motto?    Your    curiosity    now    knows    no    bounds!    But,    you    are    informed    that    this wondrous   being   has   not   only   done   for   you   what   you   have   seen,   but   a   thousand deeds   of   love   which   you   did   not   see,   which   were   still   higher   and   greater   proofs   of his   affection.   You   are   told   that   he   was   wounded,   and   imprisoned,   and   scourged   for your   sake,   for   he   had   a   love   to   you   so   great   that   death   itself   could   not   overcome it—you   are   informed   that   he   is   every   moment   occupied   in   your   interests,   because he   has   sworn   by   himself   that   where   he   is,   there   you   shall   be;   his   honors   you   shall share,   and   of   his   happiness   you   shall   be   the   crown.   Why,   I   think   you   would   say, “Tell   me,   men   and   women,   any   of   you   who   know   him,   tell   me   who   he   is,   and   what he   is.” And   if   they   said,   “But   isn’t   it   enough   for   you   to   know   that   he   loves   you,   and to    have    daily    proofs    of    his    goodness,”    you    would    say,    “No,    these    love-tokens increase   my   thirst!   If   you   see   him,   tell   him   I   am   sick   with   love.   The   flagons   which   he sends   me,   and   the   love-tokens   which   he   gives   me,   they   stay   me   for   a   while,   with   the assurance    of    his    affection,    but    they    only    impel    me    onward    with    the    more unconquerable   desire   that   I   may   know   him.   I   must   know   him!   I   cannot   live   without knowing   him;   his   goodness   makes   me   thirst   and   pant,   and   faint,   and   even   die,   that   I may know him.” Have   I   imagined   emotions   which   would   not   be   natural?   I   think   not.   The   most   cool and   calculating   would   be   warmed   with   desires   like   these.   I   think   what   I   have   now pictured   before   you,   will   wake   the   echoes   in   your   breasts,   and   you   will   say,   “Ah,   it is   even   so!   It   is   because   Christ   loved   me,   and   gave   Himself   for   me   that   I   want   to know   Him;   it   is   because   He   has   shed   His   blood   for   me,   and   has   chosen   me   that   I may be one with Him forever, that my soul desires a fuller acquaintance with Him. Now   may   God,   the   Holy   Spirit,   very   graciously   lead   me   onward   that   I   may   also quicken in you the desire to know HIM. I.   Beloved,   let   us   pass   by   that   crowd   of   outer-court   worshippers   who   are   content to   live   without   knowing   Christ .   I   do   not   mean   the   ungodly   and   profane;   we   will not   consider   them   just   now—they   are   altogether   strangers   and   foreigners   to   Him—I mean   children   of   God—the   visible   saints.   How   many   there   are   of   these   whom   I must   call   outer-court   worshippers,   for   they   are   strangers   to   this   panting   to   know Him.   They   can   say   with   Paul,   “That   I   may   win   Him   and   be   found   in   Him”—that they   do   want;   but   this   higher   wish,   “That   I   may   know   Him,”   has   not   stirred   their hearts!   How   many   brethren   we   know   who   are   content   to   know   Christ’s   historic   life! They   read   the   Evangelists,   and   they   are   charmed   with   the   perfect   beauty   of   the Savior’s   history.   “Never   man   spoke   like   this   Man,”   they   say,   and   they   confess   that never   man   acted   with   such   love   as   He   did.   They   know   all   the   incidents   of   His   life, from   His   manger   to   His   cross,   but   they   do   not   know   HIM .   They   are   as   men   who have   read   “Caesar’s   Commentaries,”   but   who   have   never   seen   Caesar.   They   know the   battles   which   Caesar   fought;   they   can   even   recognize   the   mantle   which   Caesar wore   “that   day   he   overcame   the   Nervii,”   but   they   do   not   know   Caesar   himself.   The person   of   the   Lord   Jesus   is   as   much   hidden   from   their   eyes,   as   the   golden   pot   of manna   when   concealed   in   the   Ark.   They   know   the   life   of   Christ,   but   not   Christ   the Life; they admire His way among men, but they see Him not as the way. Others   there   are   who   know   Christ’s   doctrine   and   prize   it,   too,   but   they   know   not HIM.   All   which   He   taught   is   dear   to   them;   orthodoxy—for   this   they   would   burn   at Smithfield,   or   lay   down   their   necks   at   Tower   Hill!   Many   of   them   are   well-instructed and   divinely-illuminated   in   the   doctrine   of   Christ,   and   the   wonder   is   that   they should   stop   there,   because,   beloved,   it   seems   to   me   when   I   begin   to   know   a   man’s teaching,   that   the   next   thing   is   the   desire   to   know   his   person. Addison,   in   one   of   the “Spectators,”   tells   us   that   the   reason   why   so   many   books   are   printed   with   the portraits   of   the   authors   is   just   this—that   as   a   man   reads   a   book,   he   feels   a   desire   to know   what   sort   of   appearance   the   author   had.   