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June 18, 2000 PM


(Phil 3:10,11)

INTRO: In v. 8 Paul had referred to the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. He returns to that subject of knowing Christ and enlarges upon exactly what he had in mind. As we look into the workings of the mind of Paul and the things which seemed most important to him, we need to keep the word know in mind. Over the years it seems to me that we have become doubtful, timid and uncertain ... about so many things relative to life, to the church, to Christ, to eternity. Yet, one cannot but be impressed by the number of times and ways we are encouraged to be certain, to be sure .. to know.


A. Not just to know about Christ

1. so many have known about Him - millions

2. but for all practical purposes He has either been studied as a historical person or has just been isolated fact of knowledge

3. but no life changes have resulted

B. Know Christ personally, intimately

1. Paul - like we - did not company with Christ in flesh

2. yet, he uses a word for know which speaks of a very intimate acquaintance

3. discipleship is from start to finish very personal (that does not mean that it changes meaning from person to person ... but that every person must be involved, engrossed in it ... thus,


A. He is not referring to historicity of resurrection

1. this is - of course - an accomplished fact

2. he never doubts it ... 1 Cor 15:3,4,20

B. But he refers to the power of His resurrection for him

1. the resurrection of Jesus says some things

a. it says this life is important - 2 Cor 4:14 and 5:10

b. it says there is life to come - 2 Tim 1:10

c. it says Christ is with us - Heb 13:5b

2. each of those things - for a disciple - becomes a power in, of, behind thought processes, decisions, actions

3. power of His resurrection is truly life changing and life influencing in nature


A. New Testament acknowledges possible pain of discipleship

1. Peter, Paul, John certainly do not avoid telling us

2. but people have an aversion to pain of any kind ...and often prefer avoiding anything which could bring pain ... this is one of the spiritually deadly temptations ... we would compromise, give in, blend in to avoid personal pain

3. yet, the more impact Christ makes on our lives, the more we are influenced by Him, the more potential for suffering

B. Such suffering is fellowship with Christ

1. it must never be viewed as personal and isolated

2. note 2 Cor 1:5; 4:10,11; Gal 6:17; Col 1:24 our suffering for Christ is our suffering with Christ

3.and I love to think of 1 Pet 4:12-14,16 or Rev 6:9


A. This is, I believe, reference to the idea of Rom 6:1-6

1. there one is united into the death of Christ at baptism

2. there is a death ... death to self and sin (6:11)

3. there is a newness of life (6:4) ... it is a life in which sin does not reign (6:12)

B. Thus, Pauls reference here is to life lived as Christian

1. the old man - with his interest, emphasis, desire - is a man of the past

2. every step now is in view of the new life in Christ

3. Eph 4:22-24 there are very practical changes in a disciples life as he comes to know Christ more closely


A. It is, of course, the final resurrection toward which we are looking and thinking

1. certainly this is objective of Christian life

2. 2 Cor 5:1,2 in this we groan

B. But it is a prospect only if we are in him (3:9)

1. knowing Christ, one would have to desire fervently to be with Christ in the resurrection

2. and the only way to that wonderful prospect is through this life united with Christ and impelled by Him

CLOSE: I think, then, it is appropriate for me to ask, How well do you know Christ?

Cecil A. Hutson

18 June 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)