I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST
A Story about "Who you Know ..."
- When I was a boy, a new family moved in on the other side of the county road out on our mountain in
Brentwood. The new family had built a large house for his family on a great expanse of land. The house
was well off the road and was only accessible by a smaller road that was gated. I remember my family
talking about the strangers who were moving in. We heard he was a wealthy Texan moving out to the
country for seclusion. My uncle knew the older man who tended the new homeowner's farmland. When
my cousin and I were selling candy for our school we asked the farmhand if we should sell to the man
- it only heightened the mystery of these newcomers when the farmhand told us that the Texan probably
wouldn't care to be bothered by such stuff. We assumed that to mean that he was some sort of recluse,
so though my cousins and I could roam just about anywhere on the mountain, we were instructed not
to disturb the new family and don't go through the gate to their land.
- Well imagine my concern the day my cousin David, bored and looking for something to do, suggested
we go over and visit the new house.
"But we aren't supposed to go there David," I said.
"Don't worry, we'll be able to get in - and I hear he has a swimming pool!"
- So we set off on our bikes and down the narrow shaded road to the new house. When we came to the
gate, we climbed over and slid our bikes underneath. And farther down the road we came upon this
house that was amazing to me - it had large picture windows and two stories - the only other two story
structure on the mountain was our barn. None of our houses were so amazing. This was the kind of
house you see on movies. I was a bit nervous when we came to the door, but David was truly confident
and pressed the doorbell (no one on the farm had doorbells!) I wondered what old the man who owned
this house would be like. Would he meet us with a shotgun? Would he shout at us? Would he call the
- I was surprised when a rather ordinary and kind looking fellow in a sweater and spectacles came to the
door and said "Hello."
David said "Hello, we live over across the road - we're friends of your son."
"Of course," said the older man. I'll tell him you're here, come in."
And as we entered into the house a tall boy, only a few years older than my cousin David, with blond hair
and glasses greeted us. This was the man's son, and he showed us around his house and even showed
us the swimming pool. It was all quite an adventure.
- When I finally got home and my mom asked me where we had gone today she did a double take
when I said "We went to the new house across the county road." Sensing her shock and
concern I then said, "It's okay; we know his son."
It's not just what you know, it's who you know!
- Knowing Christ is important for our destination (at the judgment, it's not what you know, but who
you know - Do you know Christ?)
This is Paul's sentiment in Philippians 3 ... (see the context, Paul would gladly dispose of everything he knows just to know Christ!)
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider
everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake
I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a
righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness
that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the
fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the
resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:7-11
Paul's vision is on the destination (judgment, eternity) but he also has his sights on the current moment as
he communicates in the next few verses:
14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All
of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too
God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained. - Philippians 3:14-16
Knowing Christ makes a difference in the journey.
Ephesians 1 - "Christian Life" is "A Life In Christ"
- (allusion to story - knowing the son made a difference in the way we were received, but it
also made a difference in what we did that single day - he set out on an adventure with
confidence, we overcame barriers, we were inspired by a vision of marvelous, mysterious
- The Christian Life is a journey ...
I Want to Know Christ -
- God has blessed us through his son - Jesus Christ. Christ is God "up close and in person." Read
- Eleven times Paul praises God for what we have received "in Christ." What are these blessings?
Here are five definite blessings mentioned in this text (watch these closely as they will come up
again in our future worship preaching)
- IN CHRIST, He chose us and
- has made us holy and blameless in God's presence
- THROUGH CHRIST, he adopted us as his children
- THROUGH HIS BELOVED SON, He has poured out his grace on us ...
- Which means that IN CHRIST we have redemption through his blood.
- Which means that IN CHRIST we have forgiveness for our sins - all
because of his grace.
- He has made known to us the mystery of his plan to sum everything up IN CHRIST - things
in heaven and also on earth
- If God has made himself KNOWN to us IN CHRIST, then shouldn't we want
to know him?
- To share in the divine nature even in our everyday human life, isn't that was
Jesus - God in the flesh was about? These blessings are related to our
knowing Christ and sharing in the divine nature
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God. We've always noticed the first part but have we paid attention to the second part?
- At the heart and core of salvation is a relationship - a relationship with Christ. He takes up our
nature so that we might take up his nature.
- Knowing Christ = a purpose in life even now - Jesus Christ has given our life incredible value and
purpose - to be the righteousness of God. He took up our nature so we can take up his. We can be
born again as a new humanity. (more on this next week.)
- The Christian way of life - [A Life In Christ - Becoming the Righteousness of God] - It is a way of life
for the here and now and not just the hereafter. It is about concrete streets as much as it is about
golden streets. In fact, if the Christian way of life has nothing to do with right now, then why did
Jesus come to us in the flesh - fully human, though fully God?
CONCLUSION - [Challenge]
- The old doomsayer's slogan was "Prepare to meet thy God."
- The best way to prepare to meet him is to know him - even now!
Meeting is not the same things as knowing!
The most important person you can ever know is Jesus Christ. . .
I want every person here to be prepared for more than just meeting God! I want you to know God! I want you to know Christ!
This is the journey I'm inviting you to share with me. We're going to pass through some barriers
and we may go through places where fearful people say we shouldn't go, but don't worry - we
know the son - that will make the reception at journey's end sweet - but it will make the journey
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 4 January 2004
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