Summary: 4 questions to ask yourself about your Christian walk taken directly from Scripture.
NOTE: All Illustrations at the bottom of outline.
Introduction: Nobel Illustration
Background: Paul’s comparison of his walk versus those who walk any other way (vs. 17-18)
Purpose Statement: Evaluate your walk by answering these four questions –
I. What Is Your End?
A. Paul’s Chief telos – to be like Christ
1. It’s why he can say follow my example (Greek rendering of the phrase)
2. Emphasize burning desire to know Christ
3. So much more than legal obedience
B. Compared to All Others
1. Swindoll Hell Quote
2. Idea here is eternally being destroyed
3. Life is short; eternity isn’t
II. Who Is Your God?
A. Paul’s God is self evident to us by his actions; is yours?
1. Play on appetite/belly re: food Laws (problems with translations)
2. Paul’s following a different path – Peripatounta~
3. pattern/tupos – scar/mold – Paul’s mold is Christ
B. Other’s make many different gods for themselves
1. Not me you say?
2. What do you make time for? – exercise, TV, making $
3. Billy Graham Quote
4. What are the patterns in your life?
III. In What Do You Glory?
A. Paul found no glory in himself – 1 Timothy 1:15
1. Paul’s glory was found only in the Cross
2. Paul’s humility – not in conflict with his being a role model
3. Longer I live as a Christian... it’s about having a real heart for Christ and glorying in Him
B. Others find glory in less satisfying places
1. Enemies of the Cross – if you’re not with Christ...
3. This kind of thinking takes your mind off Christ and on...
IV. Where Is Your Mind?
A. Paul’s mind looked heavenward
1. It was the impetuous behind his zeal for evangelism
2. Romans 9:1-4
3. The source of his weeping
B. All others look to their interests
1. Goals are okay, necessary otherwise you’re just floating aimlessly down stream
2. Ben Franklin’s List of Virtues
3. Augustine – Love God and do what you want
4. Turn your eyes upon Jesus...
Conclusion: Can you say walk like me, if not why not?
ALFRED NOBEL ILLUSTRATION
One morning in 1888, Alfred, the inventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. Alfred’s brother had died, and a French reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother. Any man would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him—“the dynamite King (the weapon maker),” the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This—as far as the general public was concerned—was the entire purpose of his life (so said the obituary). None of his true intentions—to break down the barriers that separated men and ideas—were recognized or given serious consideration. He was quite simply in the eyes of the public a merchant of death, and for that alone he would be remembered.… As he read his obituary with shocking horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament would be the expression of his life’s ideals.… And the result was the most valued of prizes given to this day to those who have done most for the cause of world peace—the Nobel Peace Prize.
That caught my eye because I at times wonder how it would read if my obituary suddenly appeared. And I ask you to entertain that frightful thought for a moment. What is your life known for? What will you be remembered for?
SWINDOLL HELL QUOTE
the safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.… The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather [for the devil].
—Charles R. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity
BILLY GRAHAM QUOTE
What will you be like as a Christian ten years from now? Many will be walking with Christ and serving Him in various capacities around the world, but for others there will be a tragedy because ten years from now they will have lost their burning zeal and love for Christ. Not necessarily because they wanted to or because they set their heart in rebellion against God’s will, but because they set their life by the world’s agenda. Then Christ and His Great Commission gradually dims. —Billy Graham, The Urbana Conference, 1984
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. NAS