MAY 30: AUDIO-VIDEO Philippians Chapter Three: “Christ is Our Purpose!”
Tomorrow is Memorial Day…A Day that we Pause to Remember Men and Women who gave their Lives to Serve and Protect Our Freedom!
- Honoring Them Is NOT to Remember How They Died for Their Country…But to Remember them for How They Dedicated Their Lives in Defense of Freedom.
- Serving, Protecting and Defending America…is the Soldiers Purpose!
- And for the Christian…Our Purpose is to Serve and Defend the Gospel of Christ!!
Transition: Have YOU Determined Your Purpose With Your Life? Not Just What Your Calendar Says You Have to Do…Rather What You Are to Accomplish in this Life?
- And If You Have Determined Your Purpose…What Did You Base It On?
- Success in Your Vocation? A Happy Family? Maybe Working Toward Retirement?
- Q: Did You Know that You are Always Living in God’s Purpose?
We ALL Need to Understand that God is God and He works All things, Including Your Life, According to His Purposes. Nothing Can Happen Without God Ordaining It.
- Psalm 57:2 says, I Cry out to God Most High, to God who Fulfills His Purpose for Me.
- This Verse is Key in Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Life.
- God has Numbered Your Days and Will Fulfill Every Purpose He Has For You.
The Apostle Paul Had a Lot to Say to the Philippians Regarding the Change in His Purpose After Coming Face to Face with Christ…Which Became A Singular Focus.
In Phil 3:13-14 Paul Gives us the “Practice of Purpose” “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I Press Toward the Goal for the Prize of the Upward Call of God in Christ Jesus”.
THE KEY TO FOLLOWING GODS PURPOSE IS FOUND IN THESE VERSES:
- Paul said Good-bye to What His Purpose Was Before he Met Christ!
Paul Understood that the Choice he had made to Follow Christ as Savior and Lord Also Required that his Life’s Purpose…Would Need to Radically Change to Follow Christ.
This is What Christ Expects of Us…When We Come to Christ and Make Him Lord of Our Lives…We are to Leave Our Previous Purpose and Life Goal Behind and Press On Toward the Goal that God has Called Us to…That Being to Make Disciples!
- NOW…Constantly Pressing Toward the Goal of the Eternal Prize…Can Be Difficult Can’t it? It Must Be Intentional!
EXAMPLE: A young, single man is committed to hitting the gym for an hour every morning before work. Then he gets married and has children. He now has a Higher Purpose: That Is Being with his Family in the Mornings. So, he Adjusts his Workout Routines in light of his new, Higher Purpose and Priority.
KEY we Learn from Paul: There Can Be Only One Main Purpose in Your Life.
When the Apostle Paul Became a Christian, he “Re-Organized His Priorities!”
In Phil. 3 he Revealed what his Single Purpose was: “But one thing I do…I Press Toward the Goal…of God’s Call in Christ Jesus.
He No Doubt had Many Goals—be Faithful, be Disciplined, be Generous, be Loving. But they All served his one consuming purpose: to Press Toward God in Christ.
Paul’s Purpose Ordered His Life. It was the Standard by which Everything Else was Measured. Paul’s Purpose Is To Be Our Purpose…And Every Christian’s Purpose!
I’ve Learned that it is good Periodically to Review My Priorities:
- One way I Check My Priorities is to Review My Daytimer…My Calendar.
- Where am I Spending My Time? Where Am I Focusing My Energies?
- As Stewards of All God has Entrusted to Us…We Need an Investment Plan.
- Where Will I Invest My Time…My Talents and Abilities…And My Money…Or Should I say HIS Money?!
- Q: Am I Being A Godly Steward of Everything He Has Entrusted Me to Manage?
- GODS PRINCIPLE OF TITHING GOES WAY BEYOND MONEY! IT’S THE HEART
One’s Purpose is About Choices! During Our Life’s Journey We are given Hills to Climb, We Face Tight Corners, A Few Detours…And We All Encounter…CROSSROADS!
- At a Crossroad…You Need to Make a Choice! Joshua Understood This…
Joshua 24:14-15 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Like Joshua…God Expects Us to Daily Make a Choice of Whom We Will Serve!
- Every Day We Make Choices…Major Choices…Minor Choices…And How we Make those Choices will Determine the Success we have in Life…and in Eternity!
- Will Christ be Our Purpose in this life…Or NOT?
For ME it has Always Been Easy to Make a Choice…However…When I Look Back I Realize that Some of MY Choices…Were NOT the Best for Me.
Here’s Why…Some Choices were based on what Pleased Me…what I Enjoyed… What I thought would Benefit Me…Only To Realize Later that it was Not the Best Choice.
