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October 13, 2020 8:00 am
One of the marks of spiritual maturity is to recognize how far you still have to go one off the road and a commentary to this verse on it. In this text. If, after years of Christian living. You times, when your knowledge of Christ is advanced far enough that you get is not wrong we are to pursue Christ in his character and his attitude and his glory spring, summer, autumn, and in the well is this possible. Of course not. The more we know Christ more we recognize how much we don't know you and I are supposed to make Christ the center of our lives and our pursuit of him is something that's not supposed to falter or diminish with time. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi in today's lesson. Stephen will use the analogy of middle C on a piano keyboard to illustrate Christ being the center of our life.
Stay with us. Paul moves on to give several more encouragements that effectively tell the believer way verse 15 one linguistic commentator pointed out even. It doesn't show up, at least in my translation as a Verse 15. Paul is actually beginning a new section where he answers what this author called this so what? Based on everything you've learned in the lateral. So what now how do we do this. How do we aim for the glory of God. How we aim higher to please Christ. That really look like you want to give you as we work through these few verses for very practical statements that summarize these next few lines in the first one is this basic challenge from calling this continually adjust your attitude very basic but very, really.
I've heard it said will look at verse 15, first let us therefore as many as are perfect have this attitude of heard it said that 10% of your life is made up of things that happened to you and 90% of your life is made up of how you respond to what happened, you might be wondering, is it ever going to get any easier in the Christian life to respond the right way, immediately easily readily is it ever get any easier to have the right attitude, which is very encouraging for me to read and I want to point this out the way Paul describes because you'll notice how he began easy to miss but he writes at the beginning of verse 15 lacked us. I'm so glad for that program lacked us do this right. He writes that this is the Greek equivalent of saying let's all this together we can do this together now this is the inspired apostle right this is the man given a tour of heaven.
This is a man trained personally by the Holy Spirit for three years as the man for whom God gave most of the revelation of the New Testament church through an and and he could easily say here okay all you Philippians get it right.
Adjust your attitude have this attitude and you and he says us, let us do this together. It's it's effectively implying Paul saying you don't hold her in the faith and most of you in the church there in Philippi, but I want you to know I still have to do the same thing every single day. Adjust my attitude.
I'm still in the process of growing to that. Now that might sound contradictory. For those of you Bible students who've already skipped ahead so let's go there. Let us therefore as many as are perfect have this edit anything when the wonder pulse at us because he's perfect. I knew it, I wouldn't be one of the office, and many are discouraged, all perfect people have this attitude that can't be what Paul means that good backup of verse 12 were we already looked at it, let me repeat it. Not that I have Artie obtained and Paul writes, or have already become perfect same word. I have become perfect when our confusing verse 12, Paul says he isn't perfect. In verse 15 he says he is perfect only suggest you go back to verse 12. Get your pencil and circled the WordPerfect there verse 12 and I want you right into the margin next to verse 12 the words completely mature with the WordPerfect means telling us you choose to contrast a child with a grown adult completely mature. That's the context which uses the word there that you get out of verse 15 write the words evidencing maturity evidencing maturity. As many of us who are evidencing maturity and what is the evidence of someone who is evidencing maturity. It is someone who has this attitude right attitude have this attitude so so what looks like a contradiction actually turns out to be a wonderful insight into the way a maturing believer talks about himself thinks about herself. Paul is effectively saying if you put the verses together.
I am maturing, but I am not completely mature yet I'm being perfected in the image of Christ.
I'm not perfect yet those who are truly growing up in Christ understand that they have not arrived. And if anybody have the right to say arrived, it would be him. If he doesn't say it, but we better be careful to suggest the same effect. Older Christians have come to the realization having you that the only one he was ever lived a perfect Christian life is Jesus Christ.
That's it. But those who are truly mature.
Ken Hughes writes in his wonderful little commentary.
They refuse themselves. Even a satisfied glance at some past attainment veil of the way put it, they run the race rather than imagine it is over and they've arrived how the church needs to mirror this kind of humble attitude and everyone of us who were growing and we understand the combination of these thoughts, I am growing but I haven't arrived, I am maturing, but I'm not get completely mature, evidencing the character of Christ. But I'm not perfect like reminded of one author who wrote about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village in England one afternoon and they walked by me and was sitting there, an older man, their defense and one Taurus asked in a rather condescending manner. Were there any great men born in your village. The old man thought for a moment and looked up and said no only babies. That's the spirit of Paul is encouraging to all spiritual ages and so is he challenges this church with.
So what related to what is taught.
