The First Principles of the Oracles of God
Knowing Him – Concluding Sermon Notes
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(2 Pet 1:8) “…for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
In previous studies, we examined how we get to know God by the working of the Holy Spirit and in God’s Great Grace. Peter touched on the whole point of what we do as a Christian person experiencing the kingdom promises, increasing in character and godliness. But still, these teachings fall short of the chief importance in our lives, knowing Jesus Christ intimately and personally. Scripture agrees, Jesus, Paul, and Peter that knowing God is the very peak of the purpose of our Christian lives, to know God.
(John 17:3 Jesus said) “…and this is life eternal that they (us) may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…”
(Phill 3:8 Paul said) “…yea doubtless I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things: and do count them as dung that I may win Christ…that I may know Him…”
Paul gave one of his strongest messages in scripture, an absolute foundation that all of his things, attainments, and purposes were as good as dung compared with knowing Jesus Christ in his life. God showed us, through Paul the great priority, perspective and goal in our Christian lives, to know Jesus as our Lord, our Saviour and best friend.
“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings…”
To know him – To be fully acquainted and to fully perceive his character, personality and being.
The power of his resurrection – That we may know, understand and experience the proper influence of the power of his resurrection in our lives.
And to fellowship with him in HIS sufferings – That I may participate with God today in his continued sufferings, his purposes so his will would be seen and glorified.
We may seek to him but he already knows us…
(Psalm 139) “…oh Lord thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my down sitting and my uprising, thou understand my thought afar off. Thou compasseth my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue but lo, o’Lord, thou knowest it all together…”
The Psalmist had that revelation, that we all seek to know just how perfectly God knows us but there is nothing about us, nothing we do or that we’re going to do, that God doesn’t already know. No-one knows us as God knows us.
The Principles of Knowing Him
(John 3:16) “…for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son…”
It’s a fact that God has a far greater desire to fellowship with us than us with him. The Cross of Christ shows just how great a length God went to, to restore fellowship with mankind. It has always been God who has provided the way and made the first move, with Adam, Moses, the tabernacle and with the sacrifice of his dear son.
(1 Cor 13:9) “….for we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come (Jesus) then that which is part shall be done away…for now we see through a glass darkly…”
Paul shows us that there are limitations in this life as to how much we can know him. It’s important to understand that God, for now, has put methods in place so God and man can communicate by his Holy Spirit. Through fellowship with other believers, prayer, communion, prophecy, tongues, dreams etc. all of which shall be done away with upon the return of Jesus Christ.
(Phill 3:12) “…not as though I had already attained, either was already perfect…I count myself NOT to have apprehended but this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reach forth to those things which are before…”
The great encouragement by God through Paul. There have probably been few men that had suffered like Paul, prayed, worshipped, sacrificed like he did and yet Paul claimed he still didn’t have it all figured out. But for Paul, he said he would keep pressing on.
The previous verses give us great perspective, balance, and understanding of knowing God. Knowing that he knows us and that he wants us to know him, God himself re-opened that door through the sacrifice of his only Son, putting in place method of communication. Knowing that there are limitations but a great promise, that when he comes, we’ll see him as he is face-to-face.
Where to begin to get to know Him
(1 Cor 11:23b-26) “…that the night the Lord Jesus was betrayed He took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it and said: “take eat this is my body broken for you, do this in remembrance of me”. After the same manner, He took the cup when He had supped saying “this cup is the new testament in my blood: do ye as often as ye drink in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat of this bread and drink of this cup, ye show the Lord’s death till He come…”
It begins with the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ where our salvation begins and remains the central focus throughout our Christian lives. The sacrifice represented by this ordinance that Jesus instituted.
The bread – The broken body of Jesus Christ for our sin
The wine – The blood-shed on the Cross to purchase freedom and forgiveness for all mankind
One partaking in this ordinance partakes in the highest form of worship, adoration and commitment to God. The very peak of Christian worship!
Do this…by partaking in the Lord’s supper we show our faith and devotion to him as our Lord, saviour and best friend.
In remembrance…a continual reminder to his people of just what it took to purchase salvation for men.
This is the New Testament…Jesus declaring for us to remind ourselves to live in that new freedom in Jesus Christ.
Ye show the Lord’s Death…the proclamation of the Church and individual believers of the Good News that salvation is available to all mankind through Christ.
Till I come…a reminder to his Church, that he will come back and to always look towards the day he does.