Summary: Jesus Christ wants us to know Him: 1. Because He can give us an excellent life (vs. 7-8). 2. Because He can give us eternal life (vs. 9-11). 3. Because He can give us an energized life (vs. 12-14).
How to Press on Like Paul
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 23, 2012
*Last week we studied Paul’s passionate devotion to reach God’s goals for his life. He began by comparing his religious life before Christ to the abundant new life he found in Christ. And in vs. 7&8, Paul said:
7. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ . . .
*Then in vs. 13&14, Paul said:
13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
*Now God wants us to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
*This is Paul’s message to us in vs. 15-21, where he said:
15. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
16. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
17. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19. whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame who set their mind on earthly things.
20. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21. who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
*How can we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus?” -- Paul shows us 4 ways.
1. First, ask God to reveal the errors in our thinking.
*In vs. 15, Paul assures us that God will reveal the errors in our thinking. Here Paul said: “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
*King David certainly saw the need for this kind of correction from the Lord. In Psalm 19, David’s prayer included this question:
12. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
13. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
*King David had a great desire for the Lord to point out the flaws in his thinking. And he depended on God to do it. Listen to David in Psalm 25. There he prayed:
4. Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
5. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
*David was willing to let God reveal the errors in his thinking. -- How about us?
*I remember what the Lord told David (and us) in Psalm 32. God says:
8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
9. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
*The Lord is trying to warn us here against wrong thinking. Sometimes we are stubborn enough and foolish enough to head off in our own direction.
*“You’re stubborn as a mule!” My Daddy used to tell me that all the time, because I was stubborn as a mule. But Christians: God is working in our lives to reveal the errors in our thinking. So Paul said, “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
*How can we “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus?” -- Ask God to reveal the errors in our thinking.
2. And follow our Godly examples.
*This was the Apostle Paul’s guidance to us in vs. 16&17, where he said”