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Spiritual Goals For 2021(Part One)

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:06
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JANUARY 3, 2021 STUDY NOTES PHILIPPIANS 1:6-11 BIBLE TEACHER: CLIFTON JONES SPIRITUAL GOALS FOR 2021 (PART ONE) INTRODUCTION As I shared last Sunday concerning my sermon selection, I thought of turning from Philippians The same thought came to me concerning the first Sunday of the New Year, 2021 My search was for a sermon motivating our desire for spiritual growth and maturity this year My search brought me nowhere else, I came back to Philippians and Paul’s prayer for them In my many years of expository preaching, book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse I have often been amazed that the scheduled verses were the right verses for the present time An interesting thought, especially since we are studying Paul’s letter to the Philippians Paul did not intend on going to Philippi, he had other plans, but God had a plan for him (Acts 16) God has a plan for us as we study the book of Philippians, that plan must be fulfilled in 2021 Today is the first Sunday of 2021 and we are going to read and study spiritual goals for our life We must realize that the past events of 2020 were opportunities for God to work in us Did we allow God to use those events to bring us closer to Him and mature us? God will once again be working in us in 2021, we must allow God to accomplish His work in us Be sure your spiritual goals are set in your mind, heart, and will, allowing God to fulfill them Consider these spiritual goals: Allow Christ to do His work in you (verse 6) Confirm the Gospel (verse 7) Share the heart of Christ (verse 8) Abound in God’s love (verse 9) Spiritual discernment (verse 10) To God be the Glory (verse 11) ALLOW CHRIST TO DO HIS WORK IN YOU Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Verse 6 is a good verse to mark in your Bible or even memorize Paul said that he was sure of something, his assurance was based upon the Person of Christ He was sure that Christ would continue to work in the life of believers until He returns So, the question is not, will Christ continue to work in me day by day The question is, will I continue to work for Christ until He returns, 1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. “Therefore” directs us to the previous verses revealing truths related to Jesus’ return (50-57) Paul said he had confidence in God, he had no question about it, he had no doubts Paul was fully persuaded that God would fulfill His promise “of this very thing” Paul believed that God can be trusted in all things, Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Paul knew that God had a purpose when He saved us, the beginning of “a good work in us” The beginning of our salvation was the hand of God upon us, it was God who opened our heart, Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. God opens our heart through the ministry of the Holy Spirit giving us spiritual understanding 1 The lost do not seek God, Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. God sent Jesus to seek the lost, Luk 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. God’s beginning work of salvation within us is known as “justification” (Romans 5:1) Justification is the judicial act of God in declaring the believing sinner to be righteous Justification is God imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer (1 Cor. 1:30) It is an act of God’s grace whereby He pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous Justification is only the beginning of God’s “good work in us” The continued work of God in those who are justified is known as “sanctification” To “Sanctify” means “to make holy,” “Holy” means to set apart for special use by God Believers are those who are sanctified, those who are made holy, those who are set apart by God Holy refers to that which God has taken out of common use and consecrated to Heavenly use In salvation Christ sets us apart for God’s special use, we are God’s people for God’s use, Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Christians are not only “sanctified by God” they are “preserved in Jesus Christ” “Preserved in Jesus Christ” means that God is keeping us “In-Christ,” exactly what Paul tells us God WILL PERFORM “it” UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST The word “perform” means to finish, complete, or perfect, which is what God will do God is not going to give up on us, He is not going to quit working in us, He will fulfill His goal The ultimate work of God in us is known as “glorification,” 1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. God will complete His work within us at the time of the return of Christ God has a plan for His people that the coronavirus pandemic will not defeat Throughout our world mankind has a lot of unfinished projects, products, and business Our God is the God of completion and perfection, look at creation, nothing was incomplete, Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. God has been good, God is still good, and God will work it all out for the good, Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. We can keep singing, “Count your many blessings and see what God has done” The blessings of God are ours because of the gospel, we must realize the importance of the gospel One of our spiritual goals for 2021 should be to confirm the gospel CONFIRM THE GOSPEL Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. Paul begins this verse by saying, it is only right for me to feel this way about you The thought is, I am thinking of you because of my feelings for you, you are in my heart I feel that there is a problem in our society today when it comes to consideration of others And too often it may be found in some churches, which is, “I don’t have time for you” When the heart is filled with selfishness there is no room or time for anyone else When Jesus fills the heart, it is amazing how much time and room there is for others When we allow Jesus to fill our heart, He will clean out all-of the trash that does not belong there 2 Open your heart to Jesus and the Holy Spirit will flood it with the love of God, Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. “Shed abroad” means to overflow, such as a river so full that it overflows its banks Such as so much rain falling into the tank that it runs around the dam A heart filled with the love of God will overflow into the lives of others, that was Paul’s heart Paul’s circumstances did not cause a heart failure for Paul, he was in prison as he wrote to them Which was a significant point, it is found 4 times in this chapter, verses 7,13,14,16 Paul was in prison because he lived and preached the gospel, but the gospel was not locked up While in prison Paul wrote what is known as the “Prison Epistles,” Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon What does Paul mean by the defense of the gospel? The Greek word translated “defense” described an attorney presenting a verbal defense Explaining why his client took the actions that they did, Peter helps us to understand it, 1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: “An answer” is the same word Paul used in-reference to a legal defense Referring to the defense that a lawyer will present in court It almost sounds like a court room setting where you are called to give a reason for your actions But Peter seems to have in mind an ordinary conversation, he says “always” and “to every man” It can happen at any time, anywhere, and anyone could be the one that you “answer” We must “be ready,” be prepared, ready for every opportunity to speak for Christ Scripture is not telling us to apologize for the gospel, but to confirm the truth of the gospel Ready to tell the truth of the gospel, ready to raise your right hand and swear to the truth of it Paul calls that the confirmation of the Gospel We must confirm the Gospel by sharing its truth through word and action We confirm the gospel by speaking the gospel and living the gospel There is no greater evidence to the truth of the gospel than the Christian sharing the gospel Paul identifies the Philippians as “partners,” YE ALL ARE PARTAKERS The word “partakers” means a companion or a partner, those sharing something together Paul and the Philippians shared a concern, they were concerned about the lost That is why they did whatever was necessary to support the spreading of the gospel The Philippian church was not a wealthy church, but they sent support to Paul, Php 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. Christians today must be willing to support the spread of the gospel through time and giving Paul explains how that is possible when he says OF MY GRACE God’s “Grace” is often identified in scripture presenting various truths of God’s work in us Paul’s reference to “grace” in this verse refers to the strength from God to continue-on By the grace of God Paul continued to proclaim the gospel even after being persecuted A good example is found in the account of Paul ministering in the city of Philippi Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison because of their ministry (Acts 16:16-24) From their prison cell they prayed and sang praises unto God at midnight (Acts 16:25) Which resulted in the salvation of the Philippian Jailer and his house (Acts 16:26-34) There is no greater joy than to witness the joy of one who has just received Christ into their life, Act 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 3 The jailer and his whole family were filled with joy A spiritual goal for each of us at Prairie Grove Baptist must be to confirm the gospel in 2021 That we may rejoice, 1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (Those Paul had shared Jesus with) We will not share the gospel until we SHARE THE HEART OF CHRIST Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. “For God is my record,” what a great testimony, can we honestly say the same thing? Paul said, God is the One who can give a witness to the truth of what I am telling you Why, because God knows my heart? How often do people fail to realize the fact that God knows? Paul told the Thessalonians that God does know, 1Th 2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Paul shared the gospel without using “flattering words,” for selfish purposes It was not self-interest, self-praise, or self-glory that motived Paul’s ministry He did not use a “cloke of covetousness,” using something to hide the real motive They could all clearly see Paul’s motive and there was no “covetousness” Which includes the “love of money,” often the motive of many today, but it means more “Covetousness” exalts self to the highest position and disregards the rights of others Again, Paul could call upon God as a witness to the truth of his ministry We need to live our life in such a way that we can call upon God as a witness When we don’t care if God sees it, it doesn’t matter who sees it, the whole world can see it If we are willing for God to know, we are willing for all others to know If we are living a faithful life for Christ others will know that it is because of Christ, Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Only through Christ can we live a life that is a great witness for Christ, listen to Paul HOW GREATLY I LONG AFTER YOU ALL Paul is using very-strong language, very forceful words, expressing the most earnest desire Notice that Paul’s longing was not selective based upon the person of others He said, “you all,” showing no partiality or prejudice, what a victory Is that where we are as a church today? If so, we can and must prove it in the year 2021 Being willing to share Christ wherever we go and to whoever we meet In-order to do that we must have a strong desire to see the lost receive Jesus into their life The point is Paul was sincere, so sincere that it was a strain upon his inward parts IN THE BOWELS OF JESUS CHRIST The word “bowels” is used figuratively referring to our emotions and passions of life Identifying our inner personality, which is our soul, mind, heart, and will From which comes care, concern, compassion, sympathy, and love most tender The kind of love that motivates our actions to do something The stronger the love the stronger the action, there is no stronger love than God’s love Paul’s heart was filled with the love of God That’s why his longing to minister to the Philippians was so strong It was the very heart of Christ within Paul that reached out for the Philippians Paul wanted to share with the Philippians what Christ had given him Pray that Prairie Grove Baptist will be filled with the love of Christ in 2021 And that we will share that love with a lost world Pray that the song you are going to hear will be true of my life and your life in 2021 Listen to the song and make a commitment to do what it says 4
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