Summary: The greatest news is not that Paul knows Christ, or that John knows Christ, or that Peter knows Christ, but that we can know Jesus Christ, too. That is the greatest news of all! (Powerpoints available - #120)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at email@example.com and request PP #120.)
ILL. Years ago there was a radio program whose announcer would loudly proclaim, "People do the craziest things!" Whether from stupidity, carelessness or foolishness, some things people do make absolutely no sense at all. For example, the following stories are absolutely true.
A few years ago the telephone company in Sacramento, CA., set up a very modern Service Center where customers could call in to report troubles on their line, request repairs or installation of new equipment, & inquire about their bills. There was only one catch. When it opened, the Service Center had an unlisted telephone number.
Then again, in Springfield, IL, a funeral director listened in amazement to a coffin salesman’s criticisms of a competitor’s coffins. What the salesman said doesn’t make much sense, but here it is. He said, "Our coffins are lined with real silk. But their coffins are lined with a synthetic material which may cause skin irritations."
I guess that radio announcer was right. People do the craziest things! But I am convinced that there is nothing as foolish as some of the reasons people give for their lack of commitment to Jesus Christ.
In 2 Timothy 1:12 the apostle Paul said, "I know whom I have believed & I am convinced that He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him until that day."
Then just two verses later, Paul tells the young preacher, Timothy, "Guard the treasure that was entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)
In both of those verses the Apostle Paul uses a very special Greek word, "paratheke." And the word "paratheke" means "a treasure or a deposit left with someone you trust completely."
There were no banks back in Paul’s day where you could deposit your money & keep it safe. So what did you do with your wealth when you went on a journey? Then again, if you were to die, who could you trust to be the executor of your estate?
How could you be sure that your family would receive what was rightly theirs? The person you ask to take care of your possessions must be someone you know very well, & whom you trust completely.
And that is what Paul is saying that Jesus is in this verse when he said, "I know whom I have believed & I am convinced that He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him until that day."
I. "I KNOW HIM!"
A. Paul is not saying, "I know about Him as an historic figure," or, "I know about Him as a name that appears in the books."
But rather, "I know Him as my Savior, as my friend. I know Him as one who walks beside me & guides me. I know Jesus, & I know “He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him.”
I am sure that as Paul wrote these words he must have thought back over his life & the terrible things he had done when he had persecuted the church as he persecuted the Christians who were a part of that church.
But then he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, & from that moment on his life was never the same again. Where once he had imprisoned Christians, now as a Christian he was in prison.
Sitting there in that prison cell in Rome, Paul must have remembered all the horrible things that had happened to him the suffering he had endured the times that he had been arrested & beaten & left for dead the times he was hungry & cold & lonely.
Yet, when compared to the joy that was his because of his friendship with Christ it was worth it all. So he writes, "I know Jesus Christ, & I want you to know Him, too!"
B. You see, the greatest news is not that Paul knows Christ or that John knows Christ or that Peter knows Christ but that we can know Jesus Christ, too. That is the greatest news of all.
We are told that when we accept Him as our Savior, repenting of our sins & are baptized into Him, that He takes our sins away, forgiving us & forgetting our sins & washing them all away.
When we keep His commandments we show our love for Him, & He becomes the Lord & the Master of our lives. We receive the gift of His Spirit to live within us & give us guidance & strength & direction for every day.
ILL. Horace Bushnell was a preacher in Hartford, Conn. for 47 years. He was an invalid most of his life, but God used him in a wonderful way to preach the good news of Jesus as Savior & Lord.