This,   indeed,   is   very   natural.   If   you have   ever   been   refreshed   under   a   minister’s   printed   sermons;   if   you   have   at   any time   received   any   benefit   from   his   words,   I   know   you   have   said,   “I   would   like   to see   that   man;   I   would   like   to   hear   the   truth   of   God   flow   hot   and   fresh   from   his living   lips;   I   would   like   to   know   just   how   he   said   that   sentence,   and   how   that passage   sounded   as   it   came   from   his   earnest   heart.”   My   beloved,   surely   if   you know   the   doctrine   of   Jesus,   if   you   have   so   been   with   Christ   as   to   sit   at   His   feet,   and hear    what    He    has    to    say,    you    must,    I    hope,    have    had    some    longings    to    know Him—to    know    His    person;    and    if    you    have,    you    will    have    had    to    pass    by multitudes   of   followers   of   Jesus   who   rest   satisfied   with   His   words,   but   forget   that He is, Himself, “THE WORD.” Beloved,   there   are   others—and   against   them   I   bring   no   complaint;   they   go   as   far   as they   can—who   are   delighted   with   Christ’s   example .   Christ’s   character   is   in   their esteem   the   mirror   of   all   perfection.   They   desire   to   walk   in   His   footsteps;   they   listen to   His   sermon   upon   the   mount;   they   are   enchanted   with   it—as   well   they   may   be; they   pray   to   be   obedient   in   all   things   to   Christ,   as   their   Master   and   their   Lord.   They do   well.   Mark,   I   am   finding   no   fault   with   any   of   these   who   prize   the   history,   or   who value   the   doctrine,   or   who   admire   the   precept;   but   I   want   more.   I   do   want,   beloved, that   you   and   I   should   “know   HIM.”   I   love   His   precepts,   but   I   love   HIM   better! Sweet   is   the   water   from   Bethlehem’s   well,   and   well   worth   the   struggle   of   the   armed men   to   win   but   a   bucket   from   it;   but   the   well   itself   is   better,   and   deserves   all   Israel’s valor   to   defend   it.   As   the   source   is   always   more   valuable   than   the   stream,   so   is Christ   always   better   than   the   best   words   of   His   lips,   or   the   best   deeds   of   His   hands. I   want   to   know   Him .   I   do   care   for   His   actions—my   soul   would   sit   down   and   admire those    masterly    works    of    holy    art—His    miracles    of    humiliation,    of    suffering,    of patience,   and   of   holy   charity—but   better   far,   I   love   the   hands   which   worked   these master-works,    the    lips    which    spoke    these    goodly    words,    and    the    heart    which heaved   with   that   matchless   love   which   was   the   cause   of   all!   Yes,   beloved,   we   must get   farther   than   Immanuel’s   achievements,   however   glorious—we   must   come   to “KNOW HIM.” Most   believers   rest   perfectly   at   ease   with   knowing   Christ’s   Sacrifice .   They   see   Jesus as   the   great   High   Priest,   laying   a   great   sacrifice   upon   the   altar   for   their   sins,   and with   their   whole   heart   they   accept   His   atonement.   By   faith   they   know   that   all   their sins    are    taken    away    by    precious    blood.    This    is    a    most    blessed    and    hallowed attainment,   I   will   grant   you,   but   it   is   not   every   Christian   who   perceives   that   Christ was   not   only   the   offerer   of   a   sacrifice,   but   was   Himself   the   sacrifice,   and,   therefore, loves   Him   as   such.   Priest,   altar,   victim—Christ   was   everything!   He   gathers   up   all   in Himself,   and   when   I   see   that   He   loved   me,   and   gave   Himself   for   me,   it   is   not   enough to   know   this   fact—I   want   to   know   Him,   the   glorious   person   who   does   and   is   all   this. I   want   to   know   the   Man   who   thus   gave   Himself   for   me;   I   want   to   behold   the   Lamb once   slain   for   me;   I   want   to   rest   upon   the   bosom   which   covers   the   heart,   which   was pierced   with   the   spear;   I   pray   Him   to   kiss   me   with   the   kisses   of   that   mouth   which cried,   Eloi,   Eloi,   Lama   Sabachthani ?”   I   love   Calvary,   the   scene   of   woe,   but   I   love Christ    better,    the    great    object    of    that    agony;    and    even    His    cross    and    all    His sufferings,   dear   though   these   must   always   be   to   the   Christian   mind,   only   occupy   a second place—the first seat is for Himself—His person, His deity, and humanity! Thus,   you   see,   we   have   to   leave   a   great   many   believers   behind;   nor   have   we enumerated   all,   for   I   believe   that   even   some   of   those   saints   who   have   received   grace to   look   for   the   coming   of   Christ,   yet   in   their   vision   of   His   coming   too   much   forget Him!   Is   it   not   possible,   for   men   to   pant   for   the   second   advent   as   to   lose   sight   of   Him who   is   to   make   that   advent?   