Can You Identify…Choices seem so Easy to Make at the Time…Don’t They.
- However, All too often We Make Choices for the Wrong Reason and the End Result is Less than Satisfying…and Sometimes Damaging.
All Through God’s Word We See the Different Outcomes Between Choosing God’s Way or Choosing Man’s Way. EVERY CHOICE…PUTS US AT A CROSS ROAD!
At their Crossroads of Life…Cain…Lot…Esau…Judas Iscariot…All Chose the Way that Seemed Right to Man… But Ended Up in Pain and Travesty.
But…If they would have Looked at the Choices they Made in light of Eternity their Lives would have Traveled a Different Road and Had a Different Outcome!
In Philippians 3 When Paul Met Christ We See how his Life Choices Changed…His Path…His Heart…His Focus…His Single Purpose…Became Jesus Christ!
There’s a Story about a Little boy who fell out of bed…After Falling Out of Bed his Mother Asked him How it Happened, he Replied, “I Stayed Too Near Where I Got In.”
When I heard this story…It Caused Me to Think Just How Many Christians Conduct their Lives in the Same Way.
- They become Satisfied that their Sins are Forgiven…
- And They Become Satisfied that there is a Place for them in Heaven.
In other words, they Stay To Near to “Where they Got In”…As a Result they Never Grow, and “Only Experience” Spiritual Boredom and Ineffective Christian Lives.
- SAVED…BUT THAT’S ALL…Not Interested in Growing in the Grace they were Given and No Desire for Ministry and Mission for the Kingdom!
- Church is Enough…Don’t Ask Me for More!!!
The Apostle Paul Could Never be Accused of Settling for Where he Got In.
- His life was Revolutionized Through Getting to Know Christ.
- Paul Believed that the Greatest thing that Ever Happened to Him was Getting to Know and Receiving the Grace Provided through Jesus Christ.
- In Verse 8 He said to the Philippian believers “I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”.
- And in Phil 1:21 Paul declared, “For Me To Live is Christ, and to Die is Gain!”
In Chapter 3 Paul Asks Each of Us to Make Some Choices…
- Where will I Put My Confidence? What will be My Trophy’s? In What and Where Will I Invest My Life?
TODAY’S “LIFE POINT”: TO KNOW CHRIST REQUIRES WE MAKE LIMITATIONS!
For Example: Look at Runners…The Discipline of Running Challenges Every Part of a Runners Life…It Consumes Their Life’s Purpose!
- To be a Successful Runner Requires They “LIMIT” Themselves to Other Things!
In the Same Way…For You to RUN WELL for Christ and to Become What God Purposed You to Be Requires YOU Choose to Say NO to Other things…Make Godly Limitations!
Christ Wants Us to Say NO to the Good Things that Keep Us Busy…So that We May Do the GREAT Things that God has Planned for Our Lives! And Will Have Eternal Benefit!
Philippians Chapter 3 vs 1-16 With these Thoughts…Let’s Look at Chapter 3:
In Verses 1-6 Paul Speaks of who he was before he met Jesus Christ.
He encourages the Church of Philippi to watch out for those who want to hold them in bondage with the Law.
He said being of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews and Righteousness based on the Law…he had more reasons than most to be confident in his position.
In Vs 7 he says, Whatever was gain to me, I Consider Loss for the Sake of Christ!
READ Phil 3:8-13 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 9 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. 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, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 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. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
Then Paul makes Clear…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Then in VS 15-21 Paul Challenges the Church and US: 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.
Paul Asks Each of Us to Make Some Choices…Where will I Put My Confidence?
What will be My Trophy’s? In What and Where Will I Invest My Life?
Vs-1: Paul says to REJOICE! I’ve Learned As I Make Christ My Confidence, My Prized Trophy and Determine to Make His Kingdom My Investment Rejoicing Becomes Natural!
- Ps 37:4 Delight Ourselves in the Lord and He Will Give Us the Desires of Our Heart!
Vs-3: Where do you put your Confidence? Checkbook, Family, Job Or Jesus Christ?
One of my favorite examples of courage in the Bible is that of young David standing in the presence of the Giant Goliath. The young David Boldly Stood Before the Terrifying Philistine and Knocked him Over with a Single Well-Aimed Stone.
However, It Is Good to Remember a Key Element of the Story:
- David deflected attention from himself onto God, emphasizing that it was the Lord who had the power and strength to defeat the enemy (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
- He Didn’t Imagine for a Moment that he Alone Could Topple Goliath.
- He displayed NO Confidence in His Own Abilities. Just as God had Saved him Before David was Confident, He Could and Would Do So Again.
