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February 6, 2019 3:00 am
Most of us knows the biology 101 the for the bodies to grow each cell has to grow to a point of spreading itself into two, and those two distinct cells are called daughter cells. Once these two new cells develop the old one dies off or actually is flushed out of the body. Then those two cells will grow again in the process continues as how would grow from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and I thought about this and I thought about this and I thought about this, our Creator God. The God who created our bodies in the God who puts it in such perfect order has done the same thing with us growing spiritually that for our spiritual growth.
The spiritual cells have to be broken on the old ones have to be flushed out in order that we might grow into the likeness of Christ. It is just as important growing spiritualism. It is growing physically.
Just as physical growth is a must for healthy body, so is the spiritual growth for the believer, the moment you are born of the spirit of God. The moment you're born from above. The moment you're born again you have a built-in desire that drives you to grow and your spiritual growth is not only for the glory of God. But it is an evidence of your salvation. It is, it reveals Christ in you, it assures you of your salvation, it brings you comfort in times of sorrow that equips you for ministry. And above all, it produces the joy of the Lord in your life will ever listen to me as stagnant Christian is a very sorrowful Christian and really is and put another way of flowing stream seldom freezes, but as stagnant water sitting motionless and call temperature freezes and become immobile and know some of you go to high school reunions, and you know if you ever got your high school reunion. Your former classmates would say to you is that you haven't changed a bit. You just talk just like he used to and you think like you used to an event happens to you. Alarm bells should be ringing far from being a complement. That's an insult.
That's how I would take it.
Why, because God is in the business of growing up his faithful children because God is in the business of moving his children artwork and onward because God is in the business of maturing his children because God is in the business of changing his children from one part of glory into another not stay still. In fact, you cannot grow in Christ without pain that you cannot grow in Christ without pain. And maybe that is why so many Christians have ceased to grow. They have become stagnant. Often our growth can only take place when we are broken and in pain. Often our spiritual growth is very stretching, spiritually speaking, it's agonizing rose talk about growing pains for children.
You know that's how it happens in the life of adolescence.
They feel growing pains in the butt. This growing pains in the spiritual life. When you grow spiritually.
There are growing pains.
I remember one time when our kids were teenagers and overheard them talking to each other, and one said to the other. If you ever have physical pains that don't tell that tell mom is going to tell you just growing pains. Philippians chapter 3, beginning at verse 12. That's exactly what the apostle Paul is saying he is describing spiritual growth is saying as he strained forward with every ounce of energy.
Just like that run on this printer who push their bodies.
He pushes his spirit and soul in the process of growing in Christ and in the process of growing like Christ like a runner member experience physical agony and the legs hurt the back curtain ahead from but they strained forward, they keep on stretching because they need to get to the finish line. That's where the goal is that's what I focused on the finish line when you're growing in Christ you will experience brokenness you experience pain you experience sorrow, you'll experience sheer agony, but that's not gonna stop you from pressing on why because your eyes on the prize. Your eyes are on the Lord Jesus.
If your eyes are on Christ if your eyes are on the joy of the finishing line. If your eyes are on the joy that comes from the law heard you will persist. There are those, of course, the moment they face signs of spiritual straining, stretching the back off. But you know what they missed out on the great joy they do one of the things that will always keep you from appropriating the joy of the Lord in the benefits of the joy of the Lord is ceasing to grow in Christ when you take your eyes off Jesus.
When you look back at the past and stay in the past whether the past is success of failure. It makes no difference.
They both are going to hinder you from going forward.
Just like the old cell has to be flushed out of the system.
My old class has to be flushed out of my spiritual system in order to grow in order to progress in order to go forward because studying in the past. Whatever you past might be good or bad. Success or failure is going to keep you from future victories it will keep you from experiencing greater heights that will keep you from experiencing greater joy the past with all of its success and failure must be flushed out like you will sell from the body and the Bible said about the Lord Jesus Christ, that for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and apostle Paul here fighting a heresy that invaded the church and were threatening to destroy the church of the time Paul and John both in the writings, and even Peter. They fighting this one single heresy that has invaded the church, even while the apostle still live with vengeance and that heresy known as Gnosticism comes from the Greek word means knowledge because that heresy basically taught that if you have greater knowledge you'll reach a state of perfection.
Paul said forget it. I know as much as anybody but am far from perfect.
I have not achieved that I'm not accomplished but I'm still straining forward. I am stretching forward.
I'm going for it, reach it.
When I got a glory. Today, the smaller Gnostic movement that is invading the so-called evangelical church with vengeance is that amazing. Nothing new under the sun is how it goes. Large evangelical churches teach the stuff and movements in and organizations are set up to teach the stuff. Here's how it goes. Listen carefully, God looks upon us and sees us perfect through Christ which is the absolute truth. Yes, nobody conduct, but he is the devils twist on and therefore we must look at ourselves as perfect, who would need to grow as they become perfect right to monitor, grow in the contradict the entire scriptural teaching about sanctification. And yet, that seems to be growing in variety of ways across the Christian church and Paul said, far from being perfect. I am pursuing the prized arms training and stretching, agonizing to reach that prize. How is he doing this is as I am constantly dissatisfied with my present spiritual condition. I'm constantly aware of my desperate need for growth in Christ likeness.
I'm constantly aware of my desperate need for more of Christ's holiness and Christ's righteousness and made I'm constantly aware of my sinfulness and the desire inside of me that wanted claim one of the righteousness of Christ. Sometimes I meet wonderful Christians who would say to me, I'm Michael.
I'm struggling with sin in my life and I am I'm dealing with sin in my life and and I should be feeling that way up and walking with the Lord for some time now acid that is assigned that you are growing in Christ.
The fact that you are conscious of sin use in the fact that you want to confess your sin is an indication that you are growing in Christ, not yellow around him erotically, as this is important. The more you want to be delivered from sin, the more your straining forward wanting to grow like Christ. The opposite of course also strip those for smog and self-satisfied and feel they are a cut above everybody else and reached a level that is higher than everybody else. These are the very people who are in danger.
They really are. There are in danger great danger in the spiritual life. Why, because straining forward in conformity to the image of Christ and becoming more like Christ as your strength forward you cannot do it unless you first let go of the past, you've got to let the past go, then you straightforward with a new vision with a fresh walk and daily fresh walk with the Lord in the Christian life is like climbing a hill.
You can't stand still in a slide back we go forward. That's just the Christian life miscellaneous. Did you know that the greatest problem of the people of God when they got out of the land of slavery in Egypt and got into the wilderness. You know that the two greatest problems is the opposite of what Paul is teaching.
He said you forget the past and strength. All right you know what they wanted to do. They want to go back didn't want to go forward. And then I would just want to go back to Egypt and you say folks who were slaves in Egypt all year, but the food was tasty. You up to your hips in the mud making bricks for Pharaoh. All but the food was delicious.
Pharaoh's lips were all your work, but the leaks in the garlic and the meat was plentiful. Sadly there are a lot of leak in garlic Christians there forever looking at their past. Whether it's failure or success, and they stay in the past never move forward. But the old cell has to be flushed to help the also has to die in order of the body might grow in the same thing spiritually. They make no progress toward entering into the promised land is or what is my promised land.
Listen to me. You promised land is conquering new territories in your life for Christ is taking occupying new areas for Christ in your life.
It is dedicating more of your life for Christ's bringing glory to Christ whom arrived.
The only thing that we must never forget about the past is past salvation – deliverance.
The only thing was never forget from the past is the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary, in order that he might redeem us and bring us to eternal life is the only thing remind yourself not to repeat the sins of the past. Yes, but don't stay there because that's what the devil wants you to be the ones you did well in past failures.
He wanted to dwell on past sins. He wanted to dwell on past successes, but you say I'm straining forward. I'm going full live in the past. Why, because God is anxious to take you. He really because to greater heights.
God wants to take you to greater victory. God wants to take you to greater glory. God wants to take you to upward and onward God wants you to have greater joy in your life that comes from conformity to Christ and growing in Christ.
When David Livingston returned to England after a long period of time in Africa. Somebody asked him the question. Where are you ready to go now. He thought for a moment and he said I'm ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward beloved looking back and staying back and not moving forward with greater and fresh vision from God every single day will keep you in a state of spiritual danger. Believe me I know what I'm talking about. You've heard me say this not justify this firsthand. If you are not going through spiritual conflict. If you are not fighting against the flesh. If you are not in conflict, against the spiritual principalities and powers of evil one. Chances are you both are traveling in the same direction. Satan will never attack a stagnant believer to a movie or reclining chair stay where you are rock-a-bye baby yeah that's that's where all go to church yet. Of course go to Bible study and these retreats and conversely that's fine. All but don't bother straining and stretching in your spiritual life. Dawn bother getting out of your comfort zone. Don't bother exercising faith at the front end because Satan is never going to bother a careless, prideful and arrogant Christian who want, but then you also never know the great joy of victory you'll never know that you'll never know how to appropriate all of the benefits and all of the blessings that come from the joy of the Lord at the foot of one of the Swiss Alps. There is a marker of their honoring a man who actually fell to his death.
That very spot and attempting to climb higher, he felt his death in the market gives his name in a very brief epitaph is what said he died climbing he died climbing beloved limit tell you something that ought to be the epitaph of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. That really died climbing, not standing still not being stagnant not dwelling on the past, not focusing on all the negative things of the past or even the positive things of the past that we died climbing toward the prize that we have in Christ Jesus. And that is why Paul goes on to say. Look at verses 17 all the way to end of the chapter 3. Let me make it easy for your limit, put it in my own words. Okay, I'll give your use of interpretation is what he saying find those who are good climbers find those who are good runners find those are good strainers find those who are good sprinters find those who are good forward looking people and emulate them. Don't emulate those narcissistic Christians who say that God is a cosmic genie who exists to grant people. What makes them happy, don't emulate those don't emulate people who want a God who obeys there will emulate people who wandered by the word of God and the life don't emulate people who wave the Bible but they don't believe what's inside it but emulate those who seek told by the word of God with all of their hearts emulate someone who can show you the struggles someone who can show you the disappointments. Someone who can show you the various trials of life, someone who can show you how to strangle pride on a daily basis, moment by moment basis follow someone who knows how to resist temptation on a daily basis. Someone who is constantly learning how to put sin that a man. The sad part is not discerning believer thinks what is good as the other and they can tell the difference. That's the sad part of our generation. Verse 19 describes the people that you should avoid sin because of the ones who do not believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, thou the enemies of the cross. They are the ones whose God is the uncontrollable sensual appetites and impulses. These are the people who wink at sin an abomination and they may even legislated in the church. There are the people who are proud of their perversion. They're the ones who add to the gospel or those of the ones who take away from the gospel in order to make it palatable to people don't emulate them. In fact, run away from them as far as you can. Verse 20 and 21 emulate those who are heavenly minded.