So   to   long   for   a   millennium,   that   I   may   forget   Him, who   is   to   reign   King   of   kings?   So   to   pant   after   that   glory   of   Israel,   that   I   may   forget Him   who   is   Israel’s   glory?   Anywhere   short   of   knowing   Him,   I   would   not   have   you stop,   beloved;   and   even   when   you   know   Him,   I   would   urge   you   to   still   be   impelled with   the   same   desire,   and   to   press   forward,   crying   with   the   apostle,   “That   I   may know Him.” Beloved,   how   many   there   are   who   have   heard   of   Christ   and   read   about   Christ,   and that   is   enough   for   them!   But   it   is   not   enough   for   me,   and   it   should   not   be   enough for   you.   The   apostle   Paul   did   not   say,   “I   have   heard   of   Him,   on   whom   I   have believed,”   but,   “I   know   whom   I   have   believed.”   To   hear   about   Christ   may   damn you—it   may   be   a   savor   of   death   unto   death   to   you.   You   have   heard   of   Him   with   the ear—but   it   is   essential   that   you   know   Him   in   order   that   you   may   be   partakers   of eternal   life!   My   dear   hearers,   be   not   content   unless   you   have   this   as   your   soul’s present portion. Others   there   are   who   have   been   persuaded   by   the   judgment   and   encouragement of   others,   that   they   know   something   about   the   Great   Redeemer.   They   do   not   know Him,   but   still   they   are   persuaded   by   others   that   they   have   an   interest   in   Him.   Let me   warn   you   of   second-hand   spirituality!   It   is   a   rotten,   soul-deceiving   deception! Beware   of   all   esteeming   of   yourself   according   to   the   thoughts   of   others,   or   you   will be   ruined.   Another   man’s   opinion   of   me   may   have   great   influence   over   me—I   have heard   of   a   man   in   perfectly   good   health   killed   by   the   opinion   of   others.   Several   of his   friends   had   foolishly   agreed   to   play   a   practical   trick   on   him,   whereupon   one   of them   met   him   and   said,   “How   ill   you   look   this   morning.”   He   did   not   feel   so;   he   was very   much   surprised   at   the   remark.   When   he   met   the   next,   who   said   to   him,   “Oh, dear,   how   bad   you   look,”   he   began   to   think   there   might   be   something   in   it.   And   as he   turned   round   the   corner,   a   third   person   said   to   him,   “What   a   sight   you   are!   How altered   from   what   you   used   to   be!”   He   went   home   ill;   he   took   to   his   bed   and   died. So   goes   the   story   and   I   should   not   marvel   if   it   really   did   occur.   Now,   if   such   might be   the   effect   of   persuasion   and   supposed   belief   in   the   sickness   of   a   man,   how   much more   readily   may   men   be   persuaded   into   the   idea   of   spiritual   health!   A   believer meets    you,    and    by    his    treatment    seems    to    say,    “I    welcome    you    as    a    dear brother”—and    he    means    it,    too.    You    are    baptized,    and    received    into    church fellowship,   and   so   everybody   thinks   that   you   must   be   a   follower   of   Christ;   and   yet you   may   not   know   Him .   Oh,   I   pray   you   do   not   be   satisfied   with   being   persuaded into   something   like   an   assurance   that   you   are   in   Him,   but   do   not   know   Him know Him for yourself. There   are   many   who   I   hope   will   be   saved   before   long;   but   I   am   in   great   doubt   of them,   because   they   can   only   say   they   half   think   they   know   Christ;   they   do   not   quite believe   in   Him,   but   they   do   not   disbelieve   in   Him;   they   halt   between   two   opinions. Ah,   dear   hearer,   that   is   a   very   dangerous   place   to   stand!   The   borderland   is   the devil’s   hunting   ground.   Undecided   souls   are   fair   game   for   the   great   fowler.   God give   you,   once   and   for   all,   the   true   decision   by   which,   through   grace,   you   shall know   Him!   Do   not   be   satisfied   with   thinking   you   know   Him;   hoping   you   know   Him, but   know   Him!   Oh,   it   is   nothing   to   have   heard   about   Him,   to   have   talked   about   Him, to   have   eaten,   and   to   have   drank   with   Him,   to   have   preached   Him,   or   even   to   have worked   miracles   in   His   name,   to   have   been   charmed   by   His   eloquence,   to   have   been stirred   with   the   story   of   His   love,   to   have   been   moved   to   imitate   Him—this   shall gain   you   nothing   unless   you   win   Him,   and   are   found   in   Him!   Seek   with   the   apostle, to   give   up   everything   of   your   own   righteousness,   and   all   other   objectives   and   aims in   life   and   say,   “This   I   seek   after,   that   I   may   know   Him.”   Thus   much,   then,   on   the first point. Leaving those behind who do not know Him, let us make an advance. II.   