"Knowing Christ"

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  49:11
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Hindsight is 20/20.

Paul knows better now.

In this text, He is comparing what he knows now with what he knew then.
He is doing so to warn about false teachers, doctrine, and thinking (like his past thinking).

What did Paul learn? (v. 7)

His past gain was actually a loss.
What brought him to this awareness? Christ.
“For the sake of” - because of, in light of
To see Christ for Who He is and the significance of that in Paul’s life helped him see the truth of his past life.

What did Paul have? (vv. 8-9)

Relation with Christ (v. 8).
Which is what “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” means, that is knowing Him personally because of having a relationship with Him.
Having a relationship with someone is different than knowing OF or ABOUT someone. It is like knowing your spouse as compare to knowing about someone you’ve heard of.
Paul considered this the opposite of the loss that he just spoke about. It was gain.
In this relationship with Christ, there will always be more to learn about Christ, so there will always be more to gain of Christ in this sense. So Paul has gained Christ and will continue to gain Christ.
Righteousness from God (v. 9)
Paul believes that he will be found to be in Christ.
Which means that he will be found to be righteous before God.
How? Not by his own righteousness, but by the righteousness from God.
When did Paul receive this righteousness? When he believed in Christ (faith).

What did Paul want? (vv. 10-11)

To know Christ more (v. 10).
To grow in that relationship (which is inevitable in having a relationship with someone).
What growth is Paul interested in here?
Knowing “the power of His [Christ’s] resurrection”
This can mean the power or influence of Christ’s resurrection upon the state/condition of the resurrection of believers - that His resurrection enables/empowers our resurrection.
Romans 6:4–5 “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
1 Corinthians 15:20–23 “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
This can mean the power of Christ having been raised - His resurrected state/position.
This can mean the power of God manifested in Christ’s resurrection.
Ephesians 1:19–20 “and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,”
Paul wants to understand and experience this power more.
Knowing “the fellowship of [participation in] His sufferings” (NASB, better than ESV).
Paul viewed suffering as a way of identifying with the suffering of Christ.
This was another way of knowing Christ. Think of how Christ responded to suffering.
1 Peter 2:21–23 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
1 Peter 4:12–13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
Paul was even willing to become like Christ in His death. He was willing to die to know more of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:10–11 “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
To know Christ no matter what (v. 11).
No matter what happens to him in this life, he is looking forward to the life to come - “the resurrection of the dead.” True believers will receive a resurrected body and a glorification with Christ at the beginning of their everlasting life with God in heaven. This is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:20–23 “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
Romans 8:16–19 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”
Romans 8:23 “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
Philippians 3:20–21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
“Attain” - to reach or arrive at a destination, NOT to earn a destination
Philippians 3:11 (NASB95) “in order that [1] I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” [1] Lit if [since] somehow
Philippians 3:11 (NIV) “and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Paul is not uncertain of reaching the resurrection of the dead, he is uncertain of how and when he will reach it.
So Paul wants to know Christ more no matter what he will go through in that knowing that he will be raised to a new life with Christ.

You have a choice.

You can reject this encouragement (because that is what it is - received what he received, learn what he learned).
Or, you can accept and embrace this encouragement. You can accept what Paul accepted (WHO Paul accepted). You can pursue what Paul pursued (WHO Paul pursued).
You can disregard this (text), or you can be encouraged by it - reject it or embrace it.
Each of us will make this choice today - this will stick with us or it won’t.
Benediction: Hebrews 13:20–21 “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1–23
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