Summary: This message deals with the need for believers to have Biblical core values that will guide their lives.
A. The need of our time is Christians who are real:
*Our artificial fixations may be best epitomized by the guy who tried to rid his house of mice. He bought a mouse trap but had no cheese. To remedy the problem, cut out a picture of cheese from a magazine. He loaded the trap with the artificial cheese and went to bed. When he checked the mousetrap that following morning he was quite surprised to find a picture of a mouse in the trap. A counterfeit lifestyle produces artificial results! (Proclaim, Jack Gulledge)
C. In order to meet the need of the hour, child of God, you must live by Biblically-based core values....
I. Confidence in Christ Alone (Philippians 3:1-9).
A. Avoid putting confidence in men (vs. 1-2).
(Jeremiah 17:5) “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”
1. Beware of “dogs” (kunav = a man of impure mind, an impudent man)
2. Beware of “evil workers” (kakouv ergatav = those who are trouble-makers, injurious, pernicious, destructive).
3. Beware of the “concision” (katatomh = to cut up, mutilation) refers to those who are religious, but not following Christ (ie: the Jews).
B. Avoid putting confidence in yourself (vs. 3-7).
(1 Corinthians 1:26) “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
1. Beware of the flesh, it is not to be trusted (vs. 3).
2. Beware of earthly pedigree and position, they are not to be relied upon (vs. 4-7).
C. Accept that your confidence must be in Christ alone (vs. 8-9). (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
1. Anything other than knowing and following Christ is worthless
2. Apply yourself to pursing a right relationship with Christ (vs. 9).
II. Concentration on Personal Intimacy with Christ (Philippians 3:10-11).
A. Concentrate on developing your personal relationship with Christ (vs. 10a).
1. Your ability to live a worthy life is directly linked to your walk with Christ.
a)(Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
2. The Early church (Acts) is a good example of this principle.
B. Concentrate on receiving your power for life and ministry from Christ (vs. 10b).
1. He is the source of your strength.
a)(Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
b)(Philippians 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
C. Concentrate on yielding your entire being to being like Jesus (vs. 10c).
1. Christ-likeness involves suffering.
a) (Philippians 1:29) “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake”
2. Christ-likeness involves dying.
a)(Galatians 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
b)(1 Corinthians 15:31) “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
III. Commitment to pursuing maturity in Christ (Philippians 3:12)
A. Pursing maturity means accepting the fact that you have not “arrived” yet (vs. 12a).
1. You have not “arrived” spiritually, you are a work in process (text).
a) Illustration of Paul’s struggle (Romans 7:15-24) .
2. You have not “arrived” intellectually, you are to continually study (2 Timothy 2:15).
B. Pursing maturity means accepting that Christ’s desire is for you to be mature (vs. 12c).
1. Christ has always had a purpose for your life (text).
a) John Maxwell has identified four levels of maturity for Christians. They are given in progressive order with the least mature viewpoint listed first: (1) I’m going to do what I want, regardless of any thought for God; (2) If God gives me what I want, then I will give him what he wants; (3) I will give God what he wants, with faith that he will give me what I want; and (4) I will give God what he wants, regardless of any thought for myself. Many Christians spend the balance of their life at level two or three but the greatest joy is found at level four.
* "How to Get Commitment for Ministry," John Maxwell, The Pastor’s Update, April 1991