Green Valley Sermons

The Surpassing Value of Knowing Christ Jesus


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Phil 3:7-16

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. NASB

When Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” in Romans 3:23, He was declaring the truth of who we are. We fall short of the perfect plan that God desires for us. As LORD, he chose to love us in spite of this condition. None of us are living out the great commandment all the time, but God chose, God chooses, to love us anyway. He has every right to condemn us. He deserves to be served perfectly and we fall short of that.

He is so patient with us. He waits for us to wake up and begin following Him and living in the only proper relationship with Him there can be. That is to know Him as Savior and LORD; to live each and every moment as if He really does love us enough to forgive our falling short of what He wants for us; to live as if He really is LORD of each and every moment we live and breathe.

God loves me! Say that with me. God loves me!
He is my LORD! Say that with me. He is my LORD!

Here in this passage of scripture Paul speaks of the “surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

This knowing Christ Jesus my Lord is not a knowing about Him. It is not just accepting the historical truth of the Bible and specifically of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Knowing about Him is good, but we must experience Him as LORD of our life today. This is what is of surpassing value.

Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. The disciples had a personal relationship with Him. Abraham knew Him. Enoch walked with Him and in some way passed from this life into the next without dying. Noah walked with Him and God was with Him through the flood that destroyed everyone Noah knew except his wife, three sons and their wives.

The three Hebrew children walked with Him in the fiery furnace and He was with Daniel in the lions den.

Not everyone gets to experience Jesus in such tangible ways. But . . . we have the Spirit of God to walk with us and to live within us. Every person who ever lived or ever will live has had or will have the opportunity to live with the Creator every moment of every day and we, at our best, fall short of this glory. This life is what brings glory to God, and it is the very essence of our experience of what glory is and will be for us throughout all eternity.

This relationship is what life is all about. This is the surpassing value. It is greater than anything we can or will do. It beats every idea of anyone's bucket list.

Knowing God, through Jesus, the Christ and the Holy Spirit is more important than any job, career, or profession anyone has ever had. The greatest kings, and the person in the cardboard box in the alley have the opportunity to KNOW God. This is our reason for being. This is our purpose, to KNOW HIM and to MAKE HIM KNOWN.

And we treat Him like, so what. I missed my devotions today, no big deal. But if your devotion time is what helps you to focus throughout the day on the fact that God is present with you and is interested in everything you think, feel, say and do, it is a big deal.

If, on the other hand, you are focusing on Him, as the center of your life, as the reason for existing, as the LORD of your life then missing your devotion time is no big deal.

Or perhaps the reason for missing your devotion time, or not beginning them, is one of the things that Paul says he counted as rubbish, as loss, for the sake of KNOWING HIM.

He is calling us to forsake all else for the joy of knowing Him.

He is more important than your health. Living in a relationship with Him will make you healthier. But even if He allows you to go through sickness or brokenness, Your relationship with Him is more important and He will be with you through it all!!!

If you are asking, what you will have to give up in order to sell out to Him, I do not know. Only He knows. But what ever He asks you to give up will be worth it. Knowing Him is of surpassing value. It is more important than good grades in school, although if you know Him, He will help you get good grades. It is more important than clean air. It is more important than having food on the table. It is more important than ANY THING. This is why you exist... to KNOW HIM and to MAKE HIM KNOWN.

This is more important than the fun you have on the computer, or on your phone. This is something worth dying for. “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him”!

This is more important. Knowing God, living in a relationship with God must be your first priority. He will help you decide what your second priority is. As a hint, it may have something to do with loving someone, possibly even your enemy.

If the church does not wake up and begin living out this truth, the world is doomed, our communities will be lost. Those coming after us will not know the glory of KNOWING HIM. He has chosen to use us to reach the world. HE commanded us to call the world to Following Him. That is what it means to make disciples.

Do you want a plan for your church to grow? This is it. Begin each day as if you are living in the presence of God. Because you are! Allow Him to lead you in every decision you make.

Will you fall short of this perfection. Yes. But God chooses you, loves, you and He died for you, proving to you that you are important to Him. He forgives, but don't use that as an excuse to continue ignoring Him and living as if it does not matter. IT MATTERS! It is of surpassing value. Knowing Him.

So, Pastor Uncle Brother Tom, how do I do that? (That is what my niece calls me.)

Trust Him. Trust that He loves you and wants this relationship. Trust that He is leading you. Read His book trusting Him to help you understand it. As you read, ask Him to speak to you. Trust Him to lead you. If you need an audible voice, trust Him to give it. You cannot tell Him you need an audible voice; He is LORD. Asking for it is ok, but trust Him to know when you need it. Yes, it would be nice if He would appear to you in a visible, touchable way, but trust Him to know if you need that.