KEY: The difference between David and the other Israelites was Not that he was More Capable to Fight than they were; in fact, he was the least qualified among them. What Made him Stand Apart was his Unwavering Faith in God.
- David Knew the Foundational Principle of Our Christian Faith…I CAN’T…BUT GOD CAN!
- David’s Fearlessness Wasn’t because he Didn’t recognize the danger in front of him.
- It Was Because David Chose to Put his Trust in the Living and Loving God he Knew Intimately, and God Was Faithful.
Vs-4, 5, 6: Tells Us Where Paul Put his Confidence Before he Met Christ? 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: 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; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
- These Vs Beg the Question, “What Am I Putting My Confidence In Each Day?”
In the Following Verses of our text Paul Clearly states that he Considers Everything the World gave him…Position…Learning…Heritage…Worthless in View of Knowing Christ!
Key Verse-8: “I Consider Everything a Loss, Compared to the Surpassing Greatness of Knowing Christ Jesus, MY LORD!
There’s a difference between Knowing About Christ and Knowing Him as Lord and Savior!
- Too Many People Miss Truly Knowing Christ Jesus by 18 inches!!!
- They Know All About Him in their Mind…BUT…Have NO Heart Relationship with Christ as Lord through Salvation.
- Paul Considered Everything Else RUBBISH Compared to Knowing Christ as Lord!
- THEREFORE PAULS PURPOSE WAS SINGULAR…SERVING JESUS WAS #1!
***When People come to me with a Question, Seeking a Decision they want to make about this or that…I listen to their question and then I PLACE A BEAUTIFUL WOOD CARVED BOX in Front of Them and ASK… “WHAT IS IN THE BOX?!”
- They look at me and I say…You Can Only Have One Thing in the Box…You Tell Me what that One Thing is and I can Tell You how t Achieve it.
Paul’s Answer to Life’s Question What’s In The BOX…Was JESUS CHRIST!
- Christ was Paul’s Trophy!
- Each of Us Needs to be Honest and Clearly Define in Our Life…WHAT IS MY TROPHY? What or Whom Do I Put into First Place?
- For the Christian God’s Word makes Clear there Can Be Only One Choice…Christ!
Vs-9: Reminds Us that there is NO Righteousness in What we Do…Its Not about You and I Attaining some Level of Acceptance with God through Our Works.
That’s why in Verse 10 Paul makes His Purpose Very Clear. I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST…and the Power of His Resurrection, and the Fellowship of Sharing in His Sufferings, Becoming Like Him in Death!
- To Become Like Christ Requires Dying to Self… Humility and Obedience!
Vs-12: Paul States he has Not Yet Obtained this GOAL…So he Presses On to take Hold of That for which Christ Jesus Took Hold of Him!
- Did You Get that? Christ Jesus Took Hold of Paul (As He took Hold of You!)
- Christ Possesses You and has a Purpose for Your Life…But Like Paul You and I Have Not Yet Obtained…
- So…We are to Take Hold of What Christ has for Us to do…And Press On!
Vs 13: Christ wants Us to Keep on Pressing On and Take Hold of His Purpose for Our Lives! HOW???? Christ is the Pattern (Chapter 2) Humility and Obedience!
- Remember the Story about the boy who Fell Out of Bed…Remember what he said?
- I Stayed too Near Where I Got in!”
Let me ask YOU…Have You stayed to Near to Where You Got In with Jesus?
- I mean…Since You Received Christ and accepted His Atonement for Your Sin…
- Are YOU Just Satisfied that Your Sins are Forgiven and that there is a place for You in Heaven and are Your are Pleased where You are Today with Christ?
- Or Do You Want To Grow Closer To God and Know Him More Intimately?
Understand: When YOU Stay Near “Where YOU Got In” …The Result is that YOU will Not Continue to Grow in Christ!
- You will Not Experience God’s Power for Living! No Real Joy and Peace!
FACT: Instead of an Exciting and Fulfilling Life in Christ…You Will Experience Spiritual Boredom and Live an Ineffective and Fruitless Christian Life.
Paul Made it clear to the Church at Philippi and he Makes it Clear to Us…To KNOW CHRIST…REQUIRES LIMITATIONS!
Christ Cannot Be LORD when He Constantly Fights with other Loves in Our Heart?”
Having Christ as the One Thing in the Box will Require Limitations! However, These Limitations Will Allow Us to Turn Our World Upside Down for Jesus Christ!
- So…Don’t STAY to CLOSE TO WHERE WE GOT IN…Because…
TODAY’S “LIFE POINT”: TO KNOW CHRIST REQUIRES WE MAKE LIMITATIONS!
PD: MARANATHA! (the Lord is Coming) Congregation: And it Could Be Today!