Secondly,   let   us   draw   curtain   after   curtain   which   shall   admit   us   to   know   more of Christ . Did   you   ever   visit   the   manufactory   of   splendid   porcelain   at   Sevres?   I   have   done so.   If   anybody   should   say   to   me,   “Do   you   know   the   manufactory   at   Sevres?”   I would   say,   “Yes,   I   do   and   no,   I   do   not.   I   know   it,   for   I   have   seen   the   building;   I   have seen   the   rooms   in   which   the   articles   are   exhibited   for   sale,   and   I   have   seen   the museum,   and   model   room;   but   I   do   not   know   the   factory   as   I   would   like   to   know   it, for   I   have   not   seen   the   process   of   manufacture,   and   have   not   been   admitted   into   the workshops,   as   some   are.”   Suppose   I   had   seen,   however,   the   process   of   the   molding of   the   clay,   and   the   laying   on   of   the   rich   designs?   If   anybody   should   still   say   to   me, “Do   you   know   how   they   manufacture   those   wonderful   articles?”   I   would   very likely   still   be   compelled   to   say,   “No,   I   do   not,   because   there   are   certain   secrets, certain   private   rooms   into   which   neither   friend   nor   foe   can   be   admitted,   lest   the process   should   be   open   to   the   world.”   So,   you   see,   I   might   say   I   knew,   and   yet might   not   half   know! And   when   I   half   knew,   still   there   would   be   so   much   left,   that   I might   be   compelled   to   say,   “I   do   not   know.”   How   many   different   ways   there   are   of knowing   a   person—and   even   so   there   are   all   these   different   ways   of   knowing Christ,   so   that   you   may   keep   on   all   your   lifetime,   still   wishing   to   get   into   another room,   and   another   room,   nearer   and   nearer   to   the   great   secret,   still   panting   to “know   Him.”   Good   Rutherford   says,   “I   urge   upon   you   a   nearer   communion   with Christ,   and   a   growing   communion.   There   are   curtains   to   be   drawn   by,   in   Christ, that   we   never   shut,   and   new   foldings   in   love   with   Him.   I   despair   that   I   shall   ever win   to   the   far   end   of   that   love;   there   are   so   many   plies   in   it.   Therefore,   dig   deep, and set by as much time in the day for Him as you can—He will be won by labor.” To   begin   with,   we   know   a   person   when   we   recognize   him .   You   know   the   Queen. Well,   I   do.   I   recollect   seeing   her,   and   if   I   were   to   see   any   quantity   of   ladies,   I   think   I would   know   which   was   the   Queen,   and   which   was   not.   You   may   say   honestly   that you   know   her   to   that   extent.   Beloved,   every   Christian   must   in   this   sense   know Christ!   You   must   know   Him   by   a   divine   illumination   so   as   to   know   who   He   is,   and what   He   is.   When   Jesus   said   to   Simon   Peter,   “Whom   do   you   say   that   I   am,”   he   said, “You   are   the   Christ,   the   Son   of   the   living   God.”   And   the   Lord   replied,   “Blessed   are you,   Simon   Barjona,   for   flesh   and   blood   has   not   revealed   this   unto   you.”   It   is   an early   step   in   this   knowledge   of   Christ,   to   know   and   to   believe   that   Jesus   Christ   is Lord;   to   know   that   Christ   is   God,   divine   to   me;   that   Christ   is   Man,   brother   to me—bone   of   my   bone,   and   flesh   of   my   flesh—and   that   as   such   He   is   a   sin-subduing Savior;   that   He   is   for   me   an   intercessor,   pleading   before   the   throne;   that   He   is   my prophet,   priest   and   King—in   this   sense   I   trust   that   most   of   you   know   Him.   If   you do   not,   breathe   the   silent   prayer   now,   “Lord,   help   me   that   I   may   know   Him.”   But this   knowledge   of   recognition   is   comparatively   a   low   attainment,   one   of   the   lowest rungs on the ladder of light. In   the   second   place,   a   believer   knows   Christ   to   a   higher   degree,   when   he   knows Him   by   practical   experiential   acquaintance   with   what   He   does .   For   instance,   I   know Christ   as   a   cleanser.   They   tell   me   He   is   a   refiner,   that   He   cleanses   from   spots;   He   has washed   me   in   His   precious   blood,   and   to   that   extent   I   know   Him.   They   tell   me   that He   clothes   the   naked—He   has   covered   me   with   a   garment   of   righteousness,   and   to that   extent   I   know   Him.   They   tell   me   that   He   is   a   breaker,   and   that   He   breaks chains—He   has   set   my   soul   at   liberty,   and,   therefore,   I   know   Him.   They   tell   me   that He   is   a   King,   and   that   He   reigns   over   sin—He   has   subdued   my   enemies   beneath His   feet,   and   I   know   Him   in   that   character.   They   tell   me   He   is   a   shepherd—I   know Him,   for   I   am   His   sheep.   They   say   He   is   a   door—I   have   entered   in   through   Him, and   I   know   Him   as   a   door.   They   say   He   is   food—my   spirit   feeds   on   Him   as   on   the bread   of   heaven   and,   therefore,   I   know   Him   as   such.   