Summary: Let us choose to know (ginosko - understand, perceive and experientially learn) more about Christ instead of merely settling for an intellectual knowledge (oida) about the Lord Jesus.
That I May Know Him (Phil. 3:10-14)
Today, many people are determined to get a promotion, a higher degree or a better 401 K plan. Many students are determined to get good grades. As the election year heats up we hear about hundreds of politicians who are determined to get elected to important offices. Yet,how many are determined to know Christ better? Our determined purpose tells a great deal about our mindset, our character and our usefulness to God. Listen to Paul’s statement of his determined purpose and consider how you measure up.
Illustration: C.I. Schofield, editor of the annotated Bible that is associated with his name used to tell of his resentment that every time he met with Dwight L. Moody, the noted American evangelist, would pray that Schofields’s commission might be renewed. He did not care for the implication of that prayer. But later he came to see that the clear sighted Moody had discerned his Achilles’ heel. Moody saw that with Scofield’s intense preoccupation with the intellectual side of the Christian faith he was in danger of losing his zeal for God and love for his fellow men. Hence the evangelist repeated the petition for his friend.
Every disciple, especially those with a tendency to intellectualize their faith has to guard against this peril.
Application: Let us choose to know (ginosko - understand, perceive and experientially learn) more about Christ instead of merely settling for an intellectual knowledge (oida) about the Lord Jesus.
Illustration: There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.
Billy Sunday in a sermon, "Wonderful," quoted in The Real Billy Sunday.
" For my determined purpose is that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. That I may in the same way come to know the power, outflowing from His resurrection (which it exerts over believers) and that I may so share in His sufferings as to be continually transformed (in spirit into His likeness even to His death." (Phil. 3:10 - Amplified)
Paul’s purposed to know more about some of the following dimensions of Christ as we should too:
1. CHRIST’S LOVE - Paul sought to know more about all the dimensions of Christ’s love as He wrote, "May Christ through your faith dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts. May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love. That you may have the power to apprehend and experience what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it. That you may really come to know (practically, through experience for yourselves, the love of Christ." (Eph. 3:18,19)
Illustration: In Christ We Have:
A love that can never be fathomed
A life that can never die
A righteousness that can never be tarnished
A peace that can never be understood
A rest that can never be disturbed
A joy that can never be diminished
A hope that can never be disappointed
A glory that can never be clouded
A light that can never be darkened
A purity that can never be defiled
A beauty that can never be marred
A wisdom that can never be baffled
Resources that can never be exhausted.
Application: Let us seek to know more of Christ’s loving endurance, its limitless ability to be with us in the highs and low times of life and its wide ability to help us relate to people from all backgrounds.
2. CHRIST’S LIBERTY - Paul grew in his experiential knowledge of Christ by understanding more of the Spirit’s liberty. Paul wrote, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." By knowing more of the truth of Christ, Paul gained in his understanding of Christ’s statement, "If you continue in my word then truly you are my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31,32) We gain greater liberty when we are led by the Word and the Spirit in our decision-making, emotions and behaviors.
3. CHRIST’S LAW - Paul grew in understanding of Christ through his study of the law of God. Surely, during his memorizing of the law as a Pharisee Paul recalled, "The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant giving light to the eyes...The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward." (Psa 19:7-11)