OF CHARACTER: KNOWLEDGE!"
Written and preached by David P.
2 PETER 1:5-11
There is true knowledge and there is so-called knowledge. Science once
"knew" that the world is
flat; that the earth is the center of the solar system, that the atom
is the smallest indivisible particle;
that eating tomatoes was deadly and that taking a bath in a tub would
result in lunacy. Through true
knowledge science, at least temporarily, eliminated polio, small pox,
and other dread diseases. God
wants us to add "true knowledge" as another building block of
character. We see in 1
that He "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the
truth." And in 1
Timothy is told, "Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas
of what is falsely
called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have
wandered from the faith." Real,
significant, lasting knowledge must incorporate knowledge of Jesus
Christ. To develop that idea we
must go to Philippians
where Paul speaks of the knowledge to which he would attain.
OBJECTIVE WAS TO KNOW CHRIST!
- There's a vast difference between knowing someone and knowing
- We all know facts about others with whom we are not
personally acquainted! Maybe some sport's hero or political figure.
- A man "knew" Abraham Lincoln but in reality had only "shook
- Many can cite fact after fact about Jesus Christ, may believe
in His historical
existence but are yet strangers to Him for there is no relationship;
don't know Him!
- Paul knew Jesus personally! Yet his objective to know Him
better and better and
never quit knowing Him; to be related to Him, involved with Him,
walking with Him,
communicating with Him, identified with Him more and more! How do we
know Jesus? Exactly as we get to know others:
- Spend time with Him, learning His traits, words and actions.
- Work with Him, sharing His tasks and purposes.
- Converse with Him but also listen to and learn from His word.
- A person can go to heaven without wealth, but not without
Jesus; A person can go
to heaven without fame, but not without Jesus; A person can go to
health, but not without Jesus; A person can go to heaven without
popularity, but not
without Jesus; A person can go to heaven without success, but not
without Jesus; A
person can go to heaven without secular education, but not without
Jesus. It is
essential to know Him for life here and hereafter.
It was Paul's, and it should be our, objective to know Christ-
personally and intimately.
OBJECTIVE WAS TO
KNOW THE POWER OF CHRIST'S
- He knew that Jesus was alive; he met Him on the Damascus road!
He wanted to
experience the dynamic, the power, the glory that caused the
resurrection! It took
immense power to raise Jesus from the dead.
- Paul wanted an experience with God's resurrection working
power! But, what does
that mean? How does that happen? Is that resurrection power available
today? Listen to Paul:
"But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so
very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, He gave us
when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor
you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with
- Romans 6:4
(NLT) "For we died and were buried with Christ by
baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious
power of the
Father, now we also may live new lives." That's the power of
"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He
will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit."
"Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work
within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever
ask or hope.
- And, beyond this life, our resurrection to heavenly
bodies. 1 Corinthians 15 and 2
- One thing we all find aggravating is to try to start our car
and we only hear a weak
"click" of the solenoid. The first thing I do is check for corrosion on
terminals. If they are corroded, power doesn't get through to the
corrosion acts as an insulation. Many times there is corrosion in our
life: things like
pride, hate, fear, doubt, lust will corrode our hearts and keep God's
flowing. To surrender our lives to Him lets the power flow.
It was Paul's, and it should be our, objective to know the power of
- PAUL'S OBJECTIVE WAS
THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHRIST'S
- You've got to be kidding! We want insulation from suffering! We
relief: air conditioning in summer and heat in winter and Tylenol when
we hurt. We
want relief, not suffering, and we want relief now!
- This is not "Good News For Modern Masochists!" Paul did not
simply want to suffer
but to know the fellowship, the kinship, and personal identification
with Christ even
in suffering! He saw that as a privilege.
1:29 (NLT) "For you have been given not only the
trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him."
Timothy 2:3 (NLT) "Endure suffering along with me, as a
good soldier of
- There is a certain fellowship, a kinship, a bonding, a unity,
a commonality in
suffering! Paul wanted to know Christ so well that he even suffered
Christ suffered whether it be ostracism, rejection, mistreatment, or
- A missionary in Madras, India, encountered a little Christian
girl who was a devoted
witness for Jesus. He saw that her face, neck and arms were horribly
scarred - scars
she had received from many beatings for speaking for Jesus. He asked,
could you stand that brutality?" She replied, "Aren't you glad if you
can suffer for
Christ, sir?" If one is true to the Savior, we might experience
ridicule, exclusion, and
harsh treatment - but that's fellowshipping with Christ in suffering.
It was Paul's, and it ought to be our, objective to know the
fellowship of Christ's suffering.
- PAUL'S OBJECTIVE WAS
TO KNOW CONFORMITY TO CHRIST'S DEATH!
- Christ's death was by crucifixion! Paul must have had something
like that in mind! What is there about Christ's death to which we must
- Christ died on a cross, so Paul must have that in mind. He
means living a life
of sacrifice, and suffering if need be.
- Christ died willingly, so we must be willing to submit to
whatever cross God
may allow us to experience.
8:34 (NLT) "If any of you wants to be My follower," He
them, "you must
put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me."
our cross involves willingly dying with regard to
- Satan and his deceit!
- Sin and rebellion against God!
- The world, its influences and standards!
- The flesh with its self seeking passions!
- How might we experience conformity to Christ's death? Paul
gives us several clues:
6:6 (NIV) "For we know that our old self was crucified
so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no
slaves to sin."
2:20 (NIV) "I have been crucified with Christ and I
no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in
the Son of
God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me."
5:24 NIV) "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have
sinful nature with its passions and desires."
6:14 (NIV) "May I never boast except in the cross
of our Lord
Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I
- We are called to die, to be unaffected by and unresponsive
to, sin and the
sinful nature, the world and its influences.
- James Calvert went out as a missionary to the Fiji Islands. He
was going to work
among the cannibals. The captain of the ship that carried him, urged
him to return
home. "You will lose your life and the lives of those who go with you
if you go
among such savages." Calvert replied, "We died before we came here." He
crucified with Christ, and was conformed to the likeness of Christ's
Paul had a consuming desire to know Jesus Christ intimately even
through suffering and sacrifice. He knew whatever the cost it would
result in a crown! If he knew Christ, and the power of His
resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering and conformity to His
death he would attain eternal
life. That is a promise to all who know Jesus Christ in a personal,
saving way! Knowing Jesus as
Lord now means we will know His salvation eternally! If we live with
Him here, we'll live with Him
hereafter! Knowing Him is more than a handshake affair; it's more than
believing facts; it's more than
making a glib confession! It is to obey Him and serve Him as Lord!
Really knowing Him is being,
giving, doing, and living all for Jesus! How is it with you today? Are
you strangers or friends? Are
you aliens or family? If you're all for Jesus you'll find that He's all
for you! And that is the greatest
of all things to know.
Stories from Knight Books of
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