Summary: Are you content in your salvation? One thing we should never be as born-again believers is content in our relationship with Christ. We should always have the desire to grow closer and never stop in our pursuit for perfection in Christ.
The sermon can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKYUToVFWPs
How saved are you? (Video: Oversaved)
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Before we go any further, I want to suggest two basic truths on which every Christian must agree.
1. We have all sinned. We have fallen short of the glorious standard God’s set for our lives.
2. We are saved by grace. We are helpless on our own and there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves.
Paul came to realize these two truths as he began his pursuit of perfection.
In the first part of this chapter Paul warns the church in Philippi to beware of false teachers.
They were teaching that faith alone wasn’t enough to get into heaven, but it also took good works.
Paul even believed this at one time himself and he gave his testimony before coming to Christ.
He shared his religious resume' to show it meant nothing without Jesus Christ.
Listen to what Paul writes in verses 5 & 6.
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
After his conversion, Paul came to know the truth...He realized all that was useless.
He even called it garbage.
I’ve heard it put this way by Robert Jefress: "Paul realized what he thought were stepping stones to get to heaven
were actually stumbling blocks keeping him out of heaven."
Because of this, Paul turned his back on his human accomplishments and depended on the grace of God.
He was justified by his faith in Jesus Christ, but He wasn’t satisfied, he wanted more.
Paul was not trying to become oversaved, but striving to be more and more like Christ.
He wanted his justification to lead into sanctification...the process of becoming more like Christ.
Our salvation begins with justification and continues throughout our lives in sanctification.
Justification is the act of God when He declares you not guilty.
At the moment God declares us not guilty, He calls us to live holy lives as we grow in faith.
Sanctification is the process in which God perfects you into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Justification is the work of a moment – Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.
Justification requires no effort on our part, but sanctification relies partly on our efforts.
While human effort is useless for our justification, it is essential for our sanctification.
Another truth we as Christians must agree is this: We should never be content in our spiritual lives.
Our goal is to become more and more like Jesus Christ – We should have the desire to be perfect.
In today’s scripture, Paul openly reveals with us his desire to be perfect.
He was never satisfied with his relationship with God – He wanted to know him more and more.
After his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul’s main goal was to attain spiritual perfection.
Paul’s primary desire in life was to know Jesus Christ more and more.
I love the verses 10 & 11 are expanded upon in the Classic Amplified Version in scripture.
Listen to this:
"For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope that if possible, I may attain to the spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while in the body.