All I want is to know Christ Philippians 3:1-15

What do you want most out of life?
Big house? Nice car? The latest iPhone or iPad?
To be happy?
To be successful?
To be safe and healthy

The apostle Paul had very different desires and ambitions.
Philippians 3 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, 11 in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life. (Good News)
ALL I WANT is to know Christ

Paul was writing towards the end of his life under house arrest in Rome. But knowing Christ had been his one and only goal since that day when he encountered the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. From that day forward Paul had been excited about Jesus. He had been passionate about Jesus. Paul was fanatical about Jesus!

Because Paul had discovered how wonderful and marvellous and exciting Jesus is!
Jesus Christ – Son of God – Immanuel, God with us.
Jesus – crucified for our sins, so that we could be forgiven
Jesus Christ – risen from the dead!
Jesus Christ – King of Kings and LORD of LORDS
Jesus the returning King – one day EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
No wonder Paul was passionate about Jesus. Paul was fanatical about Jesus! Because Jesus was worth it! Knowing Jesus was the only thing in life worth bothering about.
Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
Experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives
Even becoming like Christ in His death was worth it! Sharing Jesus’s sufferings was worth it! For the incredible blessings of knowing Jesus.
The Psalmist prayed: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). The greatest desire of a true Christian is to know God. Every other desire pales in significance to this one.
Jesus is so important and precious that knowing him is more important than anything else in life. Because of how great and wonderful Jesus is!!!!

Everything else is rubbish

7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What 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 …. 10 All I want is to know Christ

Some people seem to have it all! A Jew called Saul was one of them. Faultless pedigree, first rate education, a top job with all the prestige and power that brings, and all the privileges that money could buy. But then Saul’s life was turned upside down on the day when Jesus Christ appeared to him on the Damascus Road, and Saul the persecutor became Paul the apostle. So Paul gave up all his privileges, because knowing Jesus is SO MUCH MORE valuable than anything else we could aim at and strive for.

There are so many things that people work hard for in life and strive for in life.

Careers, Family, Hobbies, sports, pastimes

All these, says the apostle Paul, are worth NOTHING compared to knowing Jesus Christ. Yes, they are important, they demand our time and efforts, but compared to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord, all these things we may work for and take pleasure in are worth NOTHING.
MESSAGE: Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant .. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. …. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.
Paul gave up everything to know Christ. So what have WE given up so that we can know Jesus better?
Around 250 years ago, two young Moravian men heard of an island in the West Indies which was owned by one plantation master. He was a violent man who treated his slaves with complete contempt. He would not allow them to know anything about Christian things and no missionaries were allowed to come and work among the slaves. God gave these two young Moravian men a burden for this group of people who would never hear about the love of Jesus. So they sold themselves into slavery to that plantation master. They used the money they received for their own lives to pay for their boat passage to get to the island. They gave up their lives to go and live among that community of slaves and bring them the gospel.

Their families came to the docks to farewell them, knowing it was highly doubtful they would ever see them again. Their mothers were crying on the shore as the ship pulled out of the harbour. The last words ever heard from them came from one of the young men shouting from the ship’s deck: “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” That became the rallying call of that small Moravian community. They sent out a total of 2,158 missionaries all over the world. Jesus had died for people who would never hear the gospel unless someone went to tell them.

When we hear stories like that of those two young men, we may be tempted to think “That’s not NORMAL! Selling yourself into slavery? Leaving everything behind, even family. That is not normal.”

But what IS the “NORMAL” Christian life? According to the Bible, according to the example of the Early Church, according to the apostle Paul here in Philippians 3, the normal Christian life is one of FULL DEVOTION to Jesus Christ. Total Commitment. Anything less than TOTAL devotion to Christ is SUB-normal. Not what Jesus intends. Jesus Himself said: “If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up ALL rights to himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34 – J.B. Phillips)

Giving up all rights. Throwing everything else away. Follow him. Being Fanatical about knowing Jesus.That is the NORMAL Christian life. Total commitment, full devotion to Jesus Christ.
Again Jesus said in Luke 14:33, 33 Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Missionaries in later generations also give us challenging and inspiring examples of self-sacrifice. C.T. Studd was born in 1860. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge and also a world-class cricketer. He was saved under the preaching of evangelist D.L.Moody, and at age of 25 C.T.Studd went to China as a missionary, one of the “Cambridge Seven”.
He inherited a vast fortune and gave it all away to Christian work and went to be a missionary in India but had to return to England due to illness. Back home Studd went along to a meeting entitled, “Cannibals need missionaries” and against the advice of his doctors, he went out and worked in central Africa until he died aged 71.

C.T.Studd once said “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

One of his fellow missionaries said about him: “C. T.’s life stands as a sign to all succeeding generations that it is worthwhile to lose all this world can offer and stake everything on the world to come. His life will be an eternal rebuke to easy-going Christianity. He has demonstrated what it means to follow Christ without counting the cost and without looking back.”
1. A Fully Devoted Follower of Jesus COUNTS ALL THINGS “LOSS”.
2. A Fully Devoted Follower of Jesus HAS A PASSION TO KNOW CHRIST.
3. A Fully Devoted Follower of Jesus IS PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE.
4. A Fully Devoted Follower of Jesus LIVES A NEW LIFE.
A simple illustration: a businessman was selling a warehouse he owned. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior. As he showed a prospective buyer the property, the businessman promised that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out all the rubbish. But the buyer said: “Forget about the repairs. When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site.”

God doesn’t come into our lives and rescue us because He likes the buildings we have build of our lives. He wants the site. He wanted US, so He can build an entirely NEW building. Something beautiful. Something we could NEVER have built. Something in the image of Christ. If we are trying to improve our lives so that God will accept us are like people tidying up a warehouse that is destined to be demolished. That’s pointless!
“I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally,” says Paul
5. A Fully Devoted Follower of Jesus SEES LIFE AS A RACE TO BE RUN TO THE FINISH. Throughout His life to the very end, the apostle Paul was

Focussed on the goal

We need to make knowing Christ and running the Christian race our top priority
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.
It is a sign of Christian maturity not that we put our feet up and wait for heaven but that that we “forget what was behind, strain towards what is ahead and press on”.
MESSAGE : By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Focussed on the goal – which is Jesus – knowing Jesus.
Hear again what Paul is saying. We should be:-
“pressing on” (endurance)
“reaching out” (focussed on the future)
“forgetting the past” – forgetting the bad AND the good!
“moving forward” (progress)
THIS IS CHRISTIAN MATURITY. Maturity as a believer is not measured by how much you already know – it’s measured by the passion with which you are committed to moving on to know Christ better, to see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly, day by day.
Growing in Christian maturity:
Growing in our relationship with God
Growing in knowledge and understanding
Growing in witness and service
Growing in the image of Christ
Growing by deeper fellowship
Growing in victory
Growing in passion
What do you want most in life? Most of spend our lives multitasking – chasing a number of things at one. Career. Family. Success. Popularity. Comfort.
One thing I do (v13) – all I want (v10) – in contrast to multitasking – chasing lots of different things at once. The apostle Paul was single minded. “One thing I want” he said. ALL I want – the only thing I want – is to know Jesus.
We happened to be visiting Florida in 2008 when revival broke out for a short while at Ignited Church in Lakeland. From that church, revival spread out across the world particularly in signs and wonders, miracles of healing and deliverance. One sentence from that evening is particularly appropriate: a simple truth:-
The apostle Paul was a fanatic. We may have friends who think we are fanatics. I certainly had colleagues who couldn’t understand why I walked away from a very successful and promising teaching career to become a Baptist Minister. God calls us all to be fanatical about Jesus – because He’s worth it! By comparison, everything else is just rubbish.
The Missionary Aviation Fellowship pilot who was martyred by the South American Auca Indians, Jin Elliott once said,
“That man is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!”
10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, 11 in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life. (Good News)

You may also like...

Comments are closed.