Does that title make sense to you? Is there a difference between the two?
It took me a long time to learn that there is, in fact, quite a difference. I grew up in a good church that shaped my faith well but with one glaring problem: I believed that the goal of Christianity was the acquisition of factual knowledge. So many of my bible classes focused on memorizing the names of the books of the bible, of the kings, of the disciples, the itineraries of Paul's trips in Acts, and so on.
It was going to be knowledge of these things that would help me overcome doubts and well-meaning but biblically "wrong" people who just wouldn't read the bible for what it simply says.
In college, I ran across this phrase from Paul: "I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead" (Phil. 3:10-11).
This phrase blew me away because I noticed, as if for the first time, that Paul didn't say he wanted to know about Christ or about the power of his resurrection. He actually wanted to know Christ in some relational way that would connect him to the actual experience of Christ.
In this sermon, I explore the example of Peter and how quickly he went from proclaiming the truth about Jesus--that he was the Messiah--to being accused of being Satan himself because he stood in the way of God's plans.
Peter was a great bible student (he knew all about the Messiah) but his bible knowledge did not equip him to actually know Jesus. To know Jesus, you must go beyond mere knowledge of him, understand his mission, and follow him into that mission--into a life of service and sacrifice.
Sermon: Choosing to Know Jesus Instead of Knowing About Jesus