Summary: If we are ever going to reach our max potential for the Lord we have to forget the past, focus on the future, and forge on.
The Believers Duty to FORGET
INTRO. Have you ever forgot anything?
IS there ANYTHING more embarrassing than forgetting a special day???
Or is there anything more dreadful to a man than hearing these words…Honey, did you forget something?
An elderly woman took her husband to the Dr. and said, Doc, I think he has Alzheimer’s…he forgets things all the time…Doc checks him out and says no…it’s just the natural effects of old age…have him start writing things down to help him…that night as they get ready for bed she says…I’d like some ice cream…he says…I’ll go get it…she says…you’d better write it down…He (angrily) I can remember ice cream…She says…I want some chocolate topping on it too, you’d better write it down…he (angry) I can remember…ice cream with chocolate topping…(repeat for cherry on top)…he goes off to the kitchen and is gone for some time…finally he returns with bacon, eggs, hash browns and a glass of milk…She says…you idiot…how could you have forgotten my toast???
All joking aside…if we are ever going to live up to our potential as Christians, Paul says there are some things we SHOULD forget !
I think that all of us gathered here tonight have a desire to live a life that counts for Christ.
But…if we are not careful…our memories of our past lives (and even our current) can drag us down as effectively as an anchor stops a ship.
Satan is a liar…
John 8:44 (NKJV) 44You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Not only is he a liar, but Jesus said he is the father of all lies and the truth is not in him…
Now where does that fit in here? Satan wants you to believe that your past sins are either:
He will spend day and night in your conscience throwing around a wrecking ball called guilt, and have you so worked up and feeling guilty and ashamed that you will not even come to into the Father’s presence!!!
Listen to what God’s Word says…
Psalms 103:12 (NKJV) 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV) 25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
These two scriptures tell us unequivicably that not only does God forgives us of our sins…but that he forgets them as well!!!
And if we are ever going to reach our full potential as a Christian, we must do three things…
Philippians 3:12 - 14 (NKJV) 12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
1. We must FOLLOW after Christ.
Beyond doubt, Paul was one of the greatest men who has ever lived. The great Book of Second Corinthians clearly shows this.
If Paul was so short of perfection, how much further are we?
Paul followed after perfection, after his God-given purpose. When Christ saved Paul, that was just the begin-ning, not the end. He had been saved to live for Christ and to serve Christ, and as long as he was on this earth he was going to live for Christ and do all he could to serve Christ.
The word "follow after" (diōkō) means to press; to pursue just like a runner in a race. There was no place for walking, much less for sitting or lying around in comfort, complacency and lethargy. Christ had saved Paul for perfection—to attain to the resurrection of the dead—and as long as Paul was on this earth, he was going to press and run after perfection.
⇒ Paul was going to do all he could to help the Lord in the Lord's great task of perfecting him.
⇒ Paul was going to do all he could to lay hold of perfection—the perfection for which the Lord had laid hold of him.
Thought 1. There is no such thing as a genuine believer sitting still after he has been saved. The believer must not...
• become comfortable, complacent, lethargic, or lazy • waste time and lose opportunity • begin to think he is safe and secure forever; therefore, he can sometimes do what he likes and give in to his own desires.