There is a definite difference between knowing something cognitively and actually having that knowledge be a part of your being. As a Christian, perhaps the most telling difference between the two is the difference between the knowledge that Christ was crucified and risen, and actually feeling His presence in your life.
This past Monday in our class Christ in the OT we were talking about Christianity and Judaism. The professor mentioned that there are a number of rabbinic texts which speak of two comings of the Messiah: one in humility and one in glory. The nuances of the two comings/appearances may vary, but the essence is present in a number of writings. In any case, the professor's point, was that the main difference between Judaism and Christianity is which coming is being awaited. Both religions are in a state of expectation, only for us as Christians, the humble Messiah has come in the presence of Christ and we were given glimpses of glory in His resurrection.
At that point it hit me. I had read that the early Christian community was very much eschatologically focused, expecting the return of Jesus. But it wasn't something that was part of my being, something that I felt, rather than knowing. Somehow at that point, when I heard it explained in those terms, I began to realize the expectant quality of Christianity. We believe in the risen Christ and we believe that those who die believing in Him will live in Him. Just as importantly, however, we believe in and expect His return in glory.
On a different note, my wife and I are watching the third season of the Dick van Dyke show on DVD. After a couple of episodes it dawned on me why it is one of my favorite sitcoms: in so many different ways, Magda and I are Rob and Laura Petrie.