Summary: Breaking the Power of the Past
Learn to Forget
Breaking the Power of the Past
Foundational Text: Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Before we get too far into this morning’s study, I want you to notice two things concerning our foundational text, written to the church:
1. “forgetting those things which are behind”
2. “reaching forth unto those things which are before”
One major concern that I have as a pastor is how the devil can hinder, and paralyze a member of the body of Christ, in keeping them from reaching forth unto those things which are before. I have found in my own life and that of others, that it is because we have not done like Paul and have chose to forget those things which are behind.
What did Paul have to forget, on a daily basis?
I. Dead man walking – the Saul of Paul
A. Look at what Paul said about himself to the one who he was mentoring:
1 Timothy 1:11-16 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (12) And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; (13) Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (16) Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
1. Notice Paul calls himself a blasphemer, persecutor, and injurious.
We can pretty much determine what a blasphemer and persecutor is, however I was intrigued when I looked up the word injurious. It means “An insolent persecutor of others who mistreats them for the pleasure which the affliction of the wrong brings him.”
2. The Word of God tells us that Paul was present at the stoning of Stephen: Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
And Saul consented to Stephen’s death: Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
3. More of the dead man walking: Acts 9:1-2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
B. Forgetting those things which are behind!
1. It would have been crippling to the Pauline Revelation for Paul to have remained in a state of continued remembrance of the havoc he had personally put the body of Christ through the death of Stephen, and the torture of others within those who were in the way.
2. Listen church of God! If we are to be successful in life and ministry, there is one thing we must do – the lesson learned by Paul: We must learn to forget! If we fail to grasp the truth of learning to forget, we will be handicapped spiritually the rest of our entire life in living for God. We will never be able to “reach forth unto those things which are before”, when we chose not to forget.
II. If God has forgotten, so must we also forget!
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
A. Other translations:
1. (AMP) I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
2. (Contemporary English Version) But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.
B. Notice the very next verse? 26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.