The J.o.y. of knowing Jesus 2

Dear friend,


May the grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


What is the greatest exchange that you have ever heard of? How about this one, where someone took away all our bad and gave unto us all their good? That is what occurred when Jesus Christ became sin for us, He who knew no sin, so that we might be made righteous with God. Martin Luther called this action of God's grace the Great Exchange.


As we continue hearing the Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, share the letter he wrote to the Philippian congregation, we are reviewing of his experience of the Great Exchange. That which he thought was on the plus side, he came to see that it was on the minus side. In this 3rd chapter of Philippians he gives his testimony concerning his spiritual journey which resulted in Jesus Christ finding him As a result,  he One he formerly had persecuted he now began to preach and proclaim Him.  He not only counted the former things for loss, he had counted and continued to count ALL things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.



Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,


What did Paul mean when he says, "to win Christ?" If we understand his former way of thinking that he considered himself having favor with God through his Jewish background, upbringing and service, it would mean that he thought he was winning favor with God by his own actions. It can be confusing to us when we are comparing merit with gift and the same terminology is used for both. Paul certainly was not speaking of his merit gaining Christ's favor, a fact of utmost importance which he clarifies in the next verse by saying "to be found in Him."


9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:


Here he clarifies what he is speaking about as he contrasts being justified by the law (by doing) vs justified by the merit of Christ (by receiving), which is  applied to him/to us by faith.



 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.


What is Paul referring to here when he says "that I may know Him and so on? The first scripture verse we heard read today was from John 17:3 which is as follows:


KJV John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.


To know Christ is to have eternal life. Not to know of Him, or about Him, but to know Him. What does it mean to know Him? Well, let us consider an earthly example of what it means to know of somebody vs to know somebody. We all know a lot of people, but by far the vast majority of our friends we know only of them but do not really know them. Do we know them from what others say about them or do we know them from sharing of life together with them? What do they think of us, what do they want for us and so on?


Is to know Christ to know, to believe and to trust in that which He out of love has accomplished for us? Paul said in another place concerning knowing...


KJV 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.


 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.


As a result of being connected to Christ's merits through faith, Paul now knew Christ, and of how He had been  delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.(Romans 4:25) He understood and received the grace of God in Christ.


By faith he also recognized that in this relationship with Christ he would be drawn closer to Him through suffering in Him and for Him, as he continued to walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit's presence in him.  He saw by faith that one day he would be raised up by Christ at the last day.


John 6: 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.



 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the(upward) high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


Paul exudes confidence which resulted from him "knowing" Christ through the revelation of the Holy Spirit of the will and purposes of God for him. He may have thought that he was sounding a little uppity with his hearers, so now he softens his approach to them, saying something like this: 'It is not as if I have already arrived, for I have not, as I am still in the maturing process.



Faith has given me all the knowledge of Christ that I have need of, but because the old nature still lives in me, I am subject to looking back, or even inward. I want nothing more than to grasp that which Christ grasped me for, and even though I am still incomplete in this knowledge, I know that I am looking through the windshield instead of into the rear view mirror.


Here is some real application for us all. How much joy and peace are we robbed of when we look back and say things like, "I should have, I could have, Why didn't , How could I have been so blind? and so on? While it is true that Apostle Paul did look back, he did only to remember from which he had been before, but he did not go back in order repunish himself for his past sins. Another had taken the punishment for them, namely Christ. That is the Christ Paul know and the One we must know.





Apostle Peter is another one who could have beat himself up for his past, but in reading his epistles it is difficult to find where he did so. Instead, he magnified the grace of God in his past, present and future life. There is a lesson for us in these two men in how they understood, experienced and proclaimed the grace of God in Christ. How did Peter come to know Christ?




Luke 23:32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.

 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.

 34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."




 Luke 22:59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, "Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean."

 60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times."

 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.


By what he wrote as the last verse of his 2nd letter, we can be fairly certain that he knew Jesus as His Saviour and Lord.


KJV 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

May our gracious Lord bless His Word into our hearts and minds today so that we by faith may say as my dear mother did as she drew near her departure from this life: Eternity will not be long enough to praise my Saviour for saving me.”

All glory and honor to God through Jesus Christ now and always, Amen!

Pastor Orval