Philippians 1:9–11

When Scripture talks about knowing persons, especially knowing the Lord, it refers to more than just head knowledge of propositions, that is, a piece of knowledge about someone. Certainly, this kind of understanding is included; however, it always serves to deepen a personal, relational knowledge of someone. For example, Deuteronomy 4:32–40 talks about God’s rescue of a people in order that Israel “might know that the Lord is God” (v. 35). The knowledge in this passage is propositional — an interpretation of the Lord’s acts during the exodus — and relational — God moving in history to unite a people to Himself for His own glory. Thus, when Paul prays for the love of the Philippians to abound “with knowledge and all discernment,” he asks not only for the Philippians’ knowledge about the Lord to increase but also for their relationship with God to be deeper (Phil. 1:9). In fact, he prays for this love and knowledge to grow and penetrate all their relationships so that their affection and intimacy with their brothers and sisters will also increase. Obviously, we should pray this for ourselves as well (John 13:34).

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