“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14).

Paul was a man of great wisdom and knowledge, but he played it down. In fact, he wrote it off: “Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God’ (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).


It almost looks like knowledge is the opposite of love. If it were, we would have to stay ignorant in order to be loving. Having knowledge is a temptation. Being puffed up is the sin. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. He is in sin. 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).

There is a “knowing” that goes far beyond knowledge:

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17b-19).

Knowledge can be measured on a written exam. Knowing love cannot be measured at all. We are to grasp it by the power of God. It is like grasping the Pacific Ocean in our hands.

When we speak, do we display our knowledge, or our love? Are we conscious of the abundance of grace, faith, and love that was poured out on us when we received Christ? Do we show it and speak it?

*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore