Summary: How to be what you want to be and where you need to be spiritually.
Prescription For Spiritual Success
Philippians 3: 12-14 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
He is saying “There is ONE thing I do --- I press on toward the goal – heaven and his eternal reward
1 Peter 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you
2 Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous Judge will award to me on that day and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing
... Be he gives some really good instructions about what to do right now
How to make spiritual progress ---
What every Christian needs to do
Don’t Rely On Past Blessing
vs 13 “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind...
There are some things that have to be forgotten.
First, we have to realize that Paul is talking about spiritual virtues, virtuous deeds and achievements.
He’s not focused on spiritual blessings from the past. Not relying upon good that he has accomplished in the past.
This is a spiritual lesson that is found early in scripture.
O.T. Israel wandering through the desert – God sent them manna – they were instructed to gather what they needed for each day – if they tried to store it up for the next day – it turned bad – got worms in it –
The clear lesson – trust God each day for provision – DEPEND upon God everyday
NT – Jesus teaching the disciples to pray
“give us this day our daily bread”
We need God’s blessing – new life in Christ – everyday –
We need God’s power at work in us and through us – everyday
Why We Need Continuous And Current Spiritual Blessing
The Flesh And The Spirit Are In Opposition
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please
15For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
17So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
We Have A Spiritual Enemy
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Reach Forward – Be Intentional About Spiritual Growth
vs 13 – reaching forward to what lies ahead
Paul is proactive – reaching for the goal – reaching for Godliness
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore having these promises beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God
24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified