Sermons

Summary: The joy of knowing Christ is relational, not living by a code of conduct and set of rules.

3/30/08

KNOWING CHRIST

PHILIPPIANS 3:7-11

INTRO-

GOOD MORNING:

TURN TO PHILIPPIANS 3:7-11, PAUL STARTS OUT THIS CHAPTER TELLING THEM TO REJOICE IN THE LORD, AND TO BE CAREFUL OF THOSE WHO WOULD CAUSE YOU TO BE PULLED AWAY FROM THE LORD.

HE TELLS HIS LISTENERS A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS THAT MAKE HIM APPEAR SUPERIOR BECAUSE OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

IN VERSE 7, HE BEGINS TO GIVE US A TESTIMONY AND APPLIED EXPERIENCE FOR US TO LEARN FROM..

PHILIPPIANS 3:7-11

MANY PEOPLE TODAY STRUGGLE WITH THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

BUT IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD, THEY ARE NOT REALLY WORKING ON IT.

THEY SPEND LITTLE TIME IN PRAYER

THEY DO NOT STUDY THE WORD OF GOD LIKE THEY SHOULD.

THEY DO THINGS THAT ARE HARMFUL AND KNOW ARE WRONG.

THEY HAVE RESISTED THE CONVICTION THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GIVEN

THEY HAVE FOCUSED ON STUFF INSTEAD OF THE LORD.

NO ONE ON THEIR DEATHBED WILL SAY THAT I WISH I SPENT MORE TIME AT THE OFFICE. THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BUY THEIR HEALTH.

WHEN YOU WANT TO KNOW CHRIST AS MUCH AS YOU DESIRE THE NEXT BREATH OF AIR, YOUR GETTING CLOSE.

PAUL HAD A DRAMATIC EXPERIENCE ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD. IT CHANGED EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. IT CHANGED HIS OUTLOOK.

ALL THE THINGS HE THOUGHT IMPORTANT, ARE NOW NOT AS IMPORTANT.

PAUL UNDERSTOOD AFTER THE ENCOUNTER THAT WE HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER CHRIST BUT OURSELVES.

WHEN WE FILL OUR LIVES WITH THE WORLD, OUR DESIRES FOR CHRIST COOL DOWN, BUT WHEN WE RETURN TO OUR FIRST LOVE THE DESIRE INTENSIFIES AGAIN.

NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE LEARN, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE TO LEARN.

YOU CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.

YOU CAN BE A CHURCH GOER

YOU CAN BE A NICE PERSON

YOU CAN BE A LAW ABIDING PERSON

BUT YOU CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN, WE ARE CONNECTED RELATIONALLY TO GOD THROUGH CHRIST.

MATTHEW 16: 25,26- READ

JESUS IS TALKING ABOUT AN EXCHANGE. HE IS TALKING ABOUT LOSING SOMETHING TO GAIN SOMETHING.

IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU HOLD ON TO THE THINGS THAT YOU THINK ARE PRECIOUS AND REJECT THE THINGS THAT TO GOD ARE PRECIOUS, IT WILL COST YOU ETERNITY.

THAT’S WHY HE SAYS, WHAT GOOD IS IT TO GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE YOUR SOUL.

THERE IS AN EXCHANGE IN SALVATION- SALVATION IS FREE , WE CANNOT BUY IT,CANNOT EARN IT, BUT WE EXCHANGE ALL THAT I AM FOR ALL THAT CHRIST IS.

THE WISE PERSON LOOKS AT EVERYTHING IN LIFE, MEASURES IT AGAINST THE VALUE OF HIS SOUL AND THEN ASKS IF IT IS WORTH IT?

IF YOU ARE GOING TO KNOW CHRIST THE WAY THAT HE WANTS YOU TO KNOW HIM...YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE CONNECTION WITH HIM

ILLUSTRATION-

IT IS JUST LIKE YOUR CELL PHONE;

AT TIMES THE SIGNAL IS STRONG

AT TIMES WHEN IT IS WEAK

AT TIMES WHEN THE CONNECTION IS LOST.

WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY THAT LIVES THEIR LIVES IN CHRIST LIKE A DROPPED CALL.

WE GET BUSY

WE GET ASHAMED OF WHAT WE ARE DOING AND HIDE FROM HIM

WE SHIFT OUR FOCUS, WE GET DISTRACTED.

QUESTION - ASK YOURSELF THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

AM I GROWING IN MY FAITH?

HOW HEALTHY IS MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD?

DO I ENJOY BEING WITH THE LORD?

WHAT ARE MY PRIORITIES?

QUESTION-

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THE BAGGAGE WE CARRY AWAY FROM JESUS? IT IS NO WONDER WERE TO TIRED TO SERVE JESUS, WE ARE TOO EXHAUSTED TO FOLLOW JESUS, THE BAGGAGE IS TO HEAVY.

JESUS NEVER HIDE THE COST OF FOLLOWING AFTER HIM.

I SPENT THE FIRST 20 YEARS TRYING TO FIND MYSELF, I SPENT THE NEXT 30 YEARS TRYING TO GET OVER MYSELF AND BE TRANSFORMED BY HIM.

ILLUSTRATION-

GREG BEARD OFFERS FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR ALL WHO WANT TO EXERCISE WITH HIM BY CUTTING SOME TREES DOWN. IF HE NEVER SHARPENED THE SAW, IT WOULD GET HARDER AND HARDER TO CUT THE TREES. WE ARE APPROACHING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WITH A DULL SAW, AND WE DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO GET IT SHARPENED.

ILLUSTRATION-

A STUDY SEVERAL YEARS AGO SAID THAT ONLY 10 PERCENT OF EVANGELICALS LIVE LIVES DIFFERENT FROM NON-CHRISTIANS. SO THEY DETERMINED SUNDAY SCHOOL WAS IN EFFECTIVE AND MANY CHURCHES DROPPED SUNDAY SCHOOL.

THEY DID THE STUDY AGAIN LAST YEAR AND THE NUMBER WENT TO 9%. 9% OF CHRISTIANS LIVE DIFFERENT LIVES THAN NON CHRISTIANS. SO THEY WANT TO ELIMINATE SMALL GROUPS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT WORKING.

ARE YOU CATCHING THIS? THE PROBLEM DOESN’T LIE WITH THE SUNDAY SCHOOL OR SMALL GROUPS.

THE PROBLEM IS A HEART PROBLEM.

WE ARE SPOON FEEDING CHRISTIANS INFORMATION BUT THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RECEIVING THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE HEART.

BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST MEANS A TRANSFORMED LIFESTYLE.

IT IS NOT TALKING ABOUT IT, BUT RATHER WALKING THE WALK.

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