Summary: We have been given a work to do but can only see the scope of it when we look through the eyes of faith.
August 31, 2003
Subject: Everything for Christ
I love it when I read my Bible and things just begin to jump off the page at me. That is what happened to me this week and that is why I am preaching this sermon this morning. I have given this sermon the title “Possibilities”. The reason for the title is that I often think that as believers in Christ we do not live up to our possibilities.
Lincoln Steffens once wrote, “Nothing is done. Everything in the world remains to be done or done over. The greatest picture is to yet be painted. The greatest play is not yet written. Nothing is perfect. There is no perfect airline. There is no perfect government. There is no perfect law.
Faucets still drip as it did years ago in the Stiffens household. As He and his seven-year old son tried to fix it, he had to admit that his generation could not make a fit faucet. “But” said Stiffens, referring to his son, “”he may. There is a job for him and his generation in the plumbing business, and in every other business. Teach your children that nothing is done, finally and right; nothing is known, positively and completely; that the world is theirs – all of it.”
Bits and Pieces, April 1990, p. 7.
There is a lesson for Christians in the story I just told. We tend to think along the lines of belonging to Christ and making our way through this life the best way we can waiting to see Jesus – either when we leave this life or when He comes back for His bride. But as I read more and more in the Bible, I realize that there is so much more for us. The possibilities are limitless. Now you are probably thinking at this point that you have heard this all before. That may be so. But I am going to preach it anyhow. Why? Because I want you to do more than just hear it. I want you to get it. I want you to let it sink down into your subconscious so that you just know that it is the truth and you would never doubt it.
I am going to read today from Philippians 3:1-11 (quickview) , but I am going to really focus on verse 10. In the first part of chapter three Paul wrote about relying on the flesh to save you. There were those who you know followed Paul and perverted the gospel. Paul said that if they could have confidence in the flesh, he could also. He gives all his qualifications for human righteousness. But in verse 7 he says that all the things he once saw as gain he now counted as loss for Christ. Paul gave up all those things and counted them as rubbish so he could gain Christ – not in his own righteousness, but in the righteousness that is from God by faith. That leads us up to where we want to be today. Once we recognize our works for what they are and where our righteousness comes from, we can move on into another level of our spiritual walk. Pay close attention today, because what I say today may change your life. What we once considered gain is now considered loss -
I. So that I may know Him.
A. What does it mean to know? According to Webster’s dictionary, know means, “ to apprehend with the conscious mind, to recognize, to have acquired skill in, to be informed about, to have committed to memory, to possess knowledge, understanding or awareness of something.” One other definition, which is noteworthy, is, “to be acquainted with by experience”. The original Greek word refers to knowledge that has a beginning, a progress, and a realization. It is the recognition of truth by personal experience. Paul says, “I want to experience Him.” We experience Jesus when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. That is just the beginning. The word means that we continue to grow in our knowledge of Him. It doesn’t have to stop. It will reach completion some day.1 Corinthians 13:12 (quickview) , “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” Knowing Christ means experiencing Him. Now listen, I have been in churches where I have heard people say, “Boy that was a good service. I really felt something today.” It doesn’t mean they know Jesus. Knowing requires two - way communication. Knowing involves intimacy and transparency from both parties. Only when we bare our souls and share our weaknesses with Christ can we truly know Him. Only when we, like Paul, can count all things loss, can we gain Christ. Now who can know Him?