September 14, 2021
Do You Know Him – Philippians 3:1-11
On September 12, 2021, Pastor Eric talked about the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ and asked whether we truly know him.
Read Philippians 3:1-11
We learn from the apostle Paul’s life that he was a humble, powerful witness for Jesus Christ. No other person in the Bible demonstrated more humility while sharing the gospel of Christ.
Before becoming one of the greatest evangelists, Paul was known as Saul, a Pharisee and devout Jew, who participated in the persecution of Christians. He sought to quiet the followers of Jesus Christ and persecuted those who reverenced the Lord. Paul traveled from Jerusalem to Damascus to seek out and arrest Christians, with the intention of questioning them and possibly killing them. Their journey was interrupted when Paul saw an intense light, and spoke directly with the Lord. Then Ananias received a divine revelation instructing him to visit Saul and lay hands on him to restore his sight.
In verses 10 and 11, Paul addressed faith in Jesus. He also noted the importance of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Paul knew that living for Jesus Christ included sharing in His joy, sorrow and pain. Paul personally endured hardship despite his faithful life spent serving Christ. In verse 11, he said, “I want to know Christ”. The word ‘to know’ in Greek, ginosko, is best translated as to ‘know’, ‘perceive’ and ‘understand’. It doesn’t just mean to know about something, but also to have known it through personal experience.
The apostle Paul planted at least 14 churches, and out of the 27 New Testament books, at least 14 of them are attributed to Paul. Furthermore, he trained other evangelists and gospel preachers and spent a total of more than five years in prison.
Read Acts 19:11-12
Paul healed and expelled demons in Jesus’ name. But when the sons of a Jewish chief priest attempted to use Paul’s faith in Christ as a formula, the demon attacked them. The magicians saw how Paul had access to real power that could free them, so they abandoned their magic and followed Jesus.
Paul says that everything: all the sacrifices he did; all the knowledge he acquired over the years; everything he achieved; and all the miracles God accomplished through his hands are nothing compared to knowing Jesus Christ.
Nothing compares to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ as our personal Saviour. Everything else on this earth pales in comparison to knowing Him. We want to increasingly know Jesus, not just know Him, but to know Him more profoundly as the Lord of our lives. No matter where we go, or what we see, no matter what this world offers, no matter how much it glitters and shines, it is nothing. It loses great significance compared to knowing the Lord. It is nothing compared to the glory, majesty and life changing encounter of knowing Jesus Christ.
Read John 5:39
Though the Jewish leaders studied the Scriptures, the reason they did so was fundamentally flawed. They were studying the Scriptures in order to gain eternal life, hoping to be accepted for their good works. Reading and studying God’s Word will never gain acceptance for us before God. Rather, we should read and study God’s Word because the Bible gives us the ability to distinguish right from wrong and equips us to serve the Lord. It helps us to accept Him as our personal Saviour and avoid the punishment of sin. It reveals the Lord’s true nature. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good or by anything else we do. The Bible shows us just how much the Lord loves us. And it is in learning this that we are drawn to love Him in return.
Read Psalm 34:8
This verse invites us to draw close to the Lord, to experience His love and His goodness. Taking refuge in God shows we trust Him – whether our situation or circumstances are positive or negative. Sometimes, leaning on the Lord in times of trouble is when we truly taste and see His goodness.
Read John 17:3
Eternal life is knowing God and knowing Jesus Christ, Whom God sent to save the world. Eternal life is knowing the Lord personally. It is not just knowledge about the Lord, but an intimate and eternal fellowship with Him that begins by grace through faith in our personal Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Read Jeremiah 29:13
The promise given to the people of Israel by Jeremiah was that those who earnestly seek the Lord would find Him. They were given assurance that those who conscientiously and diligently seek the Lord, will find Him. Those who sincerely seek the Lord will inherit the amazing life he promises – a life that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
We do not always see what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. Yet, He invites us to call unto Him and trust Him regardless. God promises to show us great and mysterious things. These great and mysterious things are His numerous blessings, healing, peace, truth, mercy and grace. In short, the person of Jesus Christ!
Read Philippians 3:10
Knowing Christ involves the power of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus conquered death and provided the way to know the Lord.
Read Romans 8:10
The Spirit of God that raised up Jesus from the dead is in us, and He’ll live His life through us.
Read Philippians 3:8
Paul was a ‘Hebrew of Hebrews’, meaning he was a Jew of Jewish descent. He saw everything in his past, in the present and in the future as a loss compared to knowing Christ. The only way a person can view life from this perspective is to see how valuable Jesus truly is.
As believers and servants of the Lord, we are to seek to know God more profoundly every day. We must spend time with the Lord, so that we end up having His desire and power to do what He pleases. We must work to forward His kingdom but we must also not forget that it is God working in us that brings the results. God wants to work in us so that one day he can work through us in a powerful way. When we draw near to God, God will draw near to us. We must first draw near to Him with a sincere heart. God will embrace any believer, no matter how long or to what extent he drifted away from Him. God is ready to accept us with open arms. What mercy and grace on His part!
New Beginning Church’s mission statement is: Our passion is to know Christ and to make Him known. Do you know Him? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?