Series: Launch Week 1: "Knowing Christ" The Word: Philippians 3:7-14, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 5:13 Main Thought: Launching students to pursue knowing Christ more than anything in the world.
Explanation of Teaching:Following Jesus is not a list of rules but a relationship with God. A Lot of people BELIEVE that there is a God but do not KNOW Him intimately (1 John 5:13, Matthew 7:21-23.
What we will find today is that there is nothing in this life that will be more important than pursuing a relationship with Jesus. Truly knowing Jesus.
What does it mean to “know Jesus?”
We have to realize that…
1. Life is Not about Stuff but a relationship with Christ. Everything we call great in this world is NOTHING compared to knowing Jesus. Philippians 3:7-8: “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
What Paul is saying here is that everything minus Jesus equals nothing.The same is true with God; we must continually look at knowing Jesus more intimately.
2. Receive what we could not earn.
Ephesians 2:8-9:“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Paul was dependent upon what Jesus did on the cross. Paul understood grace. His made a lot of mistakes but he had received forgiveness through faith in Christ.
Philippians 3:9-11: “and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
The good news about the gospel is that God never consults your past to determine your future.
3.We give God glory by living for His mission
Philippians 3:12-14: “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
In order to live on MISSION, we have to move past your mistakes, God has forgiven you and cleansed you from it if you are a believer. Stop wasting time on yesterday. We become stuck when we focus only on the past, our achievements or our pain. Remember where God has brought you, celebrate and then ask for NEW vision to live for Him.
Rope illustration:(I used a long 20+ rope and painted the end to be red as an illustration of eternal perspective compared to our short life on earth. Red represents our short life and the rest of the rope represents the eternity): Imagine this rope goes on forever. What is crazy is some of us are consumed with this red section. It is all about THIS life only (where I’m going on vacation, job, money, sports). The Bible teaches us that who we know and how we live affects how we spend eternity. Forever and ever. (Hold it up HIGH). We all live for the red part naturally but God wants to write a new story. He wants to build upon the foundation that has been built for more people to come to know Jesus Christ and be changed by Him.
When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life was transformed. His life became about knowing Christ. To know Christ meant much more than knowing about Him in his mind; Paul wanted the closest possible personal relationship with Jesus. The trophy of the race of life is Jesus. Paul answered the call to pursue Jesus. Will you?
Element of Fun: We played a great trivia game created by our intern, Daniel called, "Daniel's awkward trivia quiz."
Music: Freedom is Here, Cornerstone, Scandal of Grace
Favorite Moment: 4 students gave their life to Christ the first session of the series! I love seeing how students want to take next steps to know and follow Jesus.
What’s Next: We continue the "Launch" series on becoming like Christ.
To watch any of the series messages, check out the vimeo page