FCA - Mt. Ridge
How To Strive Together
How To Strive Together
Who I am - my history
What I do
Why I’m here
Paul - prisoner for the Gospel, is writing to the people of Philippi with the end goal in mind that the Gospel would advance.
And if you read chapter one you’ll pick up on this theme
But in verse 27, I think he gives us, as believers in this room together, the key to doing that.
“ 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,”
Only - in view of yourself, as far as is dependent on you (and no one else)
Let your Manner of life - the way you conduct yourself, the way you live your life
Be worthy of the Gospel of Christ - how are you living your life in light of the Gospel
Not dependent on how you stack up against your friends, not on how we stack up against other people, not on how our churches stack up against other churches, not on anything except the Gospel of Christ.
Can I be real with you guys? I’m a comparer. I compare everything:
In high school, I was always comparing my soccer stats to other players in the area..always trying to be the top guy
Liverpool in comparison to the other inferior teams
Last week I was looking at gopro’s for our youth group, and I’m literally comparing five different models of gopros and losing my mind (and there’s not much mind up there to start with) as to which one fits my needs
I compare my sermons to other people’s sermons
I compare Cornerstone Baptist to other churches
And if you guys were real with me and yourselves, I bet you’d say the same thing, right?
We are a comparison culture, that’s fueled by our social media habits, it’s fueled by access to information on almost everything
But if we choose to compare ourselves to each other, to other Christians, and how we stack up against them, we’re doing an injustice to the Gospel, b/c we’ve made it about ourselves.
But what Paul is saying here is, how are you, how are we, living our lives?
Do we find our worth, our acceptance in light of the standards of others, or the standard of the Gospel.
Paul’s saying, Live your life in light of the Gospel of Christ…and you guys know what that means, right? We are to live our lives for the gospel of Christ, to make that known, to advance the Gospel as Paul is writing about.
But when we don’t do that, when our focus is on ourselves in comparison to others, we aren’t focused on advancing the Gospel, we’re focused on advancing ourselves, making ourselves better.
But the Gospel tells us we can’t do that, we can’t fix ourselves, only Christ can.
Paul tells us that doesn’t work
If you read farther in , we see that he tells us to be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
One of the reasons I like FCA so much is because it is inter-denominational....and it’s focused on one doctrine alone, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
FCA’s vision statement says this, “To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ”
FCA’s mission statement says this, “To present all the challenge of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.”
And this is what Paul is saying in the second half of the verse we just read, “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”
The challenge to us as Christians is to have one Spirit, have one mind, working together for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You all are athletes....have you ever had to work side by side with someone you didn’t get along with, someone you didn’t like? It’s a struggle right?
Or maybe there are people on your team that you don’t like because in your mind you are always comparing yourselves against them, so focused on yourself that you kind of lose the team aspect a bit?
Now, what happens when that mentality gets shifted to the field or court? Often times…it ends disastrously
I was talking to a girl in our youth group who goes to a different school and her volleyball team had just gone to states. I was asking her how they did, and she wrote to me this, “We lost in the first round. Everyone had an attitude and was playing for themselves, so there’s no wonder why we lost”
The same thing happens to us as Christians. Either we compare ourselves out of jealousy, or we compare ourselves out of the desire to live our lives however we want, as long as we aren’t as bad as that person over there.