You   know   if   anyone   says,   “Do you   know   Doctor   So-and-So?”   it   is   a   very   satisfactory   answer   if   you   can   reply,   “Oh, yes,   I   know   him,   for   he   attended   me   the   last   time   that   I   was   ill.”   There   is   more knowledge   in   that,   than   if   one   could   only   say,   “Oh,   yes,   I   know   him—he   wears such-and-such    a    hat,”    or    “He    is    a    man    of    such-and-such    an    appearance.”    So, Christian,    there    is    a    second    and    higher    step    to    know    Christ—when    you    have experienced in your own soul that He is just what God has revealed Him to be! But,   we   know   a   man   in   a   better   sense   than   this,   when   we   are   on   speaking   terms   with him.   “Do   you   know   So-and-So?”   “Yes,”   you   say,   “I   not   only   know   him   by   name,   so as   to   recognize   him;   I   not   only   know   him   as   a   tradesman   having   dealt   with   him,   but I   know   him   because   when   we   pass   each   other   in   the   morning,   we   exchange   a   word or   two;   and   if   I   had   anything   to   say   upon   matters—any   request   to   make—   I   would feel   no   difficulty   about   asking   him.”   Well   now,   the   Christian   knows   his   Lord   in   this sense,   too.   He   has,   every   day,   official   communication   with   Christ;   he   is   on   speaking terms   with   Him.   There   may   be   persons   here,   perhaps,   who   know   the   Queen   in   a sense   in   which   I   do   not   know   her—perhaps   they   speak   to   her.   They   have   so   done;   I have   never   done   that;   they   go   beyond   me   there.   But   you   see,   dear   friends,   this   is   not a   very   great   thing   because   you   may   be   on   speaking   terms   with   a   man—you   may not   know   much   of   him   for   all   that!   So   you   may   be   in   the   habit   of   daily   prayer,   and you   may   talk   with   Christ   every   morning   and   every   evening—but   you   may   know exceedingly    little    of    Him.    You    are    on    speaking    terms    with    Him;    but    there    is something   beyond   this,   very   far   beyond   this!   I   might   say   that   I   know   a   man   merely because   I   meet   him   every   day,   and   ask   him   for   what   I   need,   and   understand   that   he is   kind   and   generous.   But   how   shallow   is   such   an   acquaintance,   for   I   do   not   know his   private   character,   nor   his   inward   heart.   Even   so   a   believer   may   have   constant dealings   with   Christ   in   his   prayers   and   in   his   praises   and   yet,   for   all   that,   he   may have   only   gone   a   certain   distance,   and   may   still   have   need   to   pray,   “That   I   may know Him.” But,   you   are   said   to   know   a   person   better   still,   when   he   invites   you   to   his   house .   At Christmas   time   there   is   a   family   party   and   a   romp—and   he   asks   you   there,   and   you are   like   one   of   his   children,   and   enter   into   all   their   sports   around   the   fireside.   And you   indulge,   as   they   do,   in   the   genialities   of   social   life.   You   are   asked   again;   you   go there   pretty   often.   In   fact,   if   there   is   a   happy   evening   in   that   house,   they   generally expect   to   see   friend   So-and-So   there.   Well,   now,   that   is   better.   We   are   getting   now into   something   like   knowing   a   man,   and   I   trust   there   are   many   of   you,   beloved, who   have   got   as   far   as   this   with   regard   to   your   divine   Lord!   Christ   has   entertained you   with   some   rare   visits   from   His   gracious   presence.   He   brought   you   into   His banqueting    house,    and    His    banner    over    you    was    love.    When    He    manifested Himself,   He   did   it   unto   you   as   He   did   not   unto   the   world;   He   was   pleased   in   the majesty   of   His   condescension,   to   take   you   aside   and   show   you   His   hands,   and   His side.   He   called   you,   “Friend.”   He   treated   you   as   such,   and   permitted   you   to   enjoy your sweets of being one of the family. Ah,   but   you   may   go   into   a   man’s   house   as   a   constant   visitor   and   yet   you   may   not know   him—that   is   to   say,   not   in   the   highest   sense.   You   speak   to   the   man’s   wife   and say,   “Your   husband   is   a   marvelously   charming   man;   what   a   cheerful,   joyful,   spirited man   he   is!   He   never   seems   to   have   any   depressions   of   spirit,   and   experiences   no changes   whatever.”   She   shakes   her   head,   and   she   says,   “Ah,   you   do   not   know   him, you   do   not   know   him   as   I   do.”   Because   she   sees   him   at   all   times,   and   at   all   hours, she   can   read   the   very   heart   of   the   man.   