Knowing Jesus
                             Philippians 3:7-11
Introduction

I.  Our greatest quest in life should be to know Jesus.

    A.  Christianity is God 1st in a person's heart (Mat 22:37-39).

II. Christianity is more than a bunch of rules; it's a relationship.

    A.  The Jews of old were rule keepers, but their hearts were far from God.

        (Mat 15:8 KJV)  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me
        with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

        (Deu 6:4-6 KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love
        the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And
        these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

    B.  Paul wanted to know Jesus (Phil 3:7-11).

        1.  What Paul didn't say is noteworthy.

            a.  Paul didn't say, "I want to know all the issues."

            b.  Paul didn't say, "I want to know all the answers to selected questions."

            c.  Paul didn't say, "I want to know what every brother believes."

                (1)  Paul did say, "I want to know Christ."

III.    Paul also wanted others to know Jesus.

    A.  Paul preached so others would know Jesus.

        (1 Cor 2:2 NKJV)  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ
        and Him crucified.

    B.  Paul prayed for others to know Jesus (Eph 1:16-21).

    C.  Paul lived Christ so others could know Jesus (Gal 2:20).

IV. We must be Christ-like people.

    (Col 3:10 NKJV)  and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the
    image of Him who created him,

    (2 Cor 3:18 NKJV)  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
    are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

    (Rom 8:29 NKJV)  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image
    of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    A.  To be Christ-like we must know Jesus.

    B.  When the church is living as Christ's body, all that the world will see is Jesus.

        1.  Christ is to receive the glory, not the church.

            (Eph 3:21 NKJV)  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations,
            forever and ever. Amen.

V.  There are at least 3 things involved in knowing Jesus.

Discussion

I.  KNOWING JESUS IS AN INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE.

    A.  Christianity is a revealed religion.

        (John 6:45 KJV)  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every
        man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

        1.  Some say it doesn't matter what you know, say or do   not true.

            (1 Th 5:21 NKJV)  Test all things; hold fast what is good.

        2.  We need to read & study Matt, Mark, Luke & John.

            a.  We cannot know Jesus without knowing about Him (Jn 8:32; 14:6).

            b.  What we don't know about Jesus can condemn us.

                (John 1:10 NKJV)  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him,
                and the world did not know Him.

                (Acts 13:27 NKJV)  "For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers,
                because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are
                read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

    B.  Christianity is a real religion.

        1.  Christianity doesn't begin with a dream, a vision, a better felt than told experience.

        2.  Christianity begins in a knowledge of Jesus Christ (Ax 2:22ff).

            (John 8:24 NKJV)  "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do
            not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

    C.  Christianity is a rational religion.

        1.  Christianity is the historical fact that God was in Christ reconciling man back to
            Himself.

            a.  It was God of all eternity incarnate among men saving men.

            b.  It wasn't a bunch of theologians meeting in Jerusalem deciding what to do to
                save mankind.

        2.  Since Jesus loved us so much shouldn't we want to know Him.

II. KNOWING JESUS IS A PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE.

    A.  We say, "We have no creed but Christ" and rightly so (believe/trust).

        1.  But our creed is more than words in a book; He is a person.

        2.  You can put a human creed in a picture frame, but you can't confine a person to a
            picture frame.

        3.  Jesus' incarnation is a testimony to the fact that God cannot be enclosed in a book.

            (John 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
            Word was God.

            (John 1:14 NKJV)  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld
            His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

            (John 1:18 KJV)  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is
            in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

            a.  It takes a person to reveal a person.

                (1)  Jesus came that we might have a personal knowledge of Him & His
                     Father.

            b.  Jesus must be in our hearts & providentially working in our lives.

                (1)  A lot of people have Bibles, but very few have Jesus.

    B.  Paul wanted a personal knowledge of Jesus.

        (John 14:23 NKJV)  Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My
        word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

        1.  The word "know" means "to have a personal intimate relationship."

            a.  This is the ultimate privilege of N.T. Christianity.

        2.  We must know Jesus and not just know about Him.

        3.  Christianity is more than just accumulating facts.

            a.  If that is all that a person has, it's not enough.

                (John 15:15 NKJV)  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not
                know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I
                heard from My Father I have made known to you.

III.    KNOWING JESUS IS A RELATIONSHIP KNOWLEDGE.

    A.  As a people, we have not done so well in relationships.

        1.  We can't always get along with others, family, neighbors or brethren.

        2.  We can see why people have trouble with a relationship with Jesus.

            a.  Relationship without commitment is like a house without a foundation.

                (John 15:13-14 NKJV)  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down
                one's life for his friends. {14} "You are My friends if you do whatever I command
                you.

    B.  We must have a personal faith in Jesus (Rom 10:17).

        1.  We cannot have faith for someone else.

        2.  Sometimes faithful members' children leave the faith or never embrace it.

            a.  And it's not always the parents' fault.

    C.  Knowing Jesus is more than information; it is an encounter.

        1.  Definition = "A direct often momentary meeting."

        2.  Preaching Jesus is an encounter where Jesus demands a response (Mat 11:28-30).

            (Gal 3:1 NKJV)  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not
            obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as
            crucified?

    D.  Paul wanted to know Jesus intellectually, personally & relationally.

        1.  He wanted to know the power of His resurrection (Jn 5:28-29).

        2.  He wanted to know the fellowship of His suffering.

            (Col 1:24 NKJV)  I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is
            lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

        3.  He wanted to be conformed to His death (2 Tim 4:6-8).

            a.  Christianity began on a cross & continues on a cross (Lk 9:23; Rom 6:3-4; Gal
                2:20).

            b.  If you haven't been born crucified, & if you are not living crucified, then you
                can't die crucified.

                (Phil 1:21 NKJV)  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Conclusion

I.  Do you know Jesus?

    A.  Do you know Him intellectually, personally & relationally?

    II. Our greatest quest in life should be to know Jesus.
** If you have any questions or if you would like to become a Christian, please let us know. 
Alan C. Cole
26th St. Church of Christ
101-26th Street Huntington, WV 25703
Phone - (304) 522-0717
E-Mail - mailto:Cole8@marshall.edu
Homepage - http://mupfc.marshall.edu/~cole8/