Summary: This sermon encourages Christians to mature in their faith and experience more of God in their lives.
June 30, 2004
I. So far in Philippians 3 we have heard Paul say that we are to Rejoice in the Lord, and that we are not to put any confidence in our own abilities, but that we are to trust in what God has done to make our salvation possible.
A. At the same time he has said that we are to make our relationship with God and our service to God our top priority in life, and not give our devotion to things that don’t have the lasting value that our relationship with God does.
B. Now he moves on to other things that complete the thought.
(Phil 3:15 - 16 NIV) All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
C. The rest of this passage deals with the Christian’s walk in the Lord. He starts out by saying, all of us that are mature should take such a view of things.
D. What things he is talking about are the things that he has just written in the verses above.
1. He is saying that we are to mature in our faith and conviction to the point that we realize that what we thought was gain before we came to know Jesus is no longer as important.
2. As he said in verse 8 and 9 (Phil 3:8 -9 NIV) What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
3. He’s saying that in light of what we have in Jesus that we should consider all other things garbage or dung compared the greatness of knowing Jesus and experiencing Him in our lives. And that we should be willing to give up all else to know and experience Jesus.
4. Paul is saying that our desire to know Jesus and live in His righteousness should be more important than anything else, it should be the top priority in life and everything else should be seen for what it really is temporary, and not worthy of our devotion.
5. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have anything else in life, but that everything else in life is secondary, and is never to take priority over our aligning our lives with Jesus, knowing him, and living in the righteousness that he provides, and not the righteousness that we try to create by our own actions.
6. He is saying that we are to forget the things that are behind, we are to have a priority change, that we will keep our focus on what is now our future, and that is our relationship with God through faith in Jesus.
7. Paul is telling us that the only goal in life that is worthy of our total devotion is becoming more like Jesus. We have a goal that has been put in front of us, and we are to push ourselves toward that goal.
8. Remember what we talked about last week, Paul said "ONE thing I do"
(Phil 3:13 - 14 NIV) But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
E. Paul has already told us in the second chapter of Philippians what that goal is.
(Phil 2:5 - 7 NIV) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
F. In verses 15 and 16 Paul is telling us that our walk with Jesus is to be a walk of maturity. He is saying that we are to grow up in Jesus, we are to mature in Jesus.
G. As the song says this world is not out home anymore. The things of this world are no longer the goal. From the day we become Christians we are to realize that the things that we are to devote ourselves to are the things that last.
H. Everyday of the Christian life is to be another step toward heaven. Because, heaven is the goal of the Christian life, that is where we plan to end up one day and every day is to be another step on that journey.