Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Purposefully keep pressing toward the goal.


Philippians 3.12-4.1

S: Christlikeness

Th: Toward the Goal


?: How?

KW: Reminders

TS: We will find in our study of Philippians three reminders of how to keep pressing toward Christlikeness.

CV: “We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.”

Type: Propositional




PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Don’t be happy with where you are in your Christian life.

• Don’t dwell on the past.

• Follow the good examples you have been given.

• Be discerning about the truth.

• Keep your focus on Jesus.

Version: ESV

RMBC 13 July 08 AM


Very soon, the summer Olympics will be upon us.

August 8, 2008…and the games will begin.

And we will be celebrating the winners of diving, soccer, badminton, gymnastics, and a whole lot more…

One Olympic event that would have attracted the apostle Paul was track.

His favorite metaphor to describe the Christian life was the race.

He saw the picture of an athlete running full out as an apt description of how we live once we are in Christ.

It also is a good metaphor for one of our values here at Randall:

1. “We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.”

Our goal – the way we win as individuals and as a church family – is to be fully devoted to Jesus.

We pursue this.

We pursue it passionately.

We are to allow nothing to stand in the way of accomplishing this goal.

For we have been created with purpose.

We have been created for Christlikeness.

And when we are moving toward it, we win.

We have been studying Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi under the theme of “Toward the Goal.”

In last week’s passage that we studied, we saw Paul communicate about his past – his spiritual biography, if you will – to show how his past had proved to be of no value whatsoever.

Even his finest work was dung, he said, if he ended up not knowing Jesus.

So, in this week’s passage, he now leaves the past, and deals with the present and the future.

And it is here that he encourages us to…


We are not ever to be caught stagnant in our faith.

If we are, then we are not doing something right.

So, in our study today of Philippians, we find three reminders of how to keep pressing toward Christlikeness.


The first reminder is to live in…


Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Paul communicates that…

3. We have not yet “arrived.”

He sees it in himself first.

He recognizes that he has not come to the place in his Christian life where his growth into a completed spiritual maturity has been accomplished.

He has not come to the place where there is no room for further spiritual development.

He is still imperfect.

He is different in what I too often observe in the Christian faith.

Too often, Christians are satisfied about where they are in their growth and faith.

They are self-satisfied because they compare their lives to other Christians, usually those who are not making progress.

“I am ahead of them, that’s for sure,” is what you might hear them say.

But this is not Paul’s method.


Instead, he compares himself with himself and with Jesus.

And in doing so, Paul shows remarkable maturity.

For the true mark of maturity is the knowledge that you have not made it.

The true mark of maturity is finding ways to keep on deliberately living what you believe.

Paul tells us how by reminding us to…

4. Don’t dwell on the past.

When you run, how do you run?

You run straight ahead.

Do you look back?

Of course not.

For if you look backward, you will slow down, and eventually stumble and fall.

I think, a lot of Christians forget how to run a race.

They live looking backward.

They live with regret.

They live holding grudges.

The trouble is, if you look backward, you cannot press forward.

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