Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part 8 in a series on Philippians focusing in the keys to Spiritual Growth

The Joy of Progress

Philippians 3:12-21

I. Introduction

A. The Two Trappers

1. In the mid 1800’s two trappers were diligently collecting skins in the Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee.

a) At the end of the season the two decided to pack up and head home.

b) They made their way back to the river and their hidden canoes.

c) They loaded their packs and were heading upstream toward Kentucky.

d) After three hours of paddling upstream they stopped to rest.

2. Two Paths to home.

a) The younger of the trappers was anxious to get home, so he decided to keep pushing.

b) The older of the two was tired and decided to stop and rest.

c) Afraid of the attack of animal, the man allowed his canoe to drift downstream, instead of resting on the bank.

d) He napped for three hours while the younger man kept paddling for home.

3. Two destinations

a) After rowing for two hour the older trapper was back to the point where he started napping and the younger man was only two hours from home.

b) The older trapper was worn out from paddling so he decided to rest a bit more, the younger man was exhausted but knew home was within reach.

c) As the older trapper awoke from a second nap, the younger one arrived at home.

d) The older trap awoke to roaring rapid as he drifted into a fast flowing tributary of the river.

e) He rowed fiercely but was losing ground.

f) He realized that he could not make it to shore as he canoe tumbled over a waterfall.

B. Paul’s Desire to Know Christ

1. His priority (3:10-11)

a) Nothing else matter without the knowledge of Jesus.

b) All the trappings of the world were considered as garbage (3:7).

2. He had a goal and a prize in mind.

a) He was not willing to drift along in his walk with God.

b) His desire was to keep pressing onward and homeward.

3. Philippians 3:12-21

a) Paul’s desire to press on.

b) The Joy of Progress

c) In tonight’s study we will explore six keys to the Joy of Progress

II. The Joy of Progress (Six Keys)

A. Dissatisfaction (3:12-13a)

1. “Not 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. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended…”

a) Not dissatisfied with Jesus or His blessings.

b) But dissatisfied with his personal progress as a Christian.

2. Avoid Self-Satisfaction

a) By avoiding comparison with others – John 12:48-50

b) But rather compare ourselves with Christ – 1 Peter 2:21

c) Understanding that maturity in the faith is never completed – Philippians 1:6

3. Practice Self-Evaluation

a) We to constantly examine our lives – 2 Corinthians 13:5

b) Discipline ourselves daily – 1 Corinthians 9:27

c) Consider our life in Christ – Revelation 3:1

d) Consider our attitude about Christ – Revelation 3:17

B. Devotion (3:13b)

1. “…but one thing I do…”

a) David’s one thing was to dwell with God – Psalm 27:4

b) Mary of Bethany’s one thing was to sit at the feet of Jesus – Luke 10:39

c) The rich young ruler lacked one thing – Mark 10:21

2. Paul’s life wan not about meaningless busyness.

a) As Christians we must devote ourselves to the Christian race.

b) We must be single-minded in our pursuit of pleasing God – 2 Corinthians 5:9

c) Being double-minded is unstable in all his ways – James 1:8

d) Nehemiah had a single-minded devotion to complete God’s task – Nehemiah 6:3

C. Direction (3:13c)

1. “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things that are ahead…”

a) To forget in this case does not mean to fail to remember.

b) To forget means to no longer be influenced or affected by.

c) Paul’s direction was to move forward and to progress.

d) Paul could not change the past, but he could change his direction because of the past.

e) He could let go of the past on focus on the present and the future.

2. At times it is better to forget (No longer be influenced by).

a) Past Achievement – Philippians 3:3-6

b) Past Failures – 1 Timothy 1:12-15

c) Past Hardships – Genesis 45:1-15

d) Past Relationships – Luke 17:32

D. Determination (3:14)

1. “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

a) The word translated press in the Greek carries with it the idea of intensity in pursuit of prey.

b) It further is a word that indicates aggressive action.

c) Paul uses the verb in the context of a race.

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