The people who are truly representing their home country of heaven because that's where our citizenship is is in heaven many years ago I read about Lord Schatz very, the great English social reformer and you know people always there will this is a social gospel, and this is this gospel of the gospel now sure will not saved by good works, but we are saved to good works in the people who obeyed the Lord in the life of the ones who made the greatest contribution.
One of them is his lower chest very great social transformation in England and here's what he said.
Toward the end of his life.
I wanted to listen to his words very carefully. He said I don't think that in the last 40 years I have ever lived one conscious hour that was not influenced by the thought of our Lord's return year. People say he's so heavenly minded is of no earthly good.
That is not true. It was his conviction of that day when he stands before the Lord face-to-face that made him empower them and motivated him to do all the great things that God used him to do same with William Wilberforce and I believe CS Lewis had people like this in mind when he said the following. He said if you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world word just those who thought most of the next beloved the return of Christ should not let you sit in your blessed assurance is that the prophecy said this this is happening in this is happening and that is happening now so return of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be motivating you. Jesus said didn't say look, sit back and wait for me. He didn't say a put on white robes or go to the mountains, he said occupy till I come to work till he comes wanting to be found faithful when Jesus return should occupy, walk and not talk in our witness and manage relationships in our parenting and our behavior and our business dealings and our obedience to him not sit back and talk about the return of the Lord and all the signs, that is fine dear Moody used to say it's okay to wait for the Lord as long as your house evaluating the return of the Lord should motivate us to work harder. It should motivate us to give sacrificially that you motivate us to witness diligently.
It should motivate us to serve faithfully look at verse 21 of the apostle Paul concludes this chapter with an incredible verse ought to be memorized by every believer. Verse 21 who talk about the Lord Jesus 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. How many of you would the remember the close line. I grew up with in the in the balcony one Paul here one Paul here in the close line stretched and there you hang the clean clothes to dry and beloved, I want to tell you that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is like that close line everything hangs on the close line.
If the close line falls all the clean close falls with it the same thing about the resurrection of Jesus.
If the resurrection falls all of Christianity falls with it when the resurrection of Jesus stands everything in the Christian faith stands with it the divinity of Christ, hangs on the resurrection of Jesus, the atonement of our sin and the forgiveness of our sin hangs on the resurrection of Jesus. Our victory over sin in a daily basis hangs on the resurrection of Jesus our own resurrection to eternal life to be with him forever hangs on the resurrection of Jesus. Everything hangs on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Bible said Paul is saying that the resurrected Christ one day is going to split the sky wide open and he will bring an end to everything as we know it. Everything as we see it we look at things we think a real, we think there forever and we think that this is where our future is. But no, no, no, no, God is going to come and is going to change is going to bring an end descendent the rebellion is going to bring an end to suffering and pain is going to bring an end to diseases and sickness is going to bring an end to sorrow and grief is going to bring an entertainer and regret is going to bring an end to temptation and failure and he is going to bring an end to Satan by tying him up and process them into the lake of fire. And Paul said that happens all broken and tired bodies are tormented, bodies will be no more, for he will grant all his faithful children. New bodies, but is applied. Jesus's body after the resurrection.
Those transformed bodies will be perfect in every way, those transformed bodies will experience joy unspeakable. Those transformed bodies will bring us to perfect fellowship with him and with one another. These transformed bodies will be delighted in surveying and singing praises to the Lord for eternity to come for John the river later said there will no longer be any curse on the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his bond servants will serve him and very will see his face and his name will be written on their foreheads. Beloved, I want to tell you I live for the day and so let me challenge you from the word of God as we run the spiritual race. Keep your eye on the great joy. Keep your eye on the prize. This is thought make you rejoice.
If it doesn't, and you need to pray to the Lord as we pray in a moment to say Lord Jesus, I confess, and I repent of my sins come into my life on receive your Savior and Lord.
Because if you not rejoicing about that day the something wrong with your salvation. Everyone is redeemed, adopted by Jesus long for that day. This joy the world will never ever ever ever ever comprehend don't understand little and have it but believers can appropriate all of the benefits and all of the blessings of vision, joy of the Lord every single day, every single day while we living here for him. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael use Seth recently featured on leading the way.
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