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Philippians 3:12-21

Philippians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul is writing to Church of Philippi
They are a young church. He is encouraging them to mature in the faith.
Part of maturing is Sanctification.
Philippians 3:11 ESV
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:12 ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
justification = Just as if I never sinned and credited with Gods perfect righteousness
Charles Spurgeon described the beautiful exchange this way: There, poor sinner, take my garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner’s stead, and you shall be rewarded for works that you did not do, but which I did for you.
There, poor sinner, take my garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner’s stead, and you shall be rewarded for works that you did not do, but which I did for you.
Sanctification = is the process of becoming like Christ
Paul here says I have not already obtained this or am already perfect
I don’t have my life together yet. I still fall, I still fail, I still sin.
We will see this Sunday in Acts
There are some Christians who believe that they have arrived. That they can’t do any wrong. That they are prefect.
Have you ever encournted those type of Christ followers.
Example: I have never heard of this idea. Then some people I know where seen as spiritual leaders. All the parents wanted there kids to be like theirs in this church. Their where these group of people and then the rest of us. One of the things this grouped believed was that they didn’t sin much.
I remember teaching on this subject and they objected when confronted with it. They thought because they lived a certain way and held to certain values they where above Sin.
All of us who have accepted Christ as Savior have been justified but are in the process of becoming Sanctified.
We have not reached the goal yet. We still fall short, we still fail, we still sin.
Being a Christ follower does not mean I am perfect, it just means when I sin I am forgiven.
So how do we become more like Christ?
It is not by saying I have to change this problem, this sin, the failure.
That is behavior modificatioin. When we think we can change it all it leads us to do is beat ourselves up the next time we fail.
You can apply this to all sin. But I have seen this especially with guys who struggle with porn. They will confess, feel guilty, process to change. Then they will be on their phone, or internet and something pops up and they look and sin and promise to change.
The only way for you to change is as Matt Chandler says is to lean more into Christ. To dive deep into the gospel and be reminded that we are not our own but that we belong to Jesus.
The longer you are a Christ follower the more you should look like Christ
Our lives are no accident, the trials we face, the hardship we encounter, the good times we have are for the purpose of molding us to be more like Christ.
Paul gives us this idea pressing on to be like Christ, because Jesus has claimed me.
Several things here.
This idea of pressing on. We are to move forward transforming into the imagine of Christ more and more.
Philippians 3:13 ESV
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Addressing to the church.
Paul says he has not obtained Sanctification yet. This idea of becoming like Christ.
Those are bold words. Look who is saying this. Paul
Apostle, a man that gave up everything to follow Christ.
Carried the gospel to all of Asia
Was beaten, run out of towns and Synagogues, was put in prison because he preached the gospel.
If ever someone had made it you would think it would be Paul.
Paul here tells this young church.
We must keep looking forward.
You get the idea of a runner. You can’t look behind you or you may trip and fall, lose speed.
How many times have I heard over the past two weeks of the olympics they have to forget there last run or routine.
We can’t dwell in the past.
We Can’t look back at our success or our failures.
If we keep looking back at our success we dont move forward we become entitled and think we have arrived.
Churches tend to do this. Remember back to the glory days when such and such was our pastor and we did it like this.
It reminds me of the cool person in High School and then he graduates and at your 20 year class reunion he is still living in the glory days of High school as if they where his best years. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that church.
March maddess is almost here and State fans may have something to cheer about this year. At the end of each game you always hear the players say. We have to go ahead and look forward to the next game. Why because they have not arrived.
If we keep looking back at our failures we get stuck in fear and are afraid to move forward.
Sometimes as Christ followers we get stuck on our mistakes or sins and we become paralyzed worried people will find out. Worried about it to the point that it begins to eat at us from the inside.
I think of panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme. I was a big fan. He carried us to a superbowl. In one of his last years we where in the playoffs. He through what seemed like interception after interception. The next year came but he could never get past that playoff game. He was never the same.
We can’t let failures of the past keep us back.
We can’t dwell on success.
Easy to cost
116 in a town that averages 117
Take our foot off the gas
At THBC we must keep looking forward. We can’t keep looking back to past failures, but we also can’t become satisfied with recent successes and think we have arrived.
