Proposition: Understanding Christ is essential to understanding the Christian religion and to understanding life itself.
I. INSIGHT INTO THE VALUE OF CHRIST, vs. 7, 8
A. What was profit is now loss.II. INSIGHT INTO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST, v.9
B. What was treasure is now trash.
C. What was great is now garbage.
A. A righteousness which can be impartedIII. INSIGHT INTO THE POWER OF CHRIST, v. 10
B. A righteousness whose foundation is faith
A. Really to know Christ, you must understand His resurrectionIV. INSIGHT INTO THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST, v. 10
B. That same power is at work today.
A. In suffering, Christ abides with us.Conclusion: The power for conversion is resurrection power.
B. In suffering, Christ teaches us.
C. In suffering, Christ blesses us.
Someone wrote, "If you have a well-developed sense
of humor, you will find the world full of absurdities. If you are
a realist, you will find it a world of cold, hard facts. If you are
a money maker, you will find it a world of opportunities. If you
are a pessimist, you will find it just a climb up a sand dune. And
if you are a poet, you will find it a realm of inspiration."
In Tarpon Springs, Florida, Greek Christians gather
each year at Epiphany for a festival seen nowhere else in the United States.
The archbishop of the Orthodox Church throws a gold cross into the waters
of Spring Bayou. Young men dive for it. The one who finds it
is supposed to receive good luck throughout the coming year. One
year, reporters interviewed the boy who recovered the cross the previous
year. "Did you have any good luck?" they asked. "Well - well,"
hesitated the boy, "I didn t have any bad luck!"
A reproduction of a very old and famous clock carries
this line: "Lord, through this hour be thou our guide; so by thy power
no foot shall slide." What insight Christ gives us into temptation.
How He enables us to see the snares laid for our souls!
A famous photographer said he always took his camera
when the family went on vacation. They teased him about looking at
the world through a view finder. One year, he dropped his camera
in the water the first day out. The family said it was their best
vacation ever. He said, "For the first time, I saw the world in a
larger view than that of a camera."
The most famous clock in the world is London's Big
Ben. It stands by the House of Parliament and towers above Westminster
Abbey. It is a familiar landmark to everyone. The chimes of
Big Ben play the tune of a hymn. The hymn is "I Know That My Redeemer
Visitors to the Holy Land enjoy seeing the ancient
cathedrals; but they are also impressed by some of the newer churches.
One of these is the lovely Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
There is hardly a picture of the city without it. The spire is a
representation of a light house, for Jesus is the Light of the world!
All of the skyscrapers in New York City were built
by Indians! Yes, Mohawk Indians are native to New York State.
They are famed for their cat-like ability to scamper across girders.
They are totally indifferent to heights. It seems to be a genetic
trait. In 1714, a writer spoke of it. In 1886, they built the
bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River. They were the riveters
of the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center. Some people
are uncomfortable in such high places, but the Mohawk Indians seem right
at home. Spiritual heights are uncomfortable for some. They
want to live in the lowlands of life. Christ keeps calling us to
higher ground. As we learn to live in the rarefied air of spiritual
heights in this life, we prepare ourselves for the climate of Heaven.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on Heaven's tableland.
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.