Summary: Part of a lengthy series I am doing in the book of Philippians.
HOW TO BE A CHRISTAIN AND STILL ENJOY LIFE
A LIFE ENJOYED IS A LIFE SHARED Pt.5
Sunday March 2, 2008
Scripture Reference: Philippians 1:9-11
A. We are continuing on from where we left off last week. Last week if you were here you will remember that we were looking at this prayer that Paul prayed for the Philippian church. In this prayer we saw what Paul seemed to tell us were the essentials for our spiritual growth and maturity. Those things were Abounding Love, which meant agape love or Christ likeness in us and that this love or Christ likeness was to abound or be overflowing from us. The third ingredient Paul gave us was Knowledge; this word literally means the knowledge of God. We cannot expect to become Christ like unless we know what Christ is like and therefore we must grow in our understanding of God. Then lastly we learned that we also need to have insight which means we are to have good judgment. It is true that sometimes we make decisions with our hearts and not our heads. It is clear from the bible’s teaching here that we need to reason from both places if our judgment about things will be right. We will see a little more of this in today’s message. Now I know I will say this several time today but it is vitally important that you connect what Paul said in V.9 with what he says in V.10-11, because what Paul prays for in V.10-11 will never happen unless what he prayed for in V.9 is working in our lives.
B. What I want you to see in V.10-11 are what Paul says will be the results or effect of this spiritual growth and maturity he talked about in V.9. So let’s get started looking at the results of spiritual maturity.
I. THE RESULTS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY.
I see at least four things that Paul says will result or be produced in our lives as a result of Christ continually being formed in us. Now let me say right now as you may have already noticed if you looked at your sermon outline. We are not going to explore all four of these results today, in fact we will just look at one of them today. There is little doubt in my mind that any of us would not want the results of spiritual maturity that Paul talks about in these verses. We want discernment, we want to be pure and blameless, we want filled with righteousness, we want our lives to glorify God. But what I also think is true is that all too often we want the product without the perspiration; do you know what I mean? We see on TV all the time these get rich quick schemes and as tempting as they may seem they are not real. The only way you can get rich quick is for a rich relative to die and leave you all their money. The only person who gets rich quick is the guy selling you the program to get rich. They are feeding off our lack of judgment. So look with me at what Paul says is the first result of our growth in God’s grace.
1. Paul prayed that we would abound in love and knowledge and dept of insight, why? So that we will be able to discern what is best. Now I really want to emphasis the connection between V.9 and 10-11, this is critical. You will NOT be able to discern what is best unless you are growing in your knowledge of God and in your judgment of what God desires from you. This word “discern” that is used here means “to test and approve”. I am reminded here of something we talked about last week and that being that Love is not blind, at least God’s love isn’t blind. If God was indeed blind then those people who say, “A loving God would never send anyone to hell” would be right. His love would be blind to the sin in our lives and he would pretend it didn’t exist and let everyone into heaven. What we do know about God’s love is that He cares too much about the truth to be blind. Martin Lloyd Jones said, “Truth with out love is brutality, but love with out truth is hypocrisy.” Because of this lack of knowledge and depth of insight what we normally see in our world today are one of these two extremes. We see people who proclaim the truth but in doing so they tear people to shreds and then on the other side we see people who are so desperate to not hurt anyone’s feelings that we fail to speak the whole truth. Friends I will tell you straight up that as a pastor this is hard to do. I want to be liked and I sure an not anxious for people to get upset with me and leave the church because of something I preached, but I also know that I am accountable to God for what I say and do not say. I have an obligation to speak the truth and hope that more often than not it will encourage you and give you hope but I also know at times it will slap you in the face and it may be painful. If there is cancer in your body don’t you want the doctor to remove it even though surgery will be painful? That is what sin is, it is a cancer that is eating away at your eternal soul.