The nieces I want you to know. Look, I am not completely mature but I am pressing on towards greater maturity. Why don't you come along and go with me that you like that kind of believer, but you like that kind of mentor. Don't you like that kind of teacher to join me. Let's aim higher together.
Let's have this attitude. Did you notice that that might bring to your mind. A former study all the way back to chapter 2 and verse five where Paul uses the same warnings that have this attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus, and he begins to lay out for us the amazing humility of our Lord and that's exactly the in the context of worries taking us.
He wants us to evidence maturity in continually adjusting our attitude toward humility, maturity equals humility genuinely maturing believer doesn't equal arrogance or pride arrived here. No to visit Andrew Muriel a few generations ago, wrote in practical terms, he said the insignificance is of daily life are the tests that prove our humility. It's it's in our most unguarded moments that we showed we are to know how the humble person behaves, you must follow them in the course of daily life. What does this mean practically given to your mate next time you disagree be eager to take the blame for failure quickly seek reconciliation with others hitting the bull's-eye in your Christian walk means that your maturing. You are not quite there.
Adjust your attitude accordingly to humility. Secondly, give you another means that you always remain teachable. You always remain teachable. The last part of verse 15 and if anything, you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you know what Paul is is doing here is handing over the ultimate responsibility to God for adjusting someone's thinking I'm entrusting you to the spirit of God, who is the ultimate teacher spirit. God will always lead you to act like the character of God. If you're not acting godlike.
The spirit is a leading you. God is pure and honest in gracious and more. Romans chapter 1 verse four. Third, the spirit of God will never encourage you to live in fear is the spirit of God. Second Timothy one verse seven. For the spirit of God will always lead you to reject sin instead of defending or hiding sin.
Galatians 517 spirit of God will always lead you out of jail into repentance and renewed hope type is 35, that the enemy will say well that's it.that was the big one you're done. That's the enemy spirit of God's is no repent, repent, there's there's fresh hope every day. The spirit of God. Finally, will lead you to take action instead of giving up defeat. Ephesians 618 can lead you steps the word of God in the spirit of that to the word of God in your heart gives you steps to take away the law, the enemy will tell you, you can go any further muzzle quit. The apostle Paul wrote by the way, almost every one of those texts I just reference. He knew that a teachable believer had within them the greatest teacher of all, by whom the spiritually minded are able to receive the things of the spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned. First Corinthians chapter 2 in verse 14. So by adjusting our attitude by remaining teachable the arrow as it were of our life is going to be aiming heading in the right direction spirit of God be coaching as long. Thirdly, while you're at it, keep this in mind Paul writes in all a paraphrase of this weight refused to sleep in the neutral danger refused to slip into neutral verse 16.
However, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained what he means is this what you've learned. Don't give it up. Don't let if Paul is thinking in military terms with some of my commentator friends believe he was using this word to refer to marching in step.
Don't break rank don't go AWOL, stay with it and if these thinking in athletic terms which he could have been.
He would be telling them to stay in the race or maybe even more specifically stay in your lane. Follow the rules of engagement and stay on track. If you were to change it to a musical metaphor.
Paul love to talk about the church, singing, which is what we have done which is why it's part of our our assembly it's it's biblical and right Paul would be telling them to play at the right tempo don't lag behind. Practice what you know and don't lose it because you want to build on it. So don't let it slip away.
Stay with Paul knew that every believer in the church at Philippi was a different level until all of them to marching the same way until all of the race with the same skill he would've told them all playing with the same abilities and skill. He's he's telling them effectively not to drop behind with whatever they've learned so far. Hang on to salvation is tightly growing in strength of the work I did this last two hours and it seemed to go over okay so Paul dual Morton. How many of you took piano lessons at some time and again just hold a really high, with all the concert pianist is amazing Doug Buchman utopian lessons I just, I can imagine I producing anything that's don't lose it. But you know what we did way is why we aren't an audience of concert pianist because we slacked off.
I was in seminary.
Marcio put me through.
By working full-time until we had kids of our last year and she worked full-time and I worked a variety of jobs part-time primarily to earn money, and it went straight into books we knew we needed library. We entered the ministry and we enter the ministry in Cary, North Carolina so thankfully were able to buy a lot of good friends sit on shelves in my office but I work part time and did a number of jobs in one seminary I was the janitor there to school.
I would go to class, change clothes, clean the bathrooms and vacuum all the carpet and in another seminary.
Finally in Dallas as a courier and I did a little bit of dabbling in Dallas tuning pianos, which was a good way to earn money quickly go to a music store and build a pianist and they pay the $25 and you could do one in an hour and 1/2 or so or less. But the most money in the shortest amount of time was in teaching. So after a while at a half-dozen students and kept them for a while and usually admit parents of church and they would find out that I was teaching piano and that's all we just have to have our you know our our our son. He's a prodigy.
Would you teach and and so I would say sure and so you know, he'd show up and the little prodigy and I think you know how to play anything son show me what you know.
All I know to play the piano. You do what you what you know all just watch the kids, not a prodigy days a project and the parents of some little bait over the meeting is are sick of it, but at any rate, this is why parents are willing to pay piano teacher $300 a minute get away.
What do you know anything else. I don't know what else you know I tell you I knew what was coming in so I can play this all over the piano. Really, what is I can play down here son of the play that he can break your fingers but that I would have the privilege of introducing to this kid is amazing this amazing instrument. Thanks to Mr. Steinway finally stopped and 88 keys and sort of structured it that way. 52 white keys 36 point keys and I would say to him I wanted I want to teach you the very first thing you need to know and that is the most important note, it centers everything. In fact, where you sit you put that right in the middle of your body because that centers everything is the 24th note, but to keep you from having to bother counting here it is. It happens to be middle see you. We all got that part.
That's about as far as we got middle C want to play. That's the middle of everything going to do is to build off that and I'd sit down for him. That's it wouldn't take that middle C, which is the center of everything on this on this inscrutable instrument will scale as that body and soul, and after that you enable core. We can learn the chords see with the derivatives. You know the time is better and eventually this is might happen sing with me and I love this most of also wanted to say Jesus lets me sing Pete's is basically like some of you in the body. Your learning were middle C is an and some of you are learning your struggling through the scale getting the scales. Some if you've moved on the chords and some of you are mastering the arpeggios and some of you and way beyond where ever went in your plank insured is the point to Paul would be making is if you play the can sure toe.
You never want to go back to chopsticks paint that's the point he's making with whatever you have attained.
Don't slip into neutral is one thing, by the way, for all of us to raise her hand and then not be able to. That's one thing is really kinda sad actually would be great if we were all really accomplish, but it's another thing entirely to miss our purpose in life and to with anything less than passion pursue what I believe and in fact, it struck me that Jesus Christ Christ is the middle C. Christ is the center of all of the keys.
Everything relates back to him. We center our lives around Christ. All the chords of life build off and he is the foundation for everything and maybe you're thinking, but I just wish I could I could do more and no more. Do you know her middle C. Great start. There and never get away from one author wrote in a commentary to this verse on it. In this text. If, after years of Christian living. You think the time is come, when your knowledge of Christ is advanced far enough that you get is not wrong we are to pursue Christ in his character and his attitude and his glory in the spring, summer, autumn and winter don't slip from where you are and what you know into neutral. You will always coast down talking about strength in Christ. I think of Solomon the son of David, a man with incredible skill and industry. He knew everything from poetry to botany from engineering, architecture, unbelievably, this he was a prodigy truly his father David planned it. Solomon was able to build it and was one of the wonders of the ancient world so splendid. We can only imagine it, those who would seen and built in the later when built wax because it was so different from the glorious temple of Solomon. Much of it covered in solid gold. It was his greatest achievement in the temple of God, find it tragically ironic that near the end of his life in a rather private journal.
We call the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reflects on on really to me how far he digressed.
He rattles off one accomplishment after another, one achievement after another in here near the end of his life. Though Solomon never mentions one time temple I wonder if he was haunted by their designs on that hill of shame wears wise worship false gods and he more than likely was instrumental in the design of this temple or or or perhaps worse. It didn't matter so much. He had forgotten pulses take what you have, you know, don't slip into neutral continually adjust your attitude always remain teachable refused to slip in one more imitate people worth following. Imitate people worth following were 17 brethren join in following my example the word example he shifts the metaphor architectures the word for blueprint suggests that's the implication if some younger believer in our midst chose to copy the pattern of our lives. Would there be something we'd rather they not know or see see it ultimately swings back around to us by implication an application. This is just an exhortation to find somebody to imitate it is to become the kind of person worthy of being imitated. None of us are sister the church. Every believer can we help each other. Can we help our world can we leading other people to talk to find middle C. Christ to life worth something, making Christ you middle see how adjusting your attitude, choosing the state teachable, refusing to slip and control imitating people worth following and thereby becoming someone will following the for your glory or for mine but Jesus Christ's center lives. Save your power, God. With that thought bringing this lesson to a close. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Today's lesson from Philippians 3 is from a series Stevens calling aiming higher.
This lesson is entitled finding middle C. The goal of our ministry is to point you to Jesus Christ through the teaching of his word. In addition to this daily broadcast. We also have books, commentