But ye have not so learned Christ (Ephesians 4:20, KJV)
I began a mini-series on “learned Christ” yesterday started with the Word “Christ”. As promised, we will now look at the word “learn” today. What does it mean to learn Christ as Paul says above?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “learn”? The most obvious is the setting of a teacher and student, possibly a class or lecture. This is learning by the acquisition of information. If you attend a class or a service that teaches about Christ, you may learn a few things about Christ. You will have new information acquired from the sermon. Yes, you have learned Christ but this is only the tip of the iceberg. It is the reason why I said some modern translations that attempt to simplify this verse to us by adding the word “about” making it read “ you have not so learn about Christ” fail to capture the fullness of the revelation in this verse. Learning Christ is not simply acquiring more information or knowledge about Him.
Let me get practical… Learning is not always informational, correct? You can learn a skill by getting trained. Let me illustrate this using a biblical example. David said :“Blessed be the LORD my strength, Which teacheth my hands to war, And my fingers to fight” (Psalm 144:1, KJV). We know David was a mighty warrior. God taught him how to fight military battles. How many times did you read in the Bible where David had a lecture from God or had a dream or some prophetic vision with some instructions from God or lectures on how to fight? Not once, at least not recorded! God did not teach David to fight the way we will imagine today. God taught him not be an impartation of information on war but the impartation of ability. I pray you get a hold of this revelation! When the scripture talks of the Holy Spirit being your Teacher, He is not just there to give you lectures. He impart, invigorates or strengthens you with power and skill, making you able to do things. This is a higher level of teaching and learning.
Learning Christ is similar to the impartation noted above, but even more fascinating. If you read the context from verse 19 to 32, you will quickly understand what the Lord calls “Christ” here. He was addressing the manner of living of the believers, compared to the gentiles. Christ here refers to a Christ’s manner of life, way of living or in essence Christ-like character. When we learn Christ, we start acting and behaving in a Christlike manner. That is why from verse 21, Paul tells us what happens when someone learns Christ: he puts away the old man, become renewed in their minds and put on the new man! It is not learning by simply transfer of information but impartation of a manner of life as the soul is being renewed. Can you see the progressively higher levels of learning? The most basic form is intellectual knowledge or information transfer. This is illumination. The second level is invigoration, which is the impartation of ability, like David’s case above. The highest form of our learning is “Christ-ination”. I made up this word to convey the idea that is it Christ taking over your inner being, filling every part of your soul so that your manner of life becomes a visible expression of the life of Christ! When the Spirit breathes upon the scriptures, they illuminate and invigorate! the Spirit of the Lord teach you Christ! May He bring the Church as a whole to learn our most important lesson in life, which is , Christ!
I have compressed tons of insights and struggled to keep the devotional short. Did you understand the three levels of learning mentioned above?
APPLY THE WORD
Do you want to learn Christ? Many Christians have learned about Christ and have some information or knowledge of Him. This not wrong. It is the starting place. He wants you to move from information to impartation. The Word both illuminates and imparts when the breath of the Spirit is in it! Crave the Word, feed on it and allow the Spirit to do the wonders of God in your life!
Ask the Spirit of the Lord get you enrolled in the “school of Christ” and thoroughly teach you Christ!