Summary: You say you know the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you really know the Lord?
Do You Really Know The Lord?
Now we’ve studied from Paul’s epistle to the Philippian believers on numerous occasions before and found by doing so that this particular epistle has come to be known over the years as the epistle of Christian joy. I believe the reason will be made evident as you study the 4 chapters that make up Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. Even though Paul was in prison while writing this particular book of the Bible he still used the word joy 6 times, and the word rejoice or rejoiced NLT 9 times. And friend that says a great deal about the apostle Paul, and the wonderful relationship that he not only had with the Philippian believers, but with Christ Himself. Even though he was in prison at this point in his life and even though he didn’t know if he was going to live or die, Paul still spoke of the joy of the Lord.
However as close as Paul was to the Lord, he still had a desire to develop a closer relationship with Christ. And my what an example he set for you and I in doing so. I believe that these verses that God has directed our hearts to this morning will reveal the great passion of the apostle Paul’s life was to really know the Lord! STAND>>>>>>>
I felt led of the Lord to zero in on the first 5 words of verse #10 of our text this morning, and while doing so, ask each one of you a question and use that question as the title of the message for this hour. And that simply would be, DO YOU REALLY KNOW THE LORD?
I love to study the history behind the hymns of the church that we often sing, and while doing so one day I discovered that Eliza Edmunds Hewitt was an invalid for an extended period of her life. But out of those dark days of her life, she developed a very intimate relationship with the Lord. Because of her great desire to share with others just how wonderful the Lord had been to her, she would often express her feelings in poems. In fact many of her poems were put to music, such as “There is Sunshine In My Soul Today” or that great hymn of the church that we often sing here at Calvary, “When We All Get To Heaven”.
But one of my favorite poems that Ms. Hewitt had put to music was inspired one day while reading our key text here in Philippians chapter #3. It was based on verse #10 of Phillippians chapter #3 that Eliza Edmunds Hewitt gave us the great hymn of the church, MORE ABOUT JESUS.
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show,
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.
You see even though Ms. Hewitt knew the Lord in salvation, she wanted to know the Lord more. She wanted a closer walk, with the One that had loved her enough to save her soul from hell.
And dear friend as we’ve read these verses before us again this morning, I believe that the apostle Paul tells us that the great passion of his life was to know more about Jesus. His prayer in the first 5 words of verse #10 was, “THAT I MAY KNOW HIM”. You see friend, that knowledge of Christ that Paul sought was more than a theological, intellectual, or a theoretical knowledge. Paul sought an experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is to say that Paul wanted to know the Lord in a very personal way. Paul wanted to walk the way the Lord walked. He wanted to talk the way the Lord talked. He wanted the word Christian to mean something in his life. Because Paul wanted to be like Christ! And if Paul was to be more like Christ it would be because he had come to know the Lord in a more intimate, personal way.
You see dear friend, all believers have met Christ and have trusted them as their Savior, but not all believers today really know Christ. All believers know about Christ but yet may not know him in a close, intimate, and personal way. It was an experiential knowledge of Christ that Paul sought. In fact Paul stressed in verse #10 of our text that he had such a desire to know Christ, that he didn’t only want to know Him, but he also wanted to know the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION.
Because to know the Lord in the way that Paul wanted to know the Lord was to live in the victory of the power of Christ’s resurrection. Paul not only wanted to know the Power of the Lord’s resurrection, but he also wanted to know THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS. And the word “fellowship” implies the idea of joint participation. Paul was simply saying if it means that I have to suffer for the cause of Christ in order to develop a closer relationship with the Lord SO BE IT! Paul wanted to know the fellowship of the Lord’s sufferings (And you’ll find by studying the life of the apostle Paul - Paul most certainly did.