That   Christian   has   grown   much   in   grace, who   has   advanced   not   only   to   be   the   friend   of   Christ,   having   occasional   fellowship with   Him,   but   who   comes   to   recognize   his   marriage   union   with   the   person   of   his Lord,   and   of   whom   it   can   be   said,   “The   secret   of   the   Lord   is   with   them   who   fear Him;   and   He   will   show   them   His   covenant.”   Now   we   have   the   intimacy   of   love with   its   perfect   frankness,   nearness,   sweetness,   joyousness,   delight!   The   rending away   of   every   separating   veil   makes   the   communion   to   be   as   near   as   it   well   can   be this side of the black river; but a Christian may get farther than this! Even   the   spouse   may   not   know   her   husband.   The   most   loving   wife,   who   ever entered    into    the    cares    of    her    husband,    must    have    discovered    that    there    is    a something    which    separates    his    experience    from    her    powers    of    comprehension. Luther’s   wife,   Katharina,   was,   of   all   women,   the   wife   for   Luther.   But,   there   were times   in   Luther’s   gigantic   tribulations,   when   he   must   leave   Kate   behind;   there   were extraordinary    times    within    him—times    both    of    ecstatic    joy—when,    like    a    great angel,   he   stretched   his   mighty   wings   and   flew   right   up   to   heaven!   And,   there   were times   of   awful   misery,   when   he   seemed   to   sink   down   to   the   very   depths   of   hell;   and in   either   case,   no   other   heart   could   keep   pace   with   him.   Then   it   was   himself   alone who   had   communion   with   himself.   And   a   Christian   may   so   grow   in   grace,   as   to become   identified   with   Christ,   a   member   of   His   body—not   so   much   married   to   Him as   a   part   of   Him,   a   member   of   the   great   body   of   Christ,   so   that   he   suffers   with Christ,   sympathizes   with   Jesus,   his   heart   beating   to   the   same   sorrowful   tune,   his veins   swollen   with   the   same   floods   of   grief—or   else   his   eyes   sparkle   with   that   same gleam   of   joy,   according   to   the   Master’s   Word—“That   My   joy   might   remain   in   you, and that your joy might be full.” Well,   have   you   not   waded   out   of   your   depth,   some   of   you?   I   have   certainly   got   out of   my   own!   I   feel   as   if   the   Master   might   come   on   this   platform,   look   round   on   many of   us,   and   say,   “Have   I   been   so   long   a   time   with   you,   and   yet   have   you   not   known Me,   Philip?”   For   truly,   even   in   the   minor   sense,   though   I   trust   we   are   saved;   though we    have    believed    in    Jesus,    yet    we    have    not    reached    the    height    of    this    great text—“That I may know Him.” III.   Having   taken   you   so   far,   let   us   sit   down   a   few   minutes   and   consider   what sort of knowledge this knowledge of Christ is —“That I may know Him.” Then   it   is   clear,   if   I   know   Him   I   shall   have   a   very   vivid   sense   of   His   personality . “That   I   may   know   Him.”   He   will   not   be   to   me   a   myth,   a   vision,   a   spirit,   but   a person,   a   real,   solid   person,   as   much   real   as   I   am   myself,   or   as   my   dearest   friend   can be   to   me.   My   soul,   never   be   satisfied   with   a   shadowy   Christ!   My   heart,   never   be content   until   He   has   embraced   your   soul,   and   proved   to   you   that   He   is   the   Lover   of His   people.   This   knowledge,   then,   must   be   a   knowledge   of   Him   in   His   personality. Then,   beloved,   it   must   be   a   personal   knowledge   on   our   part.   I   cannot   know   Christ through   another   person’s   brains.   I   cannot   love   Him   with   another   man’s   heart,   and   I cannot   see   Him   with   another   man’s   eyes.   Heaven’s   delight   is,   “My   eyes   shall   see Him    and    not    another.”    These    eyes    shall    behold    the    King    in    His    beauty.    Well, beloved,   if   this   is   heaven,   we   certainly   cannot   do   without   a   personal   sight   of   Christ here.   I   am   so   afraid   of   living   in   a   second-hand   religion.   God   forbid   that   I   should   get a   biographical   experience.   Lord,   save   us   from   having   borrowed   communion.   No,   I must   know   Him   myself!   O   God,   let   me   not   be   deceived   in   this!   I   must   know   Him without fancy or proxy; I must know Him on my own account. Then   these   few   thoughts   upon   what   sort   of   knowledge   we   must   have.   It   must   be an   intelligent   knowledge—I   must   know   Him .   I   must   know   His   natures,   divine   and human.   I   must   know   His   offices—I   must   know   His   attributes—I   must   know   His works—I   must   know   His   shame—I   must   know   His   glory;   for   I   do   not   know   Him   if He    is    merely    a    subject    of    passion    and    not    of    intellect.    I    must    let    my    head consciously   meditate   upon   Him   until   I   have   something   like   an   idea   of   Him,   that   I may,   “Comprehend   with   all   saints   what   is   the   breadth,   and   length,   and   depth,   and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge.” Then   I   must   have   an   affectionate   knowledge   of   Him;   and,   indeed,   if   I   know   Him   at all,   I   must   love   Him.   