Summary: Do you know Jesus? I am not asking whether or not you know about Him. Do you know Him? And if you do, do you know Him intimately? Do you have a desire for Christ, to really know Him, to reflect Him, to be like Him?
The Fellowship of His Sufferings
Do you know Jesus? I am not asking whether or not you know about Him. Do you know Him? And if you do, do you know Him intimately? Do you have a desire for Christ, to really know Him, to reflect Him, to be like Him? Your relationship with Christ should be the highest priority in your life. The Apostle Paul’s burning desire and passion was to know Christ and to become like Him. He expresses that consuming desire in Philippians 3:8-11 where we read...
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
I. A Desire to know Christ.
A. Nothing can compare to knowing Christ
B. Verse 8 - “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
C. His desire was to know Christ not to just know about Him. He wanted to have a covenantal relationship with Him.
D. In verse eight Paul refers to Christ as “my Lord” for the only time in his epistles. Everywhere else, when using a personal possessive pronoun, he calls Christ “our Lord.”
E. It is not enough for one to say “Christ is a Savior”, or even “Christ is our Savior”: he or she must know Him as “MY Savior”.
F. Paul states that nothing can compare to the value of having that relationship.
G. Matthew 16:26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
H. Paul looking back at all the advantages he had through his heritage, his religious background, his inheritance, his position, his prospects, his ambitions sees them all as loss, in comparison to Christ. He sees them of no more value than dung or refuse.
I. Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
J. Someone said, “Jesus is in every respect unique, and nothing can be compared with him. All history is incomprehensible without Jesus Christ.” For Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of the living God who came to rescue mankind from their sins
K. The greatest privilege and joy that anyone can experience is to have a personal intimate communion with this incomparable Christ as Savior and Lord.
L. Understand that there is no true joy in this world outside of the Lord. In Philippians 3:1a Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord!" Paul did not say to rejoice in people, possessions, things, or accomplishments but "Rejoice in the Lord!"
M. We must put everything out of our lives that would detract us from knowing Christ.
N. Verse 8 - “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
P I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today. - (I’d Rather Have Jesus, Rhea F. Miller)
O. What we need are men, women, teens, boys and girls who know God other than by hearsay; who are willing to go all out in 100% commitment to know Him.
II. A Desire to reflect Christ
A. Verse 9 – “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
B. Barclay translates verse 9 – “and THAT IT MAY BE CLEAR TO ALL THAT I AM IN HIM, not because of any righteousness of my own, that righteousness whose source is the Law, but because of the righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, the righteousness whose source is God and whose basis is faith