Practical Christian living

Published 7:00 pm Friday, August 13, 2010

Scripture: Philippians 3:7-16

Aim: To review basic truths of salvation in Christ and strengthen the believer’s faith.

Golden Text: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

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Knowing Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord produces a devotion and determination within the believer to faithfully serve Him. The personal desire should become the desire deep within the individual Christian to live a consecrated and devoted Christian life. Paul found it to be so in his own life, and he sets an example that each believer will be blessed to follow.

I. Paul knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior (vs. 7-9). Paul discounted all things in order to know Jesus Christ as personal God, Lord and Savior (vs. 7-8). He surrendered all of his life to the service of Jesus Christ that he might have an intimate personal knowledge of Christ (vs. 9). This resulted in Paul receiving the righteousness of Christ simply through faith in Christ (vs. 9). This is the only way in which a person may have the righteousness of God, by faith in Jesus Christ (vs. 9).

II. Paul expressed a strong desire for a deep personal knowledge of Christ (vs. 10-12). First, he wanted to “know Him” (vs. 10). This is a deep desire to have an intimate relationship with Christ.

Second, Paul wanted to experience the “power of His resurrection” (vs. 10). This is changing, transforming power to motivate and renovate the life for the glory of God. He desired the power to live the Christian life and be a blessing and help to others.

Third, Paul wanted to be able to experience the suffering of Christ in order that he may have a deep compatibility with Christ (vs. 10). He was willing to suffer all things in order that he may be approved by Christ.

Fourth, Paul wanted to be “made conformable unto his death” (vs. 10). Here Paul expresses the desire that he may be conformed to Christ so completely that he would even be willing to die for Christ (vs. 11-12). Each of us would be blessed to follow the same pattern.

III. The completeness of Paul’s devotion to Christ is expressed in his deep personal desire (vs. 10b-16). First, Paul wanted to gain all that Christ had for him to gain (vs. 12b). He used the figure of being arrested by Christ, thus bringing him into complete surrender to Christ (vs. 13).

Second, the pattern gives us the prospect for the past, present and future (vs. 13-14). He wants to forget the things in the past (13). They are to have no hold nor influence over his life. Next, in the present he desires to reach out for all that is available for Him in Christ (vs. 13).

Paul wants to press forward in every way possible to reach the “prize” that is set before him He wants all that God has for him and wants to be all he can be for God alone. The goals that Christ has set for him, he sets for himself. If high goals are not set, they will not be reached.

Paul has a great desire that all believers be like-minded in devotion to God and maintain a determination to faithfully serve the Lord. He reminds us that God will reveal our needs and weakness to us (vs. 15). He also indicates that God will also give us the ability to follow Christ faithfully. Paul has already set the example (vs. 16-17).

Reader, have you ever surrendered yourself to the Lord in such a way as Paul did? This is the way to enjoy the blessedness of knowing and following Christ. Herein is the pathway of blessing which is available to each and every believer in Christ.