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Live Who You Are

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Live Series

Today we are going to begin a series on living. Specifically, a look on how we should live. Over the next several weeks I want to look at what that means. How then should we live. That is a title of a book written by Francis Schaeffer. It isn’t a bad question. How should we live. Over the past few weeks I have come across in my own mind some ideas that kind of stuck with me. There is a book I read a while back about being a pastor in the 21st Century. There are a couple of things he points out that are kind thought provoking. One of them is that we know who we are. Why are you there? What is the purpose of my being here. The thing we need to think about there is t to remember I am here to be a pastor. To tell people about Jesus. He says to know your address. And there are others that I don’t need to share because you see the point about how my thoughts have been provoked if you will. As I have been reading Philippians over the past few months a lot of things have seemingly jumped out at me. Please take your bible and turn to Philippians 3.

Review

Over the past few weeks we have been looking here at this chapter. We saw how Paul looks at the past and sees all the thing he saw as valuable as garbage compared to the truth of knowing Jesus. We looked at the idea of righteousness being a way we look at our personal value. How Paul encourages us to look to Christ for our righteousness. When we find our righteousness and value in him- it is not at all dependent on what we do, only what He did. So it cant change. Through Christ we have been given the chance to know Him- to experience the power of his resurrection, to participate in his suffering- to rise up with him in the presence of God from our own death. Paul talks about not obtaining it yet- he has not been raised from the dead- but he looks forward to it.
And now beginning in verse 15 he begins to encourage us.
Philippians 3:15–21 NIV
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.
15 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. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 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. 18 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. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 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.

Perfection?

As many of us who are mature, perfect, complete. As many of us who know Christ. As many of us who are trying to understand this whole righteousness idea. It is a process, we are growing. He goes on to write, if you think differently God will make it clear to you. Some translators even write – God will show you why you are wrong. Why? Because Paul is using irony again. No one is complete, no one has obtained perfection, it is an ongoing process. I am convinced that God is progressive in his revelation to us. He tells us a little at a time what we need to know. I think it is for a couple reasons. We need to process it for one. Sometimes we are not ready for it. It takes a while for things to sink in. This is why grace is so hard for us. Think about a child for a moment. If I were to ask Scarlett a 1 year old today what two plus two is, she is just going to look at me like I lost my mind. She has to grow up before she can understand. Not only does she have to grow up she has to be taught. So we realize we are growing. But since we are growing, I want to focus on one verse this morning. It is where this entire series of sermons comes from. Verse 16.
Philippians 3:16 NIV
Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Philippians 3:16 NET
Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.
I really like the way the New English Translation puts this Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained. Let us live up to the standard we have already attained. Live up to. Up to what? The standard.

Mature; Complete; Perfect About What?

Paul has been writing about perfection. Completion and maturity. Maturity about what? Knowing Christ! Knowing who Jesus is, knowing he has imparted his righteousness upon us. Knowing because of that who we are. In Christ who we are has taken on new meaning entirely.

Knowing Christ

Ephesians 2:6–10 NIV
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

How did that happen?

Ephesians 1:13–14 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Look back at chapter 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

When you believed

1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Even more look at 1 john 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Not just see!

See is such a wimpy translation. It isn’t just see I told you so. It is am imperative or a command. It is more of a LOOK! This is important! Look at what Kind of Love the father has shown us. We are called children of God! Don’t you get it that is who we are.

We are Children of God!!

We need to live like who we are! In order to live like who we are we need to know who we are. Because we know Christ we have some things Scripture tells us.

Because we KNOW Christ

Jeremiah 9:23–24 NIV
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
John 17:3 NIV
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Ephesians 4:11–13 NIV
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the bknowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Philippians 3:8–11 NIV
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of aknowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and cthe fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

It is all about Knowing Jesus

Do you see it? All we are all we hope to be rests on this one thing. Knowing Christ. Knowing Him. It isn’t about anything we do. Not about knowing about Jesus- but knowing Him. Simply by knowing Jesus we become children of God.

Difference Knowing Jesus and Knowing about Jesus.

Think about this idea for just a moment. We have a Mayor. I know her name and I have met her. But I do not know her. So if I call and say Pastor Mike Brownell of the First Baptist Church wants to have lunch with you. You know what happens? She is not available. She wonders who is this and what does he want. What am I looking for. On the other hand I know john Sterk. A city councilman in Wenatchee. I call John and want to have lunch and John says what time. We know each other. Not just about one another. And add to that we have known one another since the late 70’s. I meet once a week with Dallas Stringer the pastor of Eastmont Baptist. Why? SO we can get to know one another. It takes an investment of time and energy to get to know him. It isn’t just a time where I just continually talk about my world. I listen to his as well. We laugh together, we weep together.

Knowing someone means growing in that knowledge

Relationships grow because we know people. Not just because we know about them. When we know Jesus, like Paul we realize it is a growing relationship. It doesn’t stay the same. We know we cant live in the past we need to keep pressing on to the future.

We never stay the same

The standard we obtained cannot stay the same. We cant step in the same river twice- it has changed and so have we. We need to live who we are. Children of God who are growing in Him.

Where are you?

Where are you at? Do you know Him? You can.
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