Summary: Paul teaches the importance of “Pressing One” in all areas of life. We must move towards the mark – towards the finish line – toward the day when Christ greets us face to face and says “You’ve arrived”!
Remember there were false teachers teaching importance of Roman Colony Citizenship Conduct, Status by Rank, and Jewish Law. Paul knocks this down by reminding the new believers of the real goal – that of reaching heaven!
So many times, we allow Satan to change goal. He causes us, by throwing every obstacle and trial in our face, to focus on the moment rather than the outcome. The finish line is what we are after and the Preparing for that Finish Line – Becoming like Christ!
Paul teaches the importance of “Pressing One” in all areas of life. We must move towards the mark – towards the finish line – toward the day when Christ greets us face to face and says “You’ve arrived”!
We Must Move Beyond:
- Move beyond your past
- Move beyond your guilt
- Move beyond your insecurities
Christ sets no requirements for entering the race other than ourselves – just as we are – with no requirements other than ourselves. Leaving everything behind gets us into the race and running one stride at a time towards the finish line without looking back, Christ calls on us to be heaven bound for the prize God has called us to achieve!
PASSAGE: PHILIPPIANS 3:12-4:1
START BACK WITH 3:10 & 11
GOAL: “I want to know Christ”
Saw where the word ‘know’ implied a knowledge to be found IN HIM.
ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL BY 3 THINGS:
1. “Power of His Resurrection”
The Ability to Overcome Resistandce (to know the power; to experience the same power that brought Jesus back from the dead)
2. “Fellowship of Sharing in His Suffering”
There was some questions over whether the suffering could refer to his pain on the cross.
The though here is a participation in suffering (not AS HE did) but one his behalf!
Not referring to his pain on the cross because we can’t participate in that act – that was HIS ALONE TO BEAR.
Read 2 Cor. 1:5; Pe. 4.13
3. “becoming like Him in His death”
Believers share his death as they7 “die” to SIN and to the OLD NATURE (SELF)
RESULT FROM THOSE GOALS ARE THAT:
“attain to the resurrection from the dead”
Now in verses 12 – 4.1, Paul explains those goals, but MORE of the METHOD IN WHICH to reach those goals!
READ VERSE 12
1. “Not that I have already obtained this” – The goals above
The Christian life from the moment one accepts salvation becomes a process of sanctification.
WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?
To be set apart for a sacred purpose!
From the moment we accepted salvation – from that moment until the moment we achieve the goal – heaven, we are set apart for the purpose of becoming like Jesus!
That process of sanctification involves learning 1- the power of his resurrection, 2- participating in the sharing of suffering on His behalf, and 3- becoming like Him by dying to sin and to self!
Paul says, I HAVE NOT OBTAINED THAT YET! Sanctification requires a lifetime!
… “BUT I PRESS ON…”
READ VERSES 13-14
Paul says, “I AIN’T THERE YET!” BUT “ONE THING I DO”:
“FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND AND STRAINING TOWARD WHAT IS AHEAD, (14) I PRESS ON TOWARD THE GOAL”
Q: “WHAT IS THE GOAL?”
Go back to Vs. 10
1- to know Christ
2- to become like Christ in his suffering
3- to become like Christ in his death
How do you do that, IF you hang on to the past?
IF your past dictates what you do or do not do in the present
IF your past causes you to drop out of the race
*** The past should not be used as a barrier to the future.
The past should not be an excuse for dropping out of the race.
The past should not be a tool for dropping one’s relationship with God.
We are to learn from our past but NOT punish ourselves. Otherwise YOUR PAST BECOMES YOUR GOD!
Paul says he would forget all his accomplishments and his sins and STRAIN TOWARD THE GOAL – THE FINISH LINE.
Q: What is the Prize? (Vs. 10) To Know Christ and Become like Christ
HOW ARE YOU RUNNING?
Reader to read 1 Cor. 9.24 (Run!) & 1 Tim 1.a5-6 (applies to false tch but point good)
How are you running?
READ VERSE 15-16
He says that every Christian should agree on these basics. But there is something else from Verse 16.
“to what we already attained”
I kind of talked on this a few Sundays ago from Paul in 2.17 looking at how a pastor gauges his evaluation of his ministry. I look at lives, at
• examples (how we treat others),
• at baptisms (is there a call to present the gospel – to see others saved)