Summary: A sermon on the importance of looking forward and forgetting what is behind.
How to Get All God Has for You
• 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.