Summary: Based on Phil. 3:12-21, sermon challenges hearers to keep pressing on in their salvation.
“THE JOY OF GETTING SERIOUS” Phil. 3:12-21
FBCF – 8/16/20
INTRO – Sometimes the word “serious” conjures up less-than-pleasant thoughts. Some of the synonyms for that word:
- Grievous – Menacing
- Grim – Threatening
- Ugly – Unamusing
- Unhumorous – Severe
So, how can the title of my sermon today – “The Joy of Getting Serious” – be for real? Can there really be joy in getting serious in the Christian life?
- Some folks don’t think so b/c they think that we Christians can’t have any fun
- That just means that they ain’t been hanging out w/ the right Christians!
I want to submit to you the application point of this sermon today: There is great joy when we get serious about a relationship w/ Jesus.
EXPLANATION – Philippians 3:12-21
In first 11 verses of ch. 3, Paul is issuing some words of warning about false teachers who were trying to say that salvation is a faith+works deal, instead faith in Jesus alone.
- We deal w/ those same kinds of teachings today:
o Faith + baptism
o Faith + confessing your sins to the priest
o Faith + doing good works
o Faith + speaking in tongues
o Faith + receiving holy communion
None of these are biblical requirements for salvation. The Bible is abundantly clear: We are saved by placing our faith in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation – PERIOD! Faith + anything else is a false teaching.
Paul goes on to make it clear that all of the good, religious things he had done in his life were all worthless compared to the “surpassing worth/greatness” of knowing Jesus (3:8).
- MSG – “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.”
There are 3 tenses of salvation that we see in Scripture, & I want to use those 3 tenses as the basis for 3 points today.
THINK ABOUT YOUR PAST SALVATION
There’s the past tense of our salvation. The theological terms for this are justification & regeneration.
- Justification – God declares us to be forgiven when we place our faith in Christ alone for our salvation.
o We are delivered from sin’s penalty – “Wages of sin is death”
o “Just if I’d never sinned.”
- Regeneration – The theological term for being born again.
We usually describe the past tense by saying, “I got saved” or “I have been saved.”
- Paul had that past tense moment where he got saved.
o 3:9 – It was his faith, not all of his accomplishments
o Road to Damascus
- It’s that life-changing moment when we, by the drawing & conviction of the Holy Spirit, realize that we are lost & need Jesus.
- It’s that life-changing moment of calling out to Jesus to be saved.
- It’s that life-changing moment when we receive the free gift of eternal life, not based on our good works, but by the GRACE of God.
- My FB post on Wed. of this week
THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE DESTINATION
This past week has been a tough week for a lot of people.
- Covid continues to claim lives
o Bro. Allen Stephens
- Rodney Herndon, firefighter in Rankin County, tragically killed in Kearney Park when a propane tank exploded.
- 97 yr-old WWII veteran passed away
Our feelings of grief & pain are made easier to bear by the comforting knowledge that those who know Christ have an eternal home in heaven awaiting them.
- V. 20 – “…our citizenship is in heaven…”
- Our homeland is in heaven, not here on earth.
- Responsible citizenship here is important, but our ultimate destiny isn’t in this world, but w/ the Lord Jesus in heaven.
The theological term for the future tense of our salvation is glorification. It’s the promised truth that, one day, we will be delivered from the presence of sin. We express it by saying, “I will be saved.”
The past tense & the future tense of our salvation are where most Christians focus – thinking back to when they “got saved” – that moment when they prayed to receive Christ; & thinking ahead to heaven when they “will be saved” – Thinking about the pearly gates, streets of gold (Bible actually mentions only 1 street in heaven being gold & only mentions that street 1 time), mansions (Bible doesn’t actually say “mansions” in John 14), etc.