What is Epignosis?

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him (Colossians 3:10 KJV) 


Epignosis is one of the Greek words for knowledge used in the New Testament; it occurs 20 times. But why should you bother about epignosis? Because it is the critical link between intellectual(“head”) knowledge and personal transformation and the experience of  God through the Word (supernatural results).

The New Testament uses epignosis to mean personal knowledge of something or someone that is clearly understood, accepted as true with a personal acquaintance that influences or changes the person. It will be impossible to explain this definition in this brief devotional fully; please watch the Deshen live Bible study on this subject to solidify your understanding of this subject. An everyday example will help clarify this term. 

Consider a college student studying computer science. Imagine the hypothetical scenario where this student has completed three years of computer lectures without ever seeing or handling a physical computer. While our computer science student might have some knowledge of computers, you will agree that knowledge will be incomplete. When students finally have a computer in their hands and interact with it, they will know computers personally and differently. We can say the student has now had epignosis of computers—this intimate full knowledge with a personal acquaintance.

Epignosis produces practical results in our knowledge of God. For example, we may understand healing but still be sick in our body. When you have epignosis of healing, you get healed! Or someone can know that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah yet continue in sin and is not saved. But when they come to epignosis of Jesus or the knowledge of the truth(2 Timothy 2:25), they become saved—epignosis links head knowledge and practice transformation and experience of what is known.

Watch the Recording from Deshen Live Bible Study: What is Epignosis?

What is epignosis in your own words from the brief discussion above?

Scripture repeatedly urges us to grow in our epignosis of God( Colossians 1:9-10).

Ask the Father for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to grow in your epignosis of Him.

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you. (Leviticus 20:7–8, KJV)

Jehovah Mekaddishkem showing washing gloves, cleaning fluid and sponge

As the Great I AM that I AM, God revealed Himself as the Lord who sanctifies His people in the Old Covenant—Jehovah Mekaddishkem. But this was only a shadow of something greater that was coming in the New Testament.

Jehovah Mekaddishkem is the English transliteration of the Hebrew words for “I am the Lord which sanctify you” ( “mekaddish” = sanctify, “kem” = you). Divine names and titles in the Old Testament often reveal an aspect of God in relation to His people.

There are three keywords that underlie the meaning of sanctification: “wash,” “consecrate,” and “separate.” Sanctification essentially means to make something holy. Sinlessness is a core aspect of holiness, but there is more to holiness than sinlessness. It is the very nature of God. However, when used in reference to us humans, it means to be cleaned from sin, set apart for God, and consecrated to Him.

In the passage above, God tells the people first to sanctify themselves and then reveals He is the One who sanctifies them. Thus, He gives us the two sides of sanctification—the God side and the human side. There’s something God does and something His people do for their sanctification.

This truth was only a shadow in the Old Testament. It is in Christ that we see God fully revealed as Jehovah Mekaddishkem to His people through the sanctifying work on the cross. In speaking to the Corinthians, Paul revealed,

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, KJV)

This is Jehovah Mekaddishkem fulfilled in Christ: We were washed and sanctified. Note that these are in past tense, describing something God has already done. The day you received Christ, you received the bath of your life, a heavenly bath by the Spirit of God that removed every stain of sin through the precious blood of Christ. And as you continue to live on earth, the Spirit continues to sanctify you daily.

Following the sanctifying work He has already done in us, He commands us,

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, KJV)

Now that you are clean, washed, and sanctified, He tells us to put that sanctification to work outwardly. Paul explicit states it is what God wants—His will. He gives us a very specific example of sanctification here: abstain from sexual immorality. Few things defile us, like sexual impurity. But sanctification certainly includes more than abstaining from fornication or adultery. As above, it includes living a consecrated and separated life to God daily in the way we talk, act, think, feel, and handle our bodies.

He is Jehovah Mekaddishkem, the God who has Sanctified you in Christ and continues to sanctify you every day.


Is our sanctification completed, ongoing, or both?

Apply the Word

This is the crucial part of this devotional. Until you receive the truth that God has already sanctified you by His Spirit, you will not be empowered to be sanctified practically. Put God’s sanctification power to work in your life daily by faith in the finished work of Christ.


Ask the Lord to help you in your daily walk of sanctification.

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  1. I am very Blessed by this devotional to know that having the spirit of wisdom and revelation is in the knowledge of God and knowing our rights, privileges and Blessings in Christ. Truely all knowledge comes from God and we have to get all the full package as children, daughters and sons of God.

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