Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor, commonly known as the Unfinished was started in 1822 but left with only two movements complete even though Schubert would live for another six years.
Jeremiah 9:23, 24a Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me…
The idea of “knowing God” is, to me, like an unfinished symphony
Beautiful in its incompleteness, haunting in what is yet to be discovered.
There is both a sense of the blessedness of what is known of God, and a sense of the infinite re. what is not known of God.
I. Paul’s Passion To Know Jesus
A. Jesus Was The Object Of Paul’s Passion V. 10a
1. That I may know Him- Jesus was the object of Paul’s passion.
2. Paul wasn’t desiring to just know the power of Jesus, because that was only a part of who Jesus was.
3. He didn’t just desire to know the wisdom of Jesus, or the kindness of Jesus, etc.
4. Paul’s desire and passion was to know and experience everything about Jesus that there was to experience.
B. Paul Wanted To Know Jesus By Experience
1. He didn’t want to know about Him; he wanted to experience Jesus.
2. Know-ginosko- to know by experience.
a. It is possible to know about something through observation, but that is not the same as experiencing that thing.
b. Paul wanted to experience the fullness of a relationship with Jesus
c. Not textbook knowledge, not second-hand knowledge. Paul wanted to live it.
II. How Paul Wanted To Know Jesus Vs. 10b, 11
A. Desire To Know The Power Of God
- The power of his resurrection
- Read Ephesians 1:19-22.
- Paul wanted to know that power that raised Christ from the dead.
- Not power just for raising Jesus from the dead.
- God’s power did that, but it exists for more than that. It exists for daily living.
- That kind of power radically changed those who experience it
- That power demands the Believer to step out in faith, trusting God that that power will be present to accomplish what God wants to accomplish.
- That power is not something to be analyzed, studied, or placed behind a strong glass barrier for our protection as we watch others experience it.
- To know that power means we step out in faith as God directs.
- It means we rely upon God’s power.
- Jesus depended on the power of God.
Luke 4:14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
- Paul knew of that power. (Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10)
B.Willingness To Suffer Like Jesus
- The fellowship of His sufferings.
- Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church…
- We know someone better when we suffer as they have suffered.
- We understand how they endured, persevered, stayed hopeful, had faith.
- There is an unmatched bond between those who suffer the same thing.
a.Example- Cancer patients, divorcees, war veterans, widows & widowers, etc.
b.I can’t try to know what a cancer patient feels like. I can only know by experiencing it.
c.Usually, that bond, that experience, is not one of choice, but of fate.
6.Paul wanted to know Jesus & was willing to choose to suffer like Jesus.
7.Paul could have avoided suffering and saved himself much pain
8.Instead, Paul sought to obey the Father, as Jesus did.
9.The suffering of Jesus something that Jesus could have avoided, but instead, He received it as He sought to be obedient to the Father.
a. Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
10. Similar suffering by Paul resulted in Paul knowing Jesus in a way that a less committed man would never experience.
11. Knowing Jesus that deeply also equipped Paul to encourage others.
C. Willingness To Die Like Jesus
1. Being conformed to his death
2. conformed-To bring to the same form withanother; to become like another.
3. To have an external appearance that rightly reflects that which is internal.
4. This doesn’t speak of Paul having to suffer on a cross.
5. It speaks of Paul being conformed to be like Jesus in being as willing as Jesus to suffer for righteousness sake.
6. Paul wanted to experience that same kind of willingness to suffer for the same kinds of reasons.
7. Not suffering for the purpose of suffering, but for righteousness’ sake.
8. Jesus was willing to suffer for righteousness sake.
9. Read 1 Peter 2:18-23. Jesus suffered because of His conscience towards His Father.
D. Faithful Until Death
1. V. 11-If by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
2. by any means- since indeed, if after all. (something that finally happens)
3. Attain- to come, to arrive at a destination, to finish a race.
4. Paul anticipated that after all this had transpired, he would eventually die, but then be raised from the dead.
5. He wasn’t talking of earning salvation, but of the completion of the process of knowing Jesus as deeply as he could.
6. Paul knew, that as he willingly chose to surrender to these choices, that he would know Jesus better, with the end result being Heaven.