Faithlife Sermons

Eye on the Prize

The Church at Philippi  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Theme: Our Purpose Helps us Persevere. Purpose: To persevere in living the Gospel Gospel Connection: Christ's Coming is motivation to perseverance. Mission Connection: Keep the mission.

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Philippians 3:12–4:1 NIV
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
Introduction: Have you ever thought of throwing in the towel? - Articles of people quitting.
Introduction: Have you ever thought of throwing in the towel? - Articles of people quitting.
Why would we want to quit gospel living?
Video - The Bible Project.

We can get tired.

Later Persecutions and the split in the church - Those who gave up, and those who suffered.
Up-Downs in Football. - Know it is good for me, but very tiring.
Reasons we get tired.
Living the Gospel is not easy
for Paul and the readers - Persecution.
For us - ridicule, resistence, it seems like it is harder to tell the truth, to live Jesus’ way - the narrow path.
The Alternative seems so much more appealing
Despite all that wants to pull us away, Paul Encourages us...

We are Called Persevere.

Facing the Giants Scene
Paul is called to be a leader, He tells the Philippians to imitate his way of life.
Why Paul’s because he is perfect.
Perfection Definition #1 - (Teleoo - to be or become to a perfect or consumate state with respect to certain attribute) Fully knowing Christ perfectly and achieving the end prize full restoration - No he has not arrived, he is still growing.
Perfection Definition #2 - (Teleios - being at an advanced stage of spiritual development as a result of experience, teaching, and often time.) Maturity - Humble enough to know he is a work in progress.
We imitate Paul’s life of pursuit - He was the best example they knew of Christ’s way of life.
Paul is giving them the way of perseverance. - Pursue, by Submission “Jesus brings transformation. with his power.”
If the apostle Paul, who was radically converted from an encounter with Jesus himself and who made such a vital contribution to the New Testament, had not “arrived” yet by his own estimation, it’s probably safe to say, then, that none of us has come to full maturity. Apathy and pride can deteriorate our effectiveness and our growth. How can we shake ourselves loose from apathy? Engage God’s mission by offering discipleship to a younger believer and serving in what God is doing through the local church. This would be a good week to introduce your small group ministry, a mentoring ministry, or any other ministry need in the church.
We are called then to encourage each other to persevere.
Paul is giving them the way of perseverance. - Pursue, by Submission “Jesus brings transformation. with his power.”
We are called then to encourage each other to persevere.
What is the number 1 means of perseverance?

Our Purpose Helps us Persevere.

Our Purpose helps us Persevere.

Vision of a goal - Running a race - best time, A concert, a sporting event,
Here Paul uses athletic imagery as he does in other letters. “The winner of the Greek races received a wreath of leaves and sometimes a cash reward,” (Kenneth Barker, et al, The NIV Study Bible, [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995], 1809). Find a crown wreath of leaves like the ones awarded to ancient Olympians to exhibit as you share this message. Paul’s prize was not cash or a crown, but what Jesus’s goal was for him: the glory of God in his life.
The Big Picture of the Gospel is full restoration - Heavenly Minded.
Too Heavenly Minded to be any earthly good - Wrong,
The Purpose is the meeting of Heaven and Earth - to be heavenly minded is the earth’s best good. It is about the restoration of earth. “subject all things to himself.”
Notice - it is the Lord who will come from heaven to restore.
Our purpose is to participate in this restoration - to be a foretaste of that restoration in the midst of a broken world.
To be the tangible presence of the Kingdom - Mission trips, joyful people in lifes struggles, to live that counter-cultural life in this world. - Serving in Christ’s Name
To share the good news of Jesus and the hope we have to those in this world. - Serving in Christ’s Name
Finally, when life seems hard for us - to Trust in Jesus that he will restore all things.
Conclusion: Do not give up living the Gospel. In certain areas of your life, you may have to stop this or that, take a break from your hard labor, restore through sabbath, and restore with vacation, but never stop pursuing Gospel living.
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