Summary: The Christian life is a life of growth, and growth means change. Growth takes great effort on our part, but behind it all is God’s work within us.
1. Today I must humble myself before this congregation.
2. I realized that I skipped a section of Philippians….the Moores through me off!
3. It doesn’t take much to get me confused! But I am not alone.
4. One woman recalls:
When I was pregnant with my now 2 year old, in the UK, Mark’s parents asked if we would like Mark’s old cot for the baby to sleep in. The first chance that Mark and I were alone, I went on and on, something like ’What kind of a country is this, having babies sleep on cots! How dangerous! I want to go home where we know what we’re doing!’
Mark calmed me down, and although completely confused, said he would take me shopping to see if there was anything safer than a cot. When we got to the store, I pointed to a crib and said ’That is what a baby should sleep in, for heaven’s sake!’ He said ever so sweetly, ’Yes, dear. We call those ’cots’’.
Catherine Butler ?Brownie Leader, Frisco, TX - Tejas Council
5. When I realized I had skipped this portion, I said, "Oh no. Some of my favorite verses are there! Chapter 2 and verse 13 is a crucial verse in my understanding of the Christian life….and here I had omitted it.
6. So today, we will talk about how we change as Christians.
Main Idea: The Christian life is a life of growth, and growth means change. Growth takes great effort on our part, but behind it all is God’s work within us.
TS-- Truly serving the Lord Jesus Christ is anything but kid’s stuff, and God demands that we take Him seriously.
I. Let the Salvation Within You SURFACE (12-18)
A. Surfacing takes EFFORT on our part (12)
1. not work “for” but “out”
· a command for us to “bring it out” “come out of the closet”
2. with fear/trembling = fear of failure
3. Salvation in three tenses, past, present, future
4. Both "now" and "not yet"
B. Cannot be NAGGED into existence (12)
C. The underlying source: God working WITHIN (13)
Paul is saying you cannot base your growth on me, but you must recognize that God the Holy Spirit is working within you
· Unique combination of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility
1. Spurgeon asked to reconcile, he said, “How can I reconcile two friends?”
2. For “His good pleasure” = God does not need us, but we can please Him
3. Change begins with God working within us…
4. God works in us to will and to act
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D. This light should CONTRAST with the darkness (14-16)
1. Avoid excessive COMPLAINING (14)
1. does not mean we should never bring a problem to light, but describes an attitude of criticism, often by folks on the sidelines
2. complaining in moderation and a certain context is not necessarily wrong; Jesus complained about the Pharisees, about the unbelief in Israel, about being rejected by His own people, and scolded people for their lack of faith; Paul complained about false teachers, and elsewhere he complains that others have deserted him…
3. But much complaining is an insult to the Sovereign God. Why was I born into my family? Why do I not have a gifted voice, a beautiful face, or a winsome personality?
Other times it is a matter of impatience or thinking the world revolves around us…
From the 9-20-05 Daily Bread
A few years ago, an unkempt, poorly adjusted youth named Tim… was converted to Christ in an evangelistic crusade. Several days later…he was sent to my home so that I could help him find a good church. And so it was that he began attending with me.
Though Tim needed and received much loving help in personal grooming and basic social graces, one characteristic has remained unchanged—his untamed love for his Savior.
One Sunday after church Tim rushed to my side, looking somewhat perplexed. He exclaimed, "Why me? I keep asking myself, why me?" Oh, no, I thought, he’s become another complaining Christian. Then with arms outstretched, he went on to say, "Out of all the people in the world who are greater and smarter than I am, why did God choose me?" With that he joyfully clapped his hands.
Over the years I’ve heard many Christians, including myself, ask "Why me?" during tough times. But Tim is the first one I’ve heard ask that question when talking about God’s blessings..." Joanie Yoder
2. Avoid unnecessary ARGUING (14)
· if we are noted for our complaining or constant arguing, we may as well hush up when it comes to witnessing; we disgrace the grace that saved us…