Trust Him. Trust that He loves you and will lead you in His way, in His time. Spend time with others who are seeking to walk in a relationship with Him. Listen as they share their stories of how God led them. Ask them to pray for you as you learn to walk with Him. This is what church is about. The songs we sing are the testimonies of those who have gone before us. They are the truths that they learned as they walked with God as Savior and Lord.

If you do not have a church home, trust Him to lead you to the one He wants you to go to.

Our righteousness comes from God. It is not what we do for God, it is what we do with Him. Our holiness, or set-apartness, is what we have because we are seeking to live each moment as if God is the most important thing there is. He is! Christianity is about coming to the place that we live out that truth.

Paul said, “not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith”.

There are two kinds of righteousness. One is the kind we trust in when we do, in our own strength and wisdom, what we think God wants us to do. This is self-righteousness. We are trusting in our own goodness, not the goodness of God.

The other one is what we have because we are living in a relationship with God and He, by His Word and His Spirit, is leading us to do what He wants us to do each and every moment, trusting that when we fall short of this perfection, He will forgive us as we admit our failure and move back into the proper relationship. This is God's righteousness, first imputed to us by the forgiveness purchased on the cross of Jesus Christ, and second the imparted righteousness that comes as we walk in obedience to Him who is our Lord.

There is a difference between when I write a sermon and when I submit myself to God and trust Him to speak through me. You may or may not notice the difference, but I do. God can use one that I write to speak to you. I seek, each day, to allow Him to speak through me. It is glorious, of surpassing value, when I connect with Him and He speaks to me as I write or speak.

The surpassing value of knowing Christ. Knowing Him – living in relation to Him – is the most important thing in the whole universe.

Jesus told Nicodemus that when you first enter into this relationship a new birth takes place, that something is born in us that was not there before. Paul says we are a new creation, old things pass away and all things become new. These are not just metaphors. When you enter this life, you die with Christ to your old life and are raised with Him. We become part of the life of God. We are attached to God Himself. It is because we have now begun to live out what we were created for. His life flows through us. His Spirit lives in us. We have life. The only life that really matters, life attached to God. Eternal, Abundant Life coming down from the Father, Living in and through us. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.

Have you joined the family of God? Have you submitted to His Lordship? Are you seeking Him, trusting Him each and every day of your life?

Jesus is the subject! We can be Bold because we are living for Him. We can live In Tune with Jesus Christ.

Recommit yourself to living out this new life. Deny the self life. Take up the cross daily. Live for God. Knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection is of surpassing value. Accept it today!! Live it out from now to eternity.

The Surpassing Value of Knowing Christ Jesus

Phil 3:7-16

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. NASB

When Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” in Romans 3:23, He was declaring the truth of who we are. We fall short of the perfect plan that God desires for us. As LORD, he chose to love us in spite of this condition. None of us are living out the great commandment all the time, but God chose, God chooses, to love us anyway. He has every right to condemn us. He deserves to be served perfectly and we fall short of that.

He is so patient with us. He waits for us to wake up and begin following Him and living in the only proper relationship with Him there can be. That is to know Him as Savior and LORD; to live each and every moment as if He really does love us enough to forgive our falling short of what He wants for us; to live as if He really is LORD of each and every moment we live and breathe.

God loves me! Say that with me. God loves me!
He is my LORD! Say that with me. He is my LORD!

Here in this passage of scripture Paul speaks of the “surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

This knowing Christ Jesus my Lord is not a knowing about Him. It is not just accepting the historical truth of the Bible and specifically of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Knowing about Him is good, but we must experience Him as LORD of our life today. This is what is of surpassing value.

Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. The disciples had a personal relationship with Him. Abraham knew Him. Enoch walked with Him and in some way passed from this life into the next without dying. Noah walked with Him and God was with Him through the flood that destroyed everyone Noah knew except his wife, three sons and their wives.

The three Hebrew children walked with Him in the fiery furnace and He was with Daniel in the lions den.

Not everyone gets to experience Jesus in such tangible ways. But . . . we have the Spirit of God to walk with us and to live within us. Every person who ever lived or ever will live has had or will have the opportunity to live with the Creator every moment of every day and we, at our best, fall short of this glory. This life is what brings glory to God, and it is the very essence of our experience of what glory is and will be for us throughout all eternity.

This relationship is what life is all about. This is the surpassing value. It is greater than anything we can or will do. It beats every idea of anyone's bucket list.

Knowing God, through Jesus, the Christ and the Holy Spirit is more important than any job, career, or profession anyone has ever had. The greatest kings, and the person in the cardboard box in the alley have the opportunity to KNOW God. This is our reason for being. This is our purpose, to KNOW HIM and to MAKE HIM KNOWN.

And we treat Him like, so what. I missed my devotions today, no big deal. But if your devotion time is what helps you to focus throughout the day on the fact that God is present with you and is interested in everything you think, feel, say and do, it is a big deal.

