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Summary: How passionate are we about our relationship with Jesus Christ? How passionate should we be? What does the Bible say?

Philippians 3:8-14

“What is Your Passion?”

• We are all passionate about something; football, cooking, politics, our children.

• We have something in common that we should all be passionate about, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. The Origin of Our Passion (8-9)

A. Vs. 8 Starts with putting aside our worldly accomplishments (of which Paul lists his in vv. 5-6), also putting aside our self righteousness that can flow out of our own sense of accomplishment; realizing that these things are nothing but waste  that is having no real value to us when we come to God.

• We must all come to God empty handed in order that we may receive the gift of grace He has to offer us, Paul says, “that I may win Christ.”

B. Vs. 9 We must place our faith and trust in Christ and His righteousness.

• Paul reminds us that this righteousness is not from the works of the Law, Paul reminds us of this fact in Romans 3:20, “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

• However when we place our faith and trust in Christ, His righteousness, that is the righteousness of Christ, is credited to us.

• Paul even reminds us twice in verse 9 that it is only by faith that we can have a relationship with God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB95)

6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him,

• Having a passion for the Lord Jesus Christ starts by lying our life on the alter of the cross, repenting for our sin, and by faith asking Jesus to come into our heart and save us.

II. The Extent of Our Passion (10-11)

• How far should it go? What should it look like?

A. “Know” is the Greek word ginosko, which means more than just a head knowledge, it has more the idea of a deep personal knowledge.

• To give you an idea of how deep a knowledge the same word is also used in Matthew 1:25 and Luke 1:34 to describe the Virgin Mary as not having “known” her husband Joseph.

• It as Paul’s desire to know Christ in an intimate and personal way, and we as followers of Christ should share in that same passion to know Him more.

B. “Resurrection and suffering” Paul wanted close fellowship with all aspects of Christ, in both the power of His resurrection and the pain and agony of His suffering.

• I understand wanting to know the power of Christ – the power to overcome sin, the power to defeat adversity, the power to that gained victory over the grave, that I understand.

• But to have fellowship with His suffering??

• The fact remains, and Scripture is very clear, that if we are walking closely with our Lord then we will suffer; we will face trials and adversity.

John 15:18-20 (KJV)

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.

Romans 8:17 (NASB95)

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

• The more we grow like Christ the more we will face adversity and the more we face adversity the more we become like Christ.

James 1:2-4 (NASB95)

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

C. In verse 11 Paul reminds us why he feels so strongly.

• Paul is not saying that he can earn his resurrection; Paul’s desire was to feel that he was living a life worthy of his future resurrection and he looked forward to the day when he would see and share in the glory of Christ.

• We too should share in Paul’s passion to know Christ in this way as we too look forward to His glorious return.

III. The Hindrance to Our Passion (12-13)

A. Vs. 12 Thinking that we have already attained it.

• No matter where we find ourselves in our Christian walk we should not be satisfied, because if we are then we have lost sight of the goal, which is to be like Christ.

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