The Greenhouse - Intimacy
Green House Series - Intimacy with Jesus
Text: Philippians 3:1-11 (February 5th, 2006)
Theme: Spiritual Formation/ Intimacy
• Exegete the Green House - (See supplement)
• Read Matthew 22:34-40 - What are the two greatest commandments? Based on these I’m starting a 6 part “Green House” series this morning divided into 2 parts - In the 1st part we’ll look at 3 foundations to help us love God. In the 2nd part, we’ll look at 3 foundations to help us love our neighbors
• Let’s start with 3 foundations to help us love God - to aid in our own greenhouse effect!
Foundation #1 - Intimacy With Christ - This morning
Foundation #2 - Prayer - Next Week
Foundation #3 - Word - In a couple weeks
• Foundation #1 - Intimacy - Quite the word isn’t it. I looked up the meaning of the word “intimate” - “most private or personal, very close or familiar, deep and thorough - ie. “An intimate friend”.
• Illustration - “Who moved”? Isn’t it true. It is we who move from Him! But that doesn’t change the fact that God wants an intimate relationship with us.
• I read this on Thursday: Intimacy: to “walk so close to God that nothing can come between”.
• Paul knew Jesus intimately. He had a personal, very close, deep and thorough relationship with Christ. Let’s focus on a couple key truths Paul is teaching in Philippians 3:1-11:
1. It’s not about me, or external “righteousness”. It’s about Christ! Paul, who could have, put absolutely no confidence in his flesh, in anything outward. Talk about bragging rights! He had all the gold stars, all the stripes. Everything going for him! Yet, anything Paul could have boasted in or been prideful of - he laid it down. Anything that could point to Paul, he would have none of it!
2. It’s all about knowing Jesus Christ, and His righteousness! It’s about a relationship - Intimacy! (Unpack vs. 7ff)
• From the power of Jesus’ resurrection, to the fellowship of His sufferings, Paul wanted to know Jesus!
• Why should God the Father invite any of us into His presence? Any human righteousness or “goodness” apart from His alone is insufficient. That’s Paul’s point in this passage today. Anything whatsoever that we feel we can put our confidence in apart from Jesus Christ – is nothing, useless, garbage, manure! Nothing is more important than the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus”. Only in Jesus is found “a righteousness that comes from God”.
• Of first importance is not what we are to do for Christ, but rather to know Christ and all that he has done for us. When we get this; when we really know Him and all that He has done, our doing flows from our being. We’re called to “be” and then to do. The problem is we haven’t learned this. We’re too busy! (Ken Boa Quote)
• Paula read this @ our staff meeting this past week. (Meadowlarks)
• This whole thing is about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That’s why God the Father sent his son. To make close and deep relationship with Him possible. Do you remember the curtain in the temple the day Jesus was killed on the cross? The curtain being ripped from top to bottom was a sign that we now have access. Through Christ we have been given access to God. Relationship. The privilege and greatness of knowing Christ!
• Now believers can enjoy a spiritual relationship with Christ because of His dwelling in us by His Holy Spirit. Out of this union with Christ flows the energy we need to live the Christian life. Sever the relationship and you dry up spiritually and you will not bear fruit for His glory. As in a marriage relationship this spiritual relationship must be nurtured and guarded. Intimacy. . .to walk so close to Jesus that nothing comes between!
• The people you spend time with will shape the person you are. What you invest in the most will influence you. The music you listen to and the media you watch molds your thinking. Likewise, your relationship with Jesus and the time you spend cultivating that relationship will make a lasting difference in your life, your family life, and in your relationships.
• In the early church, (Book of Acts), the spiritual fellowship of these first believers was the natural (& supernatural) outflowing of their union with Jesus by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit had just been poured out. They had intimacy with Christ. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and their fellowship and unity flowed out of that.
• If we want that kind of fellowship (the greenhouse effect), then we too need intimacy with Jesus. Jesus never moves in His desire to be with us, to commune with us, to love us. His table before us this morning is evidence of that. The elements of bread and wine, serve to remind us that God did everything necessary just to be with you.
• As we prepare our hearts to come to His table, listen and reflect on the words as I play a song from Third Day. It is called love song. And it is Jesus singing it over you!
Just to be with you, I've done everything
There's no price I did not pay
Just to be with you, I gave everything
Yes, I gave my life away.
• Prayer (Worship team to begin to play quietly)
• After prayer - servers come forward