Summary: Three part series based on Paul’s great goals in Phil 3:10: "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death."
God’s Greatest Goals for Your Life Part 1: To Know Him
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 25, 2009
*One of God’s greatest goals for our lives is to know Him. The greatest believers in history are those who had great passion to know God.
-In Exo 33:18 Moses pleaded with the Lord, “Please, show me Your glory.”
-Psalm 42:1 cries out to God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”
-Here in vs. 10, though Paul has known the Lord for 25 or 30 years, he longs “to know Him” more!
*And God wants us to know Him better -- understanding that this word “know” does not mean just knowing facts about God. It does not mean knowing God in a casual way. This word “know” is talking about experiencing God in a close, personal relationship. When Paul said, “I want to know Him,” he used the same word the Bible uses for the close relationship between husband and wife. That’s how much Paul wanted to know God. And that’s how much God wants us to know Him.
1. Jesus wants you to know Him first of all, because He can give you an excellent life.
*As Paul said in vs. 7-8:
7. What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
*Paul talks about the excellence of knowing Jesus. The NIV calls this the “surpassing greatness” of knowing Jesus. Paul is telling us here that nothing could be better than knowing Jesus.
*Here’s the background: Paul opened this chapter with a world class religious resume. Listen to vs. 4-6 from the New Living Translation. Paul said:
4. I could have confidence in myself if anyone could. If others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5. For I was circumcised when I was 8 days old, having been born into a pure-blooded Jewish family that is a branch of the tribe of Benjamin. So I am a real Jew if there ever was one! What’s more, I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
6. And zealous? Yes, in fact, I harshly persecuted the church. And I obeyed the Jewish law so carefully that I was never accused of any fault.
*Paul had a first class religious resume. It was his security, his source of confidence and well-being. But then Paul met Jesus Christ, and his life was changed forever. Paul saw that his self-confidence was nothing compared to the Savior! So in vs. 7&8, Paul said:
7. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss (or worthless) for Christ.
8. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish (or garbage), that I may gain Christ.
*Paul saw that everything he had was trash compared to the treasure of Jesus Christ. And what Paul found out in vs. 7&8 is true for any kind of human achievement.