We have not crossed the Jordan yet.
Paul here tell us to forget what lies behind. to press forward to what is coming ahead.
Paul here tell us to forget what lies behind. to press forward to what is coming ahead.
So what is coming ahead?
Death, judgement
Salvation is not just past tense. Salvation is also present tense. Salvation is also future tense
Heaven, Gods presents
We must keep our eyes focused on what lies ahead and that is us standing before God one day and being seen as Christ. Being seen as clean, and holy.
We must keep our eyes focused on what lies ahead that is glorification
1 John 3:2 ESV
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
We are to keep our eyes focused on the fact that we shall be like him.
There is the saying out there that those who are heaven minded are no earthly good. I think that is a lie.
the more you keep your eyes focused on glorification the more you will be earthly good.
Philippians 3:14–16 ESV
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Paul is pointing to this young church and says I am pressing on toward this prize.
I am pressing on toward this prize.
We must press toward the prize.
Example: Every Friday is treat day. He presses through Monday-Thursday with his eyes on the prize of a treat on Friday.
We should press toward the prize of glorification.
As we press toward the prize we must keep our eyes on the the gospel and Jesus.
That is how you reach glorification. That is how you finish the race.
That is what Paul is telling us.
We never move past the Gospel.
You want to mature in the faith then bask in the gospel. Live your life through the lens of the gospel.
Tim Keller says “Chrisitna
Then He tells the Philippian church let those who are mature think this way.
The mature Christ follower will keep there eyes focused on what is to come and deal with the situations they currently face out of that fact.
So when hard times come in my life I deal with them from the vantage point of knowing it is part of my Sanctification, which is leading me toward my glorification.
If you disagree with this Paul says God will make it plain to you.
So hold on to what you have attained.
What had the church attained. Justification.
What gets us through the tuff times of life, knowing that Jesus suffered as I have suffered. Knowing that Jesus has paid my sin debt. Knowing that Jesus is with me.
Philippians 3:17–18 ESV
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Philippians 3:19 ESV
19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Paul then tells this young church to watch him
Paul then tells this young church to watch him, imitate him.
, imitate him.
Just this morning I was taking my kids to school and we had this converstaion.
Sammy J was complaining that his sister was copy him. And I said Sammy J do you know why your sister is copying you. I said she wants to be just like you, because she loves you. Beth Ann said yep. I told him so that is a big responsiblilty. You have to watch what you are doing so that you don’t lead your sister to do something wrong.
I told him that she copies you just like you copy me. You want to be just like me because you love me. So I have to be careful and watch what I say and do. But you know who I try to be like. Beth Ann yells from the back of the truck God.
I said yep. So I try to be like Jesus, You try to be like me so you are like Jesus and Beth Ann tries to be like you so she is more like Jesus.
Paul is telling the church of Philippi to be more like Him because he is trying to be like Jesus.
Is anyone looking to you to see Christ?
Is there anyone you look to see Christ?
Are you following someone saying that is what a Christ follower should look like and then copying it.
Why do we need solid people in the church to follow. Paul tells us in verse 18 because, some you respect will lead you astray. They are enemies of the cross of Christ.
Why do we need solid people in the church to follow. Paul tells us in verse 18 because, some you respect will lead you astray. They are enemies of the cross of Christ.
The end for the enemy is not glorification but destruction.
Their god is their belly (lustful appetites)
They glory in shame
they have their minds set on earthly things instead of heavenly things
Philippians 3:20–21 ESV
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Paul says our (church, Christ follower) citizenship is in heaven
We as Christ followers have duel Citizenship. Our primary citizenship is not our home country, but is our citizenship in Heaven.
Therefore, we should be concerned about what happens in our country, but we must be even more concerned about primary residents which is Heaven.
The Christ follower is an ambassadors for God.
C.S. Lewis said “If you read history you will find that he Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. (Mere Christianity, 134)
We also await for Jesus to return.
Example of what C.S. Lewis talked about was Billy Graham.
We also await for Jesus to return.
When he returns our earthly bodies will be made into glorious bodies.
This will be done by the same power that Jesus uses to subject all things to himself.
Rope Illustration keep our eyes focused on Jesus and eternity with him if he is your Savior
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