Saturday, September 26, 2009

What Does it Mean to Know Christ? - A Sermon Outline

Sorry, I didn't write this one out. You can read the outline and get the gist of the sermon, I think. Hope it's helpful.

1. We say our goal is to know and to make Christ known

2. Peter recognized Jesus as Messiah/Christ but did not understand what it meant

3. Proverbs complains even before this of us not knowing - and hating knowing. Are we like that?

4. Maybe because James says- it’s dangerous to go around proclaiming when we often spread falsehood. Or evil in the name of Christ.

5. So who is Christ and what does it mean to know him?

6. Note that Peter, who got it so wrong, knew Jesus personally. Sat, ate with him. Listened to his words. Now, how do we know him? Scripture? Partly because it gives us an idea but also not perfect.

7. We’re left with two dilemas. One, how do we know him when he’s not here like he was with Peter? Two, what does it mean for our lives to know him?

8. How: Through Scripture, Prayer, each other. Simple but powerful. That’s why the church gives canon (law) that says it’s each Christian’s responsibility to be here - unless there’s good and extreme cause. We need each other to know Christ.

9. What does it mean is much more treacherous. Because as James says, if we go off half-cocked, we make things worse. As Peter demonstrated, Christ is not here to make us more comfortable or safe. Seeking safety is NOT knowing Christ. Messiah came to give himself even to death.

10. Perhaps the only way to really know Christ is to follow, and for that we have his example, as extreme as it may be. To immitate him, to as WWJD and then do it. But without prayer and study followed by action, we can’t hope to know him, let alone know what it means to know him.

11. Question is, do we really want to know him in the first place? If it means to give up what we own, to give up ourselves, our lives, our comfort? I don’t know. But until each of us gets about the task of finding out, we’ll know the answer is NO.