Personal effectiveness in our walk of faith is God’s desire for us. This is captured in the Apostle Paul’s prayer for Philemon
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon. 1:6 King James Version)
Knowledge to Acknowledgment
The verse above makes it obvious that acknowledgment of what is in us is a divine means for our personal effectiveness as believers. As we acknowledge the good things within us which we have as believers in Christ-who we are, we will become more productive and effective in our walk of faith, from christian living to our service. This increased effectiveness will certainly spill over to our careers, relationships, finances etc.
There are benefits looking at the greek word translated acknowledging in the Philemon 1:6 above. It is the word epignosis. This word goes beyond just knowing every good thing within us. Acknowledgement is a step forward in knowledge. You can know something but not acknowledge it. The jews knew what was spoken about the Messiah, but did not acknowledge Him when they saw Him. They did not recognize what they knew. The difference between knowledge and acknowledgement is subtle but important for us to grasp as believers.
God wants us to move from knowledge to acknowledgement
Epignosis for Effectiveness
Epignosis connects the dots between knowledge and experience. It is the fullest dimension of knowledge that brings you into the experience of what you know. One of the dilemmas of the church today is that believers know many things which they never experience. It might be easy for us to recline and think it is normal. To God, you do not know it until you have experienced what that knowledge was intended to do in your life.
Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” ( John 8:32). To God, we do not yet know the truth until you have been set free by it. The freedom is the expected experience of the knowledge. Epignosis makes to connect the knowledge we have with its experience. It brings us to the place where we are able to transform knowledge to experience. Where we can use what we know, and be transformed by it.
Epignosis of the Holy Spirit
Most believers have the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is in us. However, the Holy Spirit in you is not the end. It goes further. If the Holy Spirit is in you, it means there is power in you, and you can have the experience of the manifestation of power like the Apostles had. It is the same Spirit that casted out demons that is in you. When you know that you have the Holy Spirit and you connect the dots to the expected experience of the indwelling of the Spirit, you have moved from partial knowledge to further knowledge, you have moved to epignosis.
This is acknowledgement, that this Spirit that is in me is the power of God to heal any disease.It is epignosis. It is further knowledge, beyond simply knowing. You know and you are acquainted with its functioning. Epignosis is recognizing, saying like Paul that “this Jesus that I speak to you is Christ” and being transformed by that knowledge. It is full knowledge, not just an awareness but also the experience of what you know. Partial knowledge is knowing that the Holy Spirit is in you but never coming to know the experience of the revelation of the scriptures to you as a believer. That means you still do not know all about the Holy Spirit living in you. Full knowledge requires awareness and its experience. See this in Heb 10:26
The epignosis of every good thing within us as believers is the way to christian effectiveness, which in itself is an attainable goal. We can become effective. And this by epignosis.
Getting Epignosis of who we are in Christ
In yet another prayer in Ephesians 1, the epignosis is again the subject of the Apostle Paul’s prayer,
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (Eph. 1:17 KJV)
The Spirit prays the will of the Father through the Apostle for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation needed to grow in epignosis. First, epignosis requires prayer. Because it takes the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to acquire it. Epignosis is not a one-way outcome of extensive, diligent and in-depth study of the scriptures. It comes when the Spirit intercepts us in our diligent search of the scriptures. We should therefore pray for one another, including ourselves. It is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that brings epignosis. The very nature of epignosis necessitates this. However, epignosis comes as we diligently study and meditate on the Word of God, for in it we are met with the inspiration of His Spirit,
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs. 2:3-6 KJV)
We are wired for success
The epignosis of every good thing within us will result in effectiveness as believers in our faith walk. The greek word translated “good thing” in Philemon 1:6 ( agathos) means something with a quality leading “to achieving a high standard of excellence in meeting a need or interest’, beneficial, useful, helpful, good “( Danker’s Greek Lexicon).
The good things therefore refer to whatever was in him that was beneficial, useful, helpful and good. And obviously, his faith and love as described in the context of the chapter perfectly fit this category.
Loaded with good things
The believer is loaded with the graces of heaven.
Some of the spiritual blessings in us are:
- Christian virtues, such as his love and faith.Not all men have faith. The same can be said of love. What of kindness, faithfulness, truthfulness etc. These virtues are not only beneficial to the church but to the world around us.
- The Holy Spirit
- The life of God
- The new man
- Christ living within us!
There are good things within us. Being a christian is not a disadvantage to success, rather it is a plus to our lives and our society.It will be worth the time to really ponder about who we are as believers and acknowledge, and realize, and recognize, that the traits of a christian are actually a plus to success in life in general. We should believe that we are indeed profitable. We are a salt, not a pain.
Embarking on self-discovery
We should each embark on a self discovery to know every good thing within us. There are obviously many, but we should strive to get to know every single one of them and profit withal. Every virtue brings its measure of profitability and usefulness to the world around us. The apostle Peter vividly describes this to us
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter. 1:5-8 KJV)
If these things be in you. Fruitfulness again related to the things that be in you.We have treasures within us. We are earthen vessels containing divine treasures.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians. 4:7 KJV)
Don’t believe what the world says about you
We should recognize the value of the christian graces within us, and be thankful. No human is better prepared for life than a believer. We might not feel so, until we begin to acknowledge every good thing within us. Live with the perspective that you are starting life with an advantage. Don’t you know it is great wisdom that you can sense the leading of the Spirit in critical business decisions? That holiness keeps you from adultery and the deep wound that could result in your family? Your truthfulness and faithfulness in service will be a plus for your promotion? The world has made us feel as though we are outcast, unfit and irrelevant to the earth. On the contrary, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Failure of acknowledging of the good things within us obviously a bedrock for most of our frustration , failures and barrenness as christians.
As a believer, I have been divinely packaged and wired for success in every domain of life.
For more insight into Philemon 1:6 regarding christian effectiveness, please see these two related posts