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Summary: A sermon on the importance of looking forward and forgetting what is behind.

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How to Get All God Has for You

Introduction:

• We come to our passage in Philippians and we find Paul imprisoned in Rome and he has just a few more years to live. Paul writes to his dear followers at the church in Philippi.

• Many Bible scholars have called Philippians Paul’s “most practical letter.” It is much like a father giving advice to his children.

• Norman Geisler divides this book up by chapters:

 Chapter One: Christ Our Life

 Chapter Two: Christ Our Mind

 Chapter Three: Christ Our Goal

 Chapter Four: Christ Our Strength

• So, we see here in our chapter that the goal of Paul’s life and the goal of our life is and should be Jesus Christ. In verses 12-14, he teaches us that it is a daily task to be moving towards Jesus Christ.

• I believe that if Paul could summarize these verses into one sentence he would say this, “I want to get all that God has for me.”

• That’s my prayer for my own life and that is my prayer for this church in the year to come. I don’t want to leave anything on the shelf. I want to get all God has for me.

I. The Target of Perfection (vs. 12)

A. An Acknowledgement of Imperfection (v. 12a)

 The first thing Paul does is he acknowledges that he doesn’t have it all together.

 There are two specific imperfections that Paul is referring to here:

1. An imperfect knowledge.

 Paul uses this phrase “not that I have already obtained.” Paul is telling us that he doesn’t know everything that he needs to know about Jesus Christ.

 Paul had been doing this Christianity thing for 30 years at this point and he said this “I’m not there yet boys; I’ve still got a lot to learn.” Read Phil. 3:10

 I don’t just want to know Him, I want to really KNOW Him.

 Paul had, no doubt, experienced many spiritual victories in his day. He found no solace in those victories, but he kept on pushing. It is a reminder to us all.

2. An Imperfect Experience.

 Then, Paul says “or am already made perfect.” Paul was telling us that he had not reached perfection. Perfection only comes at the resurrection.

 Paul was here refuting several false teachings. The first was that the resurrection had already passed. Paul called these people out in 2 Tim. 2:18.

 Another false idea had invaded Philippi and came from a group called the “Perfectionists.” They believed that Christians could obtain perfection here on earth.

 Paul understood that he had not yet achieved complete conformity to Christ. He had a long way to go.

 If we want to receive what God has, we have to acknowledge our imperfections.

 Where the Spirit of God wants to do His greatest work, the flesh and the Devil will work the hardest.

B. An Announcement of Intent (v. 12b)

 Paul said “I am not there yet, but dear friends I plan to get there if it’s the last thing I do.” Paul was looking towards the day when the object of his hope would become a reality.


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