If, on the other hand, you are focusing on Him, as the center of your life, as the reason for existing, as the LORD of your life then missing your devotion time is no big deal.

Or perhaps the reason for missing your devotion time, or not beginning them, is one of the things that Paul says he counted as rubbish, as loss, for the sake of KNOWING HIM.

He is calling us to forsake all else for the joy of knowing Him.

He is more important than your health. Living in a relationship with Him will make you healthier. But even if He allows you to go through sickness or brokenness, Your relationship with Him is more important and He will be with you through it all!!!

If you are asking, what you will have to give up in order to sell out to Him, I do not know. Only He knows. But what ever He asks you to give up will be worth it. Knowing Him is of surpassing value. It is more important than good grades in school, although if you know Him, He will help you get good grades. It is more important than clean air. It is more important than having food on the table. It is more important than ANY THING. This is why you exist... to KNOW HIM and to MAKE HIM KNOWN.

This is more important than the fun you have on the computer, or on your phone. This is something worth dying for. “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him”!

This is more important. Knowing God, living in a relationship with God must be your first priority. He will help you decide what your second priority is. As a hint, it may have something to do with loving someone, possibly even your enemy.

If the church does not wake up and begin living out this truth, the world is doomed, our communities will be lost. Those coming after us will not know the glory of KNOWING HIM. He has chosen to use us to reach the world. HE commanded us to call the world to Following Him. That is what it means to make disciples.

Do you want a plan for your church to grow? This is it. Begin each day as if you are living in the presence of God. Because you are! Allow Him to lead you in every decision you make.

Will you fall short of this perfection. Yes. But God chooses you, loves, you and He died for you, proving to you that you are important to Him. He forgives, but don't use that as an excuse to continue ignoring Him and living as if it does not matter. IT MATTERS! It is of surpassing value. Knowing Him.

So, Pastor Uncle Brother Tom, how do I do that? (That is what my niece calls me.)

Trust Him. Trust that He loves you and wants this relationship. Trust that He is leading you. Read His book trusting Him to help you understand it. As you read, ask Him to speak to you. Trust Him to lead you. If you need an audible voice, trust Him to give it. You cannot tell Him you need an audible voice; He is LORD. Asking for it is ok, but trust Him to know when you need it. Yes, it would be nice if He would appear to you in a visible, touchable way, but trust Him to know if you need that.

Trust Him. Trust that He loves you and will lead you in His way, in His time. Spend time with others who are seeking to walk in a relationship with Him. Listen as they share their stories of how God led them. Ask them to pray for you as you learn to walk with Him. This is what church is about. The songs we sing are the testimonies of those who have gone before us. They are the truths that they learned as they walked with God as Savior and Lord.

If you do not have a church home, trust Him to lead you to the one He wants you to go to.

Our righteousness comes from God. It is not what we do for God, it is what we do with Him. Our holiness, or set-apartness, is what we have because we are seeking to live each moment as if God is the most important thing there is. He is! Christianity is about coming to the place that we live out that truth.

Paul said, “not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith”.

There are two kinds of righteousness. One is the kind we trust in when we do, in our own strength and wisdom, what we think God wants us to do. This is self-righteousness. We are trusting in our own goodness, not the goodness of God.

The other one is what we have because we are living in a relationship with God and He, by His Word and His Spirit, is leading us to do what He wants us to do each and every moment, trusting that when we fall short of this perfection, He will forgive us as we admit our failure and move back into the proper relationship. This is God's righteousness, first imputed to us by the forgiveness purchased on the cross of Jesus Christ, and second the imparted righteousness that comes as we walk in obedience to Him who is our Lord.

There is a difference between when I write a sermon and when I submit myself to God and trust Him to speak through me. You may or may not notice the difference, but I do. God can use one that I write to speak to you. I seek, each day, to allow Him to speak through me. It is glorious, of surpassing value, when I connect with Him and He speaks to me as I write or speak.

The surpassing value of knowing Christ. Knowing Him – living in relation to Him – is the most important thing in the whole universe.

Jesus told Nicodemus that when you first enter into this relationship a new birth takes place, that something is born in us that was not there before. Paul says we are a new creation, old things pass away and all things become new. These are not just metaphors. When you enter this life, you die with Christ to your old life and are raised with Him. We become part of the life of God. We are attached to God Himself. It is because we have now begun to live out what we were created for. His life flows through us. His Spirit lives in us. We have life. The only life that really matters, life attached to God. Eternal, Abundant Life coming down from the Father, Living in and through us. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.

Have you joined the family of God? Have you submitted to His Lordship? Are you seeking Him, trusting Him each and every day of your life?

Jesus is the subject! We can be Bold because we are living for Him. We can live In Tune with Jesus Christ.

Recommit yourself to living out this new life. Deny the self life. Take up the cross daily. Live for God. Knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection is of surpassing value. Accept it today!! Live it out from now to eternity.