Summary: Gaining a close relationship to the Lord
“THAT I MAY KNOW HIM”
TEXT: Philippians 3:10 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12 “… for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” There is the blessing of “knowing” Him. This morning, “Do you know Him; do you know Christ Jesus as your personal savior?” Then, if you do know Him, do you have a desire to really “know” Him in a close, intimate way? This is what I wish to consider today. “O, to know Him!”
I am fearful that we have become content in only having a casual relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many want to know Him with the hopes of having a sure afterlife, but at the same time lacking a real desire to know Him right now in a very intimate way. We will consider what it means to really know Him.
Years ago, someone gave me a sign which read, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty”. Fathers, when your wife and children look at you, can they say: “My husband or my daddy certainly knows the Lord”? Do they see you more interested in sports, job and pleasures than you are in the things of God? Do they see and hear you cursing God instead of praising God…? Do they see you on your knees in prayer, reading your Bibles, taking a stand against the world, the flesh and the devil? Do they see you paying the tithes and offerings, or do they see you robbing God, instead? You rob God when you withhold the tithe. Whether you realize it or not, you are on trial as a witness to witness just how close you really are to the Lord.
When we leave this meeting place today, I hope our desire will be more than ever, as it was with Paul… “That we might know Him”. Paul could have boasted of so many mentionable things, but chose to focus on only knowing Him…
I. THAT WE MIGHT KNOW HIM INTELLECTUALLY. (2 Timothy 14-17)
A. There Is a Practical Reason For This. (we are creatures who have intellect)
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
God made us the way that we are. You and I have the capacity to think because God made us this way. He also included will into our capacity to know Him. This in no way takes away from His sovereign electing grace. He opens up our heart of unbelief just as He did Lydia’s so that we can have the means of accepting Him. He delivers hope to us through the Gospel. Without the call of the Gospel, one cannot expect to be saved.
(Romans 1:16, 17) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith”
B. There Is a Personal Reason For This. (God deals with individuals, individually)
(Romans 10:8-14, 17) When the Word is preached, one personally must hear the Word, believe the Word, and then call upon the Lord by faith. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The heard Word of God brings faith.
(2Thessalonians 2:13) “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13).
Though we must know Him intellectually, there is a difference in what you believe about Christ and believing in Christ. It starts in the mind, but it must end in the heart. You must believe in the heart… The Holy Spirit must seal you following your believing. The devils had an intellectual belief only and trembled… (James 2:19). “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:” (James 2:23).