Though never articulated in sermon form, the 4-fold vision that has driven every single thing that Koinonia Fellowship church is about and has done by the grace of God since The Lord planted it in December 15th, 1984 is this:
- To know Christ
- To grow in Christ
- To proclaim Christ
- To bring God glory
Our desire is that through the teaching of God’s Word book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, our doctrine and the practice of our faith would be rooted in Scripture, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting and Spirit-filled.
Our prayer is that Koinonia will be a God-centered, God-satisfied and God-saturated congregation that is driven with the passion to know Christ, grow in Christ, proclaim Christ and bring God glory in our church family. Our personal lives. Our marriages. Our children. Our vocations. Our relationships with one another.
Point number 1; To Know Christ
- John 17.3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
There are only 2 groups of people on Planet Earth: those who know Christ, and those who don’t. Those who know God are in Christ, and those who do not know God are in Adam. Those to whom Jesus promised, I will never leave you nor forsake you; and those to whom Jesus said, I never knew you.John 17.3 clearly teaches us that to know Christ and possess eternal life is much more than saying that I believe in God. According to Psalm 14.1; 53.1, when a person says that they believe in God, that only proves that he or she is not a fool.
John 17.3 clearly teaches us that to know Christ and possess eternal life is much more than possessing bible information about God. The devil knows bible information about God, and he does not have eternal life. You can know facts about Jesus Christ from the bible without knowing Him, just like you can know facts about President Lincoln and not know him. Knowing Christ and having eternal life does not mean that Christians will live longer than non-Christians. Every soul on this planet will live forever in one of two places, heaven or hell.
The fallen world is full of people whom the god of this world blinds and who have made the goal or supreme purpose in life the pursuit of wisdom, might and wealth. The book of Ecclesiastes says that such a life can be summed up in one word. Vanity.
To that pursuit of the things of this world, the prophet Jeremiah writes:
- Jeremiah 9.23,24 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
God says that the only life on earth that has anything to glory in is the life that has set its singular course of knowing Christ more intimately. A life where Jesus Christ has the preeminence over anyone or anything els,e including one’s own life. Our prayer is that The Lord would give unto each and every person who calls Koinonia their church home a deeper and insatiable hunger, desire and thirst for The Lord as is described in Psalm 42 and Psalm 73.
- Psalm 42.1,2 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.
- Psalm 73.25,26 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever
This fallen world system is full or people who believe that they can have a relationship with God by observing rituals.
- Phil 3.3-11 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Neither religion nor ritual can give you eternal life or bring you into a real relationship with God. No one comes unto The Father but by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the gory of God alone.
This fallen world system is full of people who believe that they earn a right standing with God by doing good works, by which He then accepts them. Listen once again to the Word of The Living God:
- Eph 2.8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- Rom 4.4-8 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
All of our good works apart from the atoning blood sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ are filthy rags of self-righteousness that are unacceptable in the sight of God.
So what does it mean to know Christ? How to I get to know God and live for Him? First of all, you begin a relationship with God when you realize that you have sinned against the holy God and when you flee for refuge to the provision God has made for your sin, the cross of Christ.
No one seeks for God unless God first draws him or her to Him (John 6:44; Rom. 3:11). And the vehicle that God uses to draw sinners is the Word of God. We come to know God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Listen to what Jesus said to the religious man Nicodemus:
- John 3.14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
- He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God
It is by believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have eternal life.
Listen to what Jesus said to the immoral woman at the well:
- John 4:10,14 If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned, but given to anyone and everyone who calls upon His Name to be saved.
To the Philippian jailer who asked Paul and Silas the question, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Their reply was, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. “Believe” means to trust in Him completely, cling to Him, rely on Him, and commit yourself totally to Him and His will.
- Romans 12.1,2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Knowing God is not a one-shot deal; say the sinners prayer, sign the card and that is it. Knowing Christ is an ongoing pursuit of a relationship with Him, much like a couple begins to get to know one another better after their wedding ceremony. Knowing Christ is not a religious fad that lasts for a few years. This knowledge of God is something that will continue throughout all eternity!
HINT: we will never comprehend the fullness of knowing God even in eternity, for we will never get to the place where we will be able to say I know all about Him now.
Knowing Christ is much more than “making a decision” to “accept” Him as Lord. The gospel is not “accept and receive”, but repent and believe. Knowing Christ is a life of revelation and repentance that begets a holy desire deep within your soul that craves for more of Him. Listen to Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus: They are already saved and sealed with the Spirit.
- Ephesians 1.15-17 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.
Knowing Christ is much more than dutifully reading Our Daily Bread, checking off the box, and then getting on with our lives. Listen to the verbs found in these Scriptures that describe the reading of God’s Word that results in knowing The Lord better.
- Proverbs 2.1-5 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
Knowing Christ is an ever-growing relationship that is rooted in the grace of God. The Apostle Peter’s last words are:
- 2 Peter 3.18 but grow in grace and in the knowledge of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
I cannot express what it means to know and desire God better than King David, the man after God’s own heart:
- Psalm 63.1-8 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
- My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You. Seeking after God means that keeping your passion for God is the priority of your life. Knowing Christ is not just a matter of the head that may or may not change what you think. It is a matter of the heart, that changes how you think and how you live.
My soul follows hard after Thee. We all make time to do what we really want to do. Let me give you an example: A young man in college who is working and carrying a full load of classes. His schedule seems packed. Then he meets the woman of his dreams. Suddenly he finds time to spend with her! It’s not a duty; it’s a delight! He will cut corners elsewhere if he has to, but he will not miss his time with this beautiful creature. If you love God, you’ll make time to spend with Him because you delight to do so. This includes time in His Word, renewing your mind so that you can please Him. It includes time in prayer, bringing your needs and others’ needs before Him. It includes time in praise and worship, expressing your love for Him.
Thy lovingkindness is better than life. Finally, The Lord Jesus Christ is not a part of your life; He is life itself. Jesus Christ isn’t just a spoke in the wheel; He’s the hub. Jesus Christ isn’t just a slice of life, who rounds out your other pursuits. The Lord Jesus Christ permeates every area of your life. He’s at the center of every decision you make. He’s the Lord of every relationship you have. You manage your money by considering what His Word says about it. There is no area of your life, be it your business, your family, your education, or whatever, where God is not an integral part. There is no division between sacred and secular; all of life is related to God.
- Phil 1.20,21 Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Regarding eternal life, the late pastor Chuck Smith writes:
- Eternal life is a quality of life. It is life in fellowship, communion, and oneness with God.
- It is a life of righteousness, peace and joy. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy.
- It is life in the Spirit. It is as Christ described, it is the more abundant life.
- It is the life that is described by David, when he declared, “My cup runneth over.”
- It is a life of joy unspeakable, and full of glory.
- It is the joy of knowing my sins are forgiven, that my guilt is gone, pardoned, I am declared justified, by the judge of the universe.
If you are reading this and you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord, the bible has been declaring for the past 2,000 years: Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation. I pray that God would use the sword of His Word to prick your heart with the truth of Who Jesus Christ is, and that you would respond by repenting of your sin, believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord.