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November 23, 2020 4:49 pm
Turn in your Bibles to Philippians chapter 3 will be today. Philippians chapter 3 and really talking about finishing faithfully finishing faithfully. I think we have a culture that no we teaches of the path of least resistance is usually the best path to take the easy way. Take the not difficult way and it's good to go. Best for you and if you be honest with you. This is also something I've struggled with throughout life noise take the easy way or the hard way which way we want errors in college and I was a chemical engineering major, and when I started realizing that maybe this is the path for me that when I go towards ministry. What this is gonna look like I switch my degree from chemical engineering to political science because it was easier is I don't engineering as we do total work of political science. I could spend my time playing Frisbee with my friends and then I developed like a whole scheme of figuring out even make it even easier. So what you do is there's a great website called rate my professors.com and it was awesome and had just come out.
You could find the easiest professor that was on that website and that's the one I chose ranks. I knew that he was gonna, especially ones are working to care take attendance in class there was anything like secret pop pop quizzes. You could skip class and nobody would know.
That's the kind of class that I really wanted to take those of the best ones and I can come to coast through college. Then I figured out like another trick which was the drop deadline so there is this deadline like a couple weeks out from when you first start the class and if you decide at the end of that time and uses it for me. You can drop that class and take another or just drop it and be done as I realize like if there was a class it was particularly difficult. Just drop it and take it with a better professor later. The easy professor later. Well, that got me through college and efficient Masonic college and I went to seminary and and I kinda like had a little bit of that same mentality.
How I just get through this minute.
Mentor documented white is trying to get through this. This is like good in years trying like breeze through it. What this is this here to help you know is pastor in understanding the Bible more and I was like that's a great point like this is for my good. It's for my benefit is not here to harm me. And I remember there was this one Hebrew class in this one particular Hebrew class.
She had the reputation of being the hardest, most difficult Hebrew teacher and he did this like inductive method read they want to come to class and you get a Hebrew Bible and he says I want you to read it like I don't know what I'm reading, and he barely gives you enough to kinda read it and you kinda butcher your way through trying to read it and gives you like test and homework and homework is based on you having to figure out all this yourself and your like what was going on in your work through it. First test. I think everybody in the class for one person failed after that two thirds of the class dropped. There were going and I was like was tempted on.
Mike okay this is my time. I can drop this class and be done or I can continue on and in my mentor said I think you just need to really work through this persevered through it okay to do it, so I studied harder for the class later stage for any of the class ever in school and I remember every night up at the Hebrew books open and I'm looking through them, working through my homework and at the end of that class. I got a B. It was the best B I've ever gotten in my life. I was so thankful for that. Be it in at the end of that time. I learned so much through that Hebrew class mean something. I've a love for the Old Testament today. It came from this professor that I had in his Hebrew class. All these good came from that because I just decided I'm going to persevere through the difficulty they persevered to the difficulty that I wouldn't quit just because I got hard. I think sometimes in life we want to take the path of least resistance, the easier way because it just makes more sense to us. Just seems like I will comfort now want comfort now only possible policy shares these universes here in chapter 3 verse 12 through 16 you think of where he is he is in jail for preaching the gospel he realizes his life may be over, and he's encouraging the church to continue to press on press on press on persevered. Don't quit see micro to want to but don't think of this whole last year 2020.
Man, it's been quite a year right for my mom for many of us spend a challenge. It's been a journey there's been so many ups and downs.
There's been so many problems in so many pains. There's been so many things that have happened. Our culture right now is completely divided and polarized mean you don't even talk about politics today unless you want to get in a fist fight with somebody in the street because that's just our world write a smart work rat today is just a crazy crazy year. I know in life second averages go away. We know that this world is still broken right and we know week because of the gospel. We know why it's broken because people don't have Jesus and we have strayed away from cries of a whole creation has every person has sinned against the holy and righteous and just God and the only hope for us is Jesus. So as a believer if you place your faith and trust in Jesus, you have the hope of Jesus. Just because you have the hope of Jesus does not mean that the rest of the road is easy. In fact, Jesus says to suffer because of me. Pollsters at the end of verse 11, 10, 11 frigates in this part of verse 12. He says that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead, that I may share his sufferings senior to share the sufferings of Jesus and becoming like him in his death that might by any means possible, and may attain the resurrection of the dead in someone's life will give a pass to go.
Maybe it's your old wounds. It's old. Since they continue to bog you down and you're stuck with that identity think that's who you are today.
Paul says we had to get beyond that right were no that's not who we are defined by any longer suck just the problems of the president's not just all these things were dealing with on a day-to-day date basis. Our faith must be forged through the pain of the past and the problems of the present faith must be force the pains of the past and the problems of the present, God is doing a work in us, that is not yet complete, is not yet complete until were dead and with Jesus right. That's when it's that's when it's done. I think sometimes life and wanted to be done will be done now got a camera right right here. Nope, you're not done until you're dead and gone, and the encouragement and that is that God is teaching you and forging your faith in making you conform to the image of his son Jesus. It's a good thing. It's not a bad thing there so much that comes out of that so much joy that comes out of that so many lessons that come out of that so many just great things that God gives us and chooses to gives us to give us through even the pain the past the problems of the present Philippians chapter 3 verse 12 Paul shares this, not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. But those of us who are mature think this way and if anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you only let us hold true to what we have attained is interesting.
Paul Sherry here in verse 12 not that I have already obtained this. I'm not there yet. I haven't arrived, I haven't received this resurrection. Yet, because that's when I'm dead. I'm not perfect you think of all the people in the Bible. The here is the Bible you think of Shirley like a guy like Paul. He's perfect. He's arrived, he's there no Paul said he still struggles the same things that we struggle with and this is a guy who's dedicated who's committed but yet he still struggles with the same things guy who loves Jesus wants the world to know about Jesus will preach the gospel everywhere he possibly can.
Even the people try to kill him take his life is preach it sure is a Ivan attained it. I haven't received it but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own first cited this year is that we have not yet reached the finish line, not reach the finish line yet many of our salvation, three sides of this three parts of this note. Salvation is what Jesus has done for us on the cross he paid for the our sin in the first cited something calling it seminary 101.
Here justification the word justification. That means that Jesus declares you righteous when you believe in him. When you repent of your sins and believe in him you are righteous by Jesus gift. That doesn't mean you've earned anything that doesn't mean you live a righteous, perfectly righteous life but you are righteous in the eyes of God, your sins are taken away the wrath of God is been paid your punishment and pay through Jesus you not no longer at the face that punishment that is positionally now with Jesus we are good work were righteous.
He sees us justice as it is if we never send before and that's our our positional role with Christ. He's made us holy declares holy by the second stage that we know that every day we still struggle with the same things we are still pursuing holiness were still pursuing following Jesus.
Why, because it would be like him, trying to earn anything God is already declared you righteous so you can't earn righteousness out of this we are doing this because this will God calls us to him because he loves you because we love him, to live our lives for him. We are living out holy lives, but this is a grind. It's not easy. Every day is a struggle every day is a battle. It doesn't get easier since what we do it why we fight would be easier just to quit and give up. Paul says in verse 14 it will can I get some universe in between, but he talks about this idea of the goal for the prize presses on toward the goal for the prize in this idea that there is there's an end is an end goal that were after this enterprise. Paul says the resurrection in verse 11 suck but the resurrection there's a life after this. This is not just it when you're dead is not found in the ground and that's the end of the story. There's a life after death and think about what death means for supper. Many people death is. It's like oh man, it's it once were dead were redone with but for the believer. When someone dies, we don't see that that's it. Believe that that's it. We believe there's something after this hope so. When we grieve when we lose somebody we don't grieve as those who have no hope.
We still grieve because we love our relative or friend that we lost but we grieve with hope because we know you will see them again one day spend eternity with him again one day and that's a beautiful think.
Is there something after its glorification is the third aspect is that one day will get an imperishable body will no longer at the bases temptations of the flesh anymore this imperishable body that lives forever and it's an amazing thing. I can even begin to tell you what that's can even look like Paul gives glimpses of it first printing 15. We get a bunch of idea what this is going to look like I'm several other places throughout the Bible and read the book of Revelation several placements to the end of the story and it's it's amazing. It's absolutely amazing, better than anything we could ever imagine its glorification. See end-stage final result and so we realize that there is a time after. There's this eternity and all of this in light of eternity. As we live our lives we know that's kind of the end of all right, Paul says, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upper: Christ Jesus was watching him this documentary on the it's on Netflix now shows like this. The cheese race in Gloucester, England, and receiving that and they insists he'll this like really really steep hill and they take is been a tradition for many years. They take a wedge of cheese and they were rolling down this hill and people start running after this. She's wedge as fast as they possibly can and it was so steep. It's like straight down in the ground is really uneven sales lot divots in the ground.
Sometimes it will rain the night before so your muddy and so people running down and of course you can imagine people just tripping and falling in the rolling and they bounce back up to get back on their feet, and the role it running again in the fall down again in the cheese actually go so fast like the clock to like 70 miles an hour so this Jesus role in and a lot of the injuries have come from the rolling cheese that's going down this hill superfast and then the people are falling down the hill so that like a list of the local rugby team to be at the bottom of the hill to catch people and then they have like farmers who are also there to try catch people leave ambulances waiting for the inevitable injuries that happen every year at this event will break bones of thinking is died yet but I'm sure it will happen. I mean, is crazy.
And every year people do it is like one Guyanese one like the last 24 cheeses or whatever in a row. I mean, he sees like a legend knowing this little County and his other ladies. You did document her to talk know what she was trying to do and she was trying to win her fourth cheese you know for that year and and just talk about like why in the world would you possess you to do this. This, like, you know, you're probably going to get injured. You know you're probably going to get hurt. But every single thing when only when is a cheese that's it. That's what they get the take on Mrs. cheese you and why would you do that for cheese right like you can go to the store and buy cheese and it's more than that they're doing it because they want.
It's a tradition it's their culture. It's the honor comes along with that there are fighting for that. It's really fascinating you're talking the one guy he's like I know every debit I don't every line on this hill and he knows I know at this point I probably can fall but I know I'm the role should bounce back up and relay my feet and they get back on no disappointment fall. He's coaching this other girl.
He's like telling her it's like yeah you probably can fall. It's okay to skip back up to going false okay to backup your energy going Jeter to Foshan to backup your going to keep going and I was much that was like man is such a good picture of what life is like like you're running down this hill as fast as you can and you just keep falling and breaking arms and breaking legs injured, no ripping tendons in your like man this is so painful and you're doing it for the goal. The goal is not us rights, not our comfort is not our security.
The goal is because we know. Would you be with Jesus forever.
I weaned that we know the end of the story, we know that the game is stacked against the world right the world loses Jesus wins the victory is assured. So we can run down this hill surpasses began knowing that it's going to be painful. It's going to be.
It's gonna hurt others of England is at the bottom there to patch us up and fixes up working to be good as new. Right. We know the end of the story. I think for a lot of us. It's like you see something like that. It's daunting right you see the pain we see the challenges and you know I don't know if that's for me and you know I think there is going to be some great times and joyful times in life and and and God brings a lot of good enjoy through the everyday circumstances like this. Not all just painful but that is a part of it that comes along with it. And God is trying to teach us something even through the pain, but we do it because we know the end of the story the end of the story, consumed with a lot of things you and I are all sorts of things that will motivate us and will push us, that will will build their lives around and most things don't matter. Things don't matter, but you think the right goal right in the right prize finish line with the finish line look like and you can run down the hill knowing you're going to fall and trip vision of the in the story Paul says this is the end of 12, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. It's a really powerful verse I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. What helps us understand the end of the story is our identity. We have now in Christ. If you miss that misstep foundational you miss it all. We make salvation our own because he has made us his own is the idea of justification is our identity in Jesus that Jesus came after you and me, even in our similar state or sinful state is similar state are sinful state he comes after us, he pursues us he adopts us into his family.
Even though we have been enemies to him and he makes us his children know what there's one like doctrinal belief out there. It says will all people are God's children, and in a sense we are is where his created beings but were not his children. Like in a part of his family took it to helps us and brings us in. So while we are made in the image of God.
Were his creation was created beings when I get adopted into the family until he repented of your sins and believed in Jesus. You may have been born into a Christian family, a family that is a morally good family of upstanding. Maybe you been in church, your whole life. But you're not part of the family until you have repented of your sins and believed in Jesus.
So that's at the instinct distinction. We must make.
So you may have been baptized as a as a kid or baby right just because you had that in your life. Does that make you be a believer yet to come to a point of realizing you have sinned against the holy and righteous and just God and that you deserve punishment and that the only way for you to receive salvation through Jesus you asking to save you, he is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins be cleansed of all unrighteousness.
At that point, your Savior adopted a part of the family. You have a brand-new identity and here's what happens if this identity now in Christ we know who we are.
You are a child of God and you are good but have been declared righteous. You had the hope of God, you have the Holy Spirit with you if you understand your identity now we know that were not trying to perform for God, in order to earn his favorite we are living for him because he is worth it. His value is worth it. He is the King of Kings and Lord of lords, and we want to glorify him who is giving you everything we want to do what pleases him. We want to do a glorifies his name. We must make we make salvation our own because he has made us his own right were already positionally saved. Righteous is been declared not live for Jesus. This is the idea moving into sanctification make even in adoption adoptions is just a beautiful picture gospel. Paul uses in Ephesians talk about the gospel anything about an adoption.
It's a child is cannot be with their parents. Biologically, for one reason or another. Maybe it's your death or other reasons and other family says I want to bring you to our family and are now our child and our son you're now our daughter and we're bringing you in what Jesus does for us, brings us into his family. Paul says in verse 13 brothers, I do not consider that I had made up my own little he goes back and forth back and forth. He's like Kate Jesus's name, his own, but I'm still trying make this my own radio every day. It's the battle it's struggle, you see, Paul's mental struggles and challenges all throughout his daily life, fighting the flesh in every single day were in a fight fight fight ourselves a says this but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. The hardest things you have to do is a believer is not let the pains of the past dictate your future dictate to present you can't let those things. Maybe it's guilt of sin.
Your past identity and who you were before Jesus. Those things cannot determine who you are today and so while you can actually forget them like erase them from your memory but you have to work through the control that they have on your life, because those things are powerful and they can continue to have influence on your life. Even today is a believer.
They often do, because we still battle with this old man.
So every day we got to get up will live for Jesus today to try to work through my insecurities and this past pains and problems and will work for today's challenges. Knowing that I've been saved and redeemed about by the blood of Jesus. And I know the end of the story.
I know that Jesus wins. It's always victorious.
I could spend eternity with him. I know all that now was focus here in this little short life that we got and I went move forward in the present to move forward in the present forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead like this analogy straightforward a policy and some cigarette or racing the very end of the race to try to get like a reach over the finish line to try to beat out the other person to be the first one to have something over the edge of the finish line in and win in SCID others of straining forward as a strain forward its not easy. It's challenging is fascinating listen to this guy chasing cheese down the sill and really he studied at Hill when he studied he knew where he was probably going to fall. He knew where all the pitfalls where he studied the conditions he staffing the weather is looking at all these things and knowing okay this is this is reality. This is a challenge.
This is what I'm facing. I know what I see it, and still realizing I may die to chasing this cheese wedge down the hill. All this for cheese. How much more should we have a passion for the gospel.
How much more should we have passion for the Jesus who saves you who gave you everything you redeemed your life who is forgiven you of sin was brought you into his family have it could be consumed by that desire to live for Jesus.
We live for a lot of things. We will sacrifice for a lot of things but living a life sacrifice for Jesus. Maybe it really different story should be. I don't think so.
Paul says in verse 15 verse 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Verse 15. Let those of us who are mature think this way and if anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that also to you vision as part of maturity and I think as a as you grow your faith you you continually have to remind yourself of this in picture you know what it's all for you realize that it's all it's not just for this temporary life moment here in this in this present day's present moments living for something greater since about maturity. Think about even raising children and my kids and you know it's an they live in the moment during the moment it's really hard for kids to think beyond them partially as their developing. Their brains are developing. It's hard for them to see the full picture targeting to see cost-benefit analysis and do those things will find save my money today. I can use it for something in the future or they can't think that way like I got $5.05 dollars will buy me this toy or this candy and I want that now, to get the today and were the same way and so for us to think maturely we be mature in our thinking is believers, not just seeing the present looking beyond to the whole picture. Paulson says if anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that. Also, to you think one of the beauty parts being a follower Jesus is that God just doesn't let us flounder and that brings people around us, he reveals that to us. There is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and just set this maturity look like eking through the end picture and I think with thinking through the end picture we have to live with and in the game mentality we to live with an in game mentality. Knowing the full store knowing full picture. There is a guise of brand is that 10 years ago heard them speak in sharing the story of use of a rower and his goal was to win the Olympics and winning the Olympics and he said you know that the whole way the try.
I know exactly timeline or how exactly is plays out member in his story but he said you know you have your your first test qualifications and all that. Try to make electric team and want to make the team have always other things, trials and everything else along the way and but at like along each step of the journey. Several these things are really close together live in the trials. The actual Olympic event is a some people will just absolutely exert all their energy on the trials just to win the trial in a civil happens they get to the Olympic event itself, and there there tired, they don't have enough energy to actually win the gold because I just try to win the trial is like that's just a moral victory. I will win the whole thing. I don't want to just die right here in the trial when when the entire thing he's getting in game mentality of of the entirety of it. I sometimes for sweet. We forget that there is an end, we forget that one day you're going to die were not immortal, right when they will have an imperishable body or not immortal.
Charles Spurgeon said this time is short eternity. As long it is only reasonable that this short life you live in light of eternity.
Read that again. Time is short eternity.
As long it is only reasonable that this short life he lived in light of eternity. Do you live your life in light of eternity. In light of eternity. No way that this is not all that there is one day you will Dionysian the story right.
One day when I cannot be as young as we are one day things are not to have means many things possessions as we once did. We will be of more but you can't take any stuff with you what doesn't matter. At the end of of this timeline right there were on right now was a matter at the end of our life, or you working for was it was a do to earn righteousness know that we can earn the checkboxes.
We can't bring a list of with us into eternity. Living in light of eternity which you but I want to live my life in light of eternity. Knowing that it's gonna matter and even if you got a run down the this hills and go incredibly fast, knowing that you're going to hurt yourself along the way to get hurt.
It's going to be painful there going to be some challenges. It's not going to be easy, but it's worth it it's worth it pulses this verse 16, only let us hold true to what we have attained. We hold true to what we have attained you have supplication you have Jesus you have the righteousness of Christ hold true to that knowing that's can carry you on all the way through.
Are you living in light of eternity, or used to living for things that don't matter don't matter your follower Jesus. This is been hard year for you.
Hard week for you. Hard day for you are a couple years or decades for you challenges to persevere and don't quit, don't quit. Persevere persevere stay encouraged and knowing that you have the salvation of Jesus is your view been paid for your sins and pay for live in light of eternity in those few who don't have Jesus a question asked for you is know what what are you living for. Are you living in light of eternity. If you don't know the end of the picture can be hard to say yes to that spring got a thank you so much Lord for your word. Philippians chapter 3 that we thank you for just Paul, his testimony, his message as encouragement to us today. I pray Lord that we would live in light of eternity. At present our we would have our faith forged Lord through the pain of the past the problems of the present God holding onto her salvation. Holding onto her justification only home to what you're going to do in finishing the work that you started us got afraid. Help us to persevere, to hang onto to keep going.
Lord, knowing that this life is short and will eventually floor did to the end of it at help us to live in light of eternity.
Help us to live for. What matters in Jesus name we pray