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Not My Home

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I want to begin this morning by saying again, “Thank you,” for your giving to make it possible for our teens to go to camp. And I want to thank you for all of your prayers this week. God answered those prayers and really showed out!
This morning we are continuing your study in the book of Philippians. Last week we ended with verses 7-11.
Philippians 3:7–11 NIV84
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul says, he wants “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in death. . .”
When we come to verse 12, we begin to realize that Paul was really just like us. If you have your Bibles, I want to encourage you to turn with me to Philippians 3, and we’ll begin reading with verse 12.
Philippians 3:12 NIV84
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
So many times we idolize the characters of the Bible. But Paul struggled just like we do.
He had not obtained “this”—He struggled with:
considering everything loss.
knowing Christ the way he wanted to know Christ.
Paul does not want us to see him as a super-saint. That’s why he says he hasn’t arrived yet.
Instead, Paul presses on—strive to reach.
To take hold of the job Christ had for him.
Paul is continuing to strive to be what Christ wants him to be. Yet he’s going to repeat the same theme in verse 13.
Philippians 3:13–14 NIV84
Brothers, 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.
When Scripture repeats itself in a short space, it is an extremely important phrase.
Paul says again that he has not arrived!
So look at what he does:
Forgets what is behind! Paul does not get bogged down in the past—not the good past, or the bad past!
Next, Paul strains toward what is ahead!
This is an amazing thought. If you and I will “forget” our past, and strain toward what is ahead, a lot of our stress would disappear.
When we are bound up in the past—live in the past, we become strangled by our past failures, and a slave to our successes. And we end up missing what God have for us to do today!
That’s why Paul says he presses on—same word in verse 12—toward:
The goal—what Jesus wants us to be doing.
Win the Prize—the prize from Jesus.
Finally, Paul says he keeps his eye on Heaven.
QUESTION: (1) What goal are you chasing after? (2) Are you looking at the prize that Jesus has for you? And finally, (3) Are you keeping heaven in view?
Philippians 3:15 NIV84
All of us 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.
Spiritual maturity is seen when we forget what is behind; when we strain toward what God has for us; pressing on the goal to win the prize; and when we keep your eyes heavenward. That is spiritual maturity!
Paul says, if you disagree with his definition of that too God will make clear!
When we come to verse 16, Paul tells us what is most important.
Philippians 3:16 NIV84
Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
How many of you have a record of God’s blessings—all those things that God has done for you? If you have one, that is what we need to live up to! Meaning that it what we need to count on! If you can’t list the blessings of God in your life, you need to work at looking back and seeing all that God has done for you!
With that being said, Paul calls his readers to follow the pattern for living that he laid out for the Philippians. Look at verse 17.
Philippians 3:17 NIV84
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
One of the reasons we come together is to help encourage each other in the way we should be living!
But not everyone does this. Look at verse 18.
Philippians 3:18–19 NIV84
For, as I have often told you before and now say 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 on earthly things.
There are some that live as enemies of the cross!
They are destiny is destruction. They are headed for destruction—eternal separation from God.
There god is their stomach—they are focused more on physical pleasures, than they do on the spiritual!
Their glory is in their shame—these people glory in themselves rather than glorying in God!
And finally, they are focused on earthly things!
Instead of focusing on worldly things, Paul reminds us where our focus ought to be.
Philippians 3:20–21 NIV84
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.
Our citizenship is in heaven, not in this earth!
We should be eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus!
All of this is accomplished through the power of God!
God the Father brought everything under the control of Jesus.
That same power will transform our lowly bodies—earthly bodies—into a glorious body like Jesus!
Paul concludes this passage with verse 1 of chapter 4.
Philippians 4:1 NIV84
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!
Because of all that God has done for us, we need to stand firm in the Lord!
This morning, which group do you fall in?
Are you standing firm for Christ? Focused on heaven or on earth? We are supposed to be God’s representatives to earth, but our citizenship is in heaven.
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