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Knowing Christ

January 27, 2019 Speaker: Matt Boswell Series: Established in Joy: A Study of Philippians

Passage: Philippians 3:4–8

"What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the “eternal life” that Jesus gives? Knowledge of God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight and contentment than anything else? Knowledge of God. What of all the states God ever sees man in, gives most pleasure to God? Knowledge of himself. In these very few sentences we have said a great deal." (Knowing God, 33)

J.I. Packer asks us to think carefully through these questions and answers. I wonder if we were to do an analysis of our lives as Christians, that it would be true of us that our objective, the thing that has laid hold of our allegiance is knowing God. I don’t just mean knowledge about God, but actually knowing God. You see, we want our theology to be right and rich, but we want that because we want our relationship with God to be right and rich. So, let’s brave this question this morning with honesty -  Is the aim of your life to know Christ?

The teaching of the bible, and the message of the gospel is that satisfaction is found not in the accumulation of wealth, or building a resumé to pride ourselves on. True satisfaction is in knowing Christ Jesus.

We live in a culture that has lots of ways to answer the questions we saw earlier: what were we made for? From get as much as you can, to give as much as you can. But the bible presents a totally different answer to what were we made for? And the answer is the glorify God and enjoy him forever. To know and be known by Christ.

In Philippians 3:4-8, Paul reads through his very impressive resume in order to defend the Philippians from the claims of Judaizers. It’s as if he looks at all the Judaizers are saying about how they live for God in a way that is more pure than the Philippians. So Paul pulls his resume out of a back closet, sits down, and reads us the list of all of his accomplishments before Christ. He goes line by line through his lineage, his pedigree, his religious accomplishments; and when he is finished, he wads up his resumé into a paper ball and tosses it into the fire. 

The heart of what Paul is getting after is that these things that he thought were everything, were actually things keeping him from knowing Christ. He does this to show us that there is no accomplishment that we can achieve to be righteous before God, but our only hope in right standing before God is in Christ Jesus. We will highlight three three things in our passage today: Life Before Christ, Second, the Marvelous Exchange, and finally The Treasure of Knowing Christ.


  1. Can you say that the aim of your life to know Christ? What other things compete for this role in your life? 
  2. What things stood between you and Christ before you trusted him? (Your works or your disregard for God) Explain.
  3. Do you still count life before Christ as a loss?
  4. How can your community group help encourage you to make it your aim to know Christ?


Pray this passage together:

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:18 

More in Established in Joy: A Study of Philippians

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March 31, 2019

Gospel Generosity

March 24, 2019

Christ is Enough