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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
A Reason For Living
Philippians 3: 4 ~ 21
The Cost For Becoming A Follower Of Jesus
A.) In what do we place our confidence in?
Paul is concerned for the church in Philippi
- Confidence was in abilities or flesh
B.) The prestige among the Jews ~Philippians 3: v.4 & v. 5~ v.4 Though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. v.5 Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee.
- Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews
- He was out of the tribe of Benjamin
- He was a Pharisee
C.) A persecuted church ~Philippians 3:6 ~ As for Zeal, persecuting the church as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
- Paul had zeal to bring persecution to the church
- Paul is misled by the law
D.) Give up earthly possessions ~Philippians 3:8~ 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.
- Paul discovers only one thing had any true value
- Paul seizes the moment... encounter with Jesus
Paul realized and seized the moment that it was worth it to follow Jesus no matter what the cost was. Even his own life.
The Crown For Becoming A Follower Of Jesus
A.) Find your purpose in life
- Everything in creation has a purpose
- To be successful a purpose must be fulfilled
- Paul's reason to know Christ and the power of His resurrection ~Philippians 3: v.10 & v.11~ v.10 I want to know Christ ~ yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, v.11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
No one wants life to be just 'average'. Everyone want to make their life count for something. Being a good spouse, parent or friend are secondary. What is your primary reason for living? Everyone needs to know what their purpose in life is. What is yours?
A pen with no ink in it is useless, but a pen filled with ink has purpose. We need to be like the ink pen and be filled with purpose. Are we allowing God to use us freely? Or just being like an ink pen just stuck in a pocket doing nothing.
B.) Setting new goals ~Philippians 3: v.13 & v.14~ v.13 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, v.14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
- Forget the past
- Paul made some bad choices... they are behind him
- Isaiah 43:25... remember your sins no more
- Jeremiah 31:34... forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more
- Forget the good
- A good past is not enough to guarantee a meaningful future
- God never consults your past to determine your future
God remembers our sins no more. God forgives our wickedness. Put your old life away. The 'good old days' are in the past. We need to live in the present and to live today for God. Jesus never looks at your past to take you into the future. He doesn't look at your 'resume' to see if you are fit and capable of going on into the future. He doesn't say, "Well, I don't know... look at what you did in your past!" He doesn't do that... and I'm so grateful He doesn't!
C.) Now we must face the present ~Philippians 3:13~
- Don't dream away the future
- Get rid of the saying, "One of these days"... it is now!
The Command To Becoming A Follower Of Jesus
Philippians 3: v.15 ~ v.17 v.15All 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. v.16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. v.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.
A.) A pattern for the Christian life
- Forget what is behind
- Forge ahead to grasp the fullness of Jesus
B.) Fully committed to Christ
- Not just in word but also in action
- Make a public confession of your following
- Acts 2:38: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you..."
C.) The choice we make
- Follow Christ
- Receive His help through the Holy Spirit
- We are adopted into Christ's family
- We are cared for
- Loved when no one else loves us
Questions To Think About
- 1. Have you made a full commitment to Christ?
- 2. Are the things of this earth still holding a priority in your life?
- 3. Have you set aside your past?
- 4. Have you received His forgiveness for your past?
- 5. Can you set aside your success to pick up the cross?
- 6. Will you let Christ lead you... will you follow Him?
It all starts with acceptance of Jesus, a confession of our sins and the acceptance of His forgiveness by faith. We have no problem believing the miracles that Jesus did in the past, dying on the cross and the future... He's coming back again. But why do we have a problem with believing for the "now" ~ to believe in miracles for today? The Bible is still the same as it was when Jesus was here on earth. It hasn't changed a bit.
Jesus Christ promised us forgiveness when He died on the cross. Our past can be real heavy, as in carrying a big load around with yourself all the time, day in and day out, without stopping. If we give it all to Jesus, He will lift that heaviness off of your shoulders and give you a freedom from it all and set you free. Everyone wants freedom, don't we? The answer is a resounding, "YES!" Why hang onto your past and all of the hurt, sorrow, regret, painful memories, abuse, mistakes you've made along the way~~ why hang onto all of that baggage?
When you are at the airport, you carry your luggage up to the counter. You then give it to an agent and they put it onto a conveyor belt and it moves away from you. Give your baggage to Jesus and He will put it on the conveyor belt to move it away from you. It's called... ' you are forgiven'. Never to be remembered again. Give your baggage to Jesus and experience a freedom from the heaviness and the shackles that have held you captive for so many years. You don't need to be a prisoner any longer from what happened in your past. Come alive with the freedom only Christ can give you! Once you do, you will never regret it.... and that's a guarantee!