As   it   is   said   of   some   men,   that   there   is   such   a   charm   about them,   that   if   you   once   get   into   their   company   you   cannot   criticize   any   longer,   but must   admire—so   you   feel   with   Christ.   It   is   said   of   Garibaldi,   that   if   you   are   in   his society   he   charms   all,   so   that   even   malice   and   slander   must   be   silent   in   his   presence. Infinitely,   supremely,   so   is   it   with   Christ!   Being   near   Him,   His   love   warms   our hearts till we glow with intense love to Him! Then   I   shall   find,   if   I   know   Christ,   that   this   is   a   satisfying   knowledge.   When   I   know Christ,   my   mind   will   be   full   to   the   brim—I   shall   feel   that   I   have   found   that   which my   spirit   panted   after.   “This   is   that   bread   whereof   if   a   man   eats   he   shall   never hunger.” At   the   same   time   it   is   an   exciting   knowledge.   The   more   I   know   of   Christ,   the   more   I shall   want   to   know.   The   deeper   I   plunge,   the   greater   the   deeps   which   will   be revealed.   The   higher   I   climb,   the   loftier   will   be   the   summits   which   invite   my   eager footsteps.   I   shall   want   more   as   I   get   more.   My   spiritual   thirst   will   increase,   though in another sense it will be entirely quenched. And   this   knowledge   of   Christ   will   be   a   most   happy   one!   In   fact,   so   happy   that sometimes   it   will   completely   bear   me   up   above   all   trials,   doubts,   and   sorrows;   And it   will,   while   I   enjoy   it,   make   me   something   more   than,   “Man   who   is   born   of   a woman   who   is   of   few   days,   and   full   of   trouble,”   for   it   will   fling   about   me   the immortality   of   the   ever-living   Savior,   and   gird   me   with   the   golden   belt   of   His eternal   happiness.   To   be   near   to   Christ   is   to   be   near   to   the   pearly   gates   of   the golden-streeted   city.   Say   not,   “Jerusalem,   my   happy   home,   my   labors   have   an   end in   you,”   but   say,   “Jesus,   You   are   my   rest,   and   when   I   have   You,   my   spirit   is   at peace.” I might thus keep on speaking in praise of this knowledge, but I will not. Only   permit   me   to   say   what   a   refreshing,   what   a   sanctifying   knowledge   is   this,   to know   Him!   When   the   Laodicean   Church   was   neither   hot   nor   cold,   but   lukewarm, how   did   Christ   seek   her   revival?   Did   He   send   her   precious   doctrines?   Did   He   send her   excellent   precepts?   Mark   you,   He   came   Himself,   for   thus   it   is   said,   “Behold,   I stand   at   the   door   and   knock:   if   any   man   hears   My   voice,   and   opens   the   door,   I   will come   into   him,   and   will   sup   with   him,   and   he   with   Me.”   That   is   a   cure   for   it   all,   you see.   No   matter   how   lukewarm,   though   God   may   say,   “I   will   spew   you   out   of   My mouth,”   yet,   if   Christ   comes,   that   is   the   cure!   The   presence   of   Christ   with   His Church   puts   away   all   her   sicknesses.   When   the   disciples   of   Christ   were   at   sea   in   a storm,   do   you   remember   how   He   comforted   them?   Did   He   send   them   an   angel? No.   “It   is   I,   do   not   be   afraid.”   And   when   they   knew   Him,   they   had   no   more   fears. They   were   assembled   one   night,   “the   doors   being   shut   for   fear   of   the   Jews.”   How did   He   comfort   them?   Jesus   Himself   stood   in   the   midst   of   them   and   said,   “Peace   be unto   you.”   There   was   Thomas,   full   of   doubts   and   fears.   How   did   Jesus   Christ   take away   his   doubts?   “Reach   here   your   finger,   and   behold   My   hands;   and   reach   here your   hand   and   thrust   it   into   My   side.”   Oh,   it   is   Christ,   it   is   Christ   who   cures   all!   The company   of   Christ   is   the   only   thing   which   a   Christian   needs.   I   will   undertake   that   if his   heart   is   like   an   iceberg,   as   soon   as   Jesus   comes,   it   shall   flame   like   Vesuvius.   His spirit   shall   be   dead   and   like   a   rotten   corpse;   but   if   Jesus   comes,   he   shall   leap   like   a hart,   and   become   strong   as   a   young   unicorn!   Your   presence   makes   me   like   the chariots of Amminadib! Now,   do   not   think   I   am   talking   what   I   do   not   know.   Do   not   imagine   that   I   am talking   mere   fanatical   slip-slop   which   I   cannot   prove.   I   do   assert   (and   God   who searches   all   hearts   knows   how   true   this   is)—I   do   assert   that   from   the   depths   of doubt,   of   dullness,   of   worldliness,   I   have   leaped   in   one   moment   into   love,   and   life, and   holy   enthusiasm   when   Jesus   Christ   has   manifested   Himself   to   me.   I   cannot describe   the   difference   between   my   spirit,   water-logged,   worm-eaten,   ready   to   sink to   the   bottom   without   Christ—and   that   same   spirit   like   a   strong   staunch   ship,   with sails   full,   with   favorable   wind,   speeding   into   harbor   with   a   golden   freight.   Like   yon poor   little   bird   which   some   cruel   boy   has   torn   from   the   nest   and   almost   killed—it   is not   fledged   yet,   and   cannot   fly,   and   it   lies   down   to   die,   trampled   in   the   mire   in   the streets—that   is   my   heart   without   Christ.   But   see   that   other   bird!   The   cage   door   is opened,   its   wings   vibrate,   it   sings   with   all   its   might,   and   flies   up   to   talk   with   the sun—that   is   my   heart   when   I   have   the   conscious   presence   of   my   Lord   Jesus   Christ!   I only   bring   in   my   own   consciousness   because   I   do   not   know   yours;   but   I   think   I   will now venture to say that every believer here will admit it is the same with him— “Midst darkest shades, if He appears My dawning is begun! He is my soul’s bright morning star, And He my rising sun!” IV.   I   shall   close   by   urging   you,   dearly   beloved,   who   know   the   Lord,   to   take   this desire   of   the   apostle,   and   by   exhorting   you,   make   it   your   own,   “That   I   may   know Him.”   I   wish   I   had   time   this   morning—time   will   fly—I   wish   I   had   time   to   urge   and press   you   believers   onward   to   seek   to   know   Him.   Paul,   you   see,   gave   up   everything for   this—you   will   be   seeking   what   is   worth   having.   There   can   be   no   mistake   about this.   If   Paul   will   renounce   all,   there   must   be   a   reward   which   is   worthy   of   the sacrifice.   If   you   have   any   fears—if   you   seek   Christ   and   find   Him—they   will   be removed.   You   complain   that   you   do   not   feel   the   guilt   of   sin,   that   you   cannot   humble yourself   enough.   The   sight   of   Christ   is   the   very   best   means   of   setting   sin   in   its   true colors.   There   is   no   repenting   like   that   which   comes   from   a   look   from   Christ’s   eyes— the   Lord   turned   and   looked   upon   Peter,   and   he   went   out   and   wept   bitterly.   So   it   is not   a   sight   of   the   law—it   is   the   sight   of   Christ   looking   upon   us   which   will   break   our hearts! There   is   nothing   like   this   to   fill   you   with   courage.   When   Dr.   Andrew   Reed   found some   difficulties   in   the   founding   of   one   of   his   orphan   asylums,   he   sat   down   and drew   upon   a   little   piece   of   paper   the   cross,   and   then   he   said   to   himself,   “What? Despair   in   the   face   of   the   cross?”   And   then,   he   drew   a   ring   round   the   cross,   and wrote   in   it,   Nil   desperandum!”   and   took   it   for   his   coat   of   arms.   Oh,   there   cannot   be any   despair   in   the   presence   of   the   cross!   Dying   Lamb,   did   You   endure   the   cross, despising   the   shame—and   shall   I   talk   of   difficulties   when   Your   glory   is   in   the   way? God   forbid!   O   holy   face   bedewed   with   bloody   sweat,   I   pledge   myself   in   Your solemn   and   awful   presence,   that   though   this   face   of   mine   should   be   bedewed   with sweat   of   the   like   sort   to   accomplish   any   labor   upon   which   You   shall   put   me;   by Your   will   and   in   Your   strength,   I   will   not   shrink   from   the   task!   A   sight   of   Christ, brethren,   will   keep   you   from   despondency,   and   doubts,   and   despair.   A   sight   of Christ!   How   shall   I   stir   you   to   it?   It   will   fire   you   to   duty;   it   will   deliver   you   from temptation;   it   will,   in   fact,   make   you   like   He. A   man   is   known   by   his   company;   and if   you   have   become   acquainted   with   Christ,   and   know   Him,   you   will   be   sure   to reflect   His   light!   It   is   because   the   moon   has   converse   with   the   sun,   that   she   has   any light   for   this   dark   world’s   night;   and   if   you   talk   with   Christ,   the   Sun,   He   will   shine on   you   so   gloriously,   that   you,   like   the   moon,   shall   reflect   His   light,   and   the   dark night   of   this   world   shall   be   enlightened   by   your   radiance.   The   Lord   help   us   to   know Him! But   I   do   seem,   this   morning,   to   have   been   talking   to   you   about   Him,   and   not   to have   brought   Him   forward.   O   that   I   knew   how   to   introduce   you   to   Him!   You   who do   not   love   Him—O,   that   I   could   make   you   seek   after   Him!   But   you   who   do   love Him,   and   have   trusted   in   Him—O   that   I   could   make   you   hunger   and   thirst   until you   were   filled   with   Him!   There   He   is,   nailed   to   His   cross—suffering—oh   how much   He   suffers   for   you!   There   He   is,   risen,   ascended,   pleading   before   the   throne   of God   for   you.   Here   He   is—“Lo,   I   am   with   you   always,   even   unto   the