Summary: If you stagnate in the Christian Life you die - This is Biblical help to move forward!
Let me begin with this: It is called “Life’s Tough Questions to ponder!”
1. Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand?
2. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we even know it?
3. Why do we say that something is out of whack? What is a whack?
4. Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?
5. What does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?
6. Why do tug boats push their barges?
7. Why do we sing, “take me out to the ball game,” when we are already there?
8, Why are they called :stands” when they are made for sitting?
9. Why is it called “after dark” when it is really after light?
10. Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected, expected?
11. Why are a “wise man” and a “wise guy” opposites?
12. Why is “Phonics” not spelled the way it sounds?
Let me add ANOTHER QUESTION that has bothered me over the years: Why do believers let
the past interfere with experiencing the Will Of God in the present? Specifically, Why do we let
past sins and failures block us from God’s best?
Over the last two weeks Gus has shared how valuable and vital the Word of God is in the life of a
believer. This morning I want to take it a step further by showing you how practical the
Scriptures are as they address the needs and questions of our lives - specifically the question that I
just posed. .Please turn in your BIBLES to Phil. 3:12-14 - familiar verses that I want us to read
together as the truth that we will consider this morning.
I have noticed over the years that when it comes to past sins and failures that we tend either to
IGNORE them or WALLOW in them. Let me help you this morning with the idea of trying to
ignore past sins and failures: TURN to the person on your right and tell them. “You’ve messed
up!” Now turn to the person on your left and tell them the same thing. Now turn to the person in
the middle and tell them, “You’ve really messed up!” The key question is whether or not you
believe what you have just heard and rather than ignore your past sins and failures - confess them
to the Only One who can forgive them! (I Jn. 1:9)
The opposite is also true - some people tend to WALLOW in their past sins and failures. They
have a hard time believing that God could and would ever forgive them, so they keep a record
even when God does not. They have somehow swallowed the line from the Deceiver that goes
like this: “You’ve failed - that makes you a failure - therefore you can’t do anything right!” What
a lie and what a tragedy for the child of God to believe that. Yes we fail, we sin but that does not
make us failures; we are simply believers who sin and fail and by the grace of God can be
forgiven, cleansed and on with God’s program in our lives.
Look at the text: Paul simply says, past sins and failures - FORGET THEM! To forget is to
forgive! After all, God already has. By the way, notice how Paul puts it, “Not that I have already
obtained or have already been made perfect.” How many of you live with a Perfectionist? Please
notice that this is the way that a perfectionist says, “I’ve messed up!”
Paul is not only urging us to forget and forgive our past sins and failures but also to forget and
forgive the SINS COMMITTED AGAINST US. We are pros at compiling a record of wrongs
done to us. We carefully file every sin committed against us just in case we will need the
information at a later date. You know, the exchange that begins, “Remember when . . .” So we
have the files carefully stored away - files on our spouse. children , parents, friends and even a
pastor. Why? Could it be that we are looking for an excuse not to be involved in ministry? You
know, “I could never serve along side of (name) because he or she . . .” I have known whole
churches in the past who were stagnate because they could not get beyond the excuses that
unforgiveness provided them. We generate files like you might find on a floppy disk (Show disk).
To really forget and forgive the others in my life so that I can get on with God’s program means
that I must destroy the records! Destroy them in such a way that they can never be used again.
(Cut the disk) After all, that is what the Lord does when He forgives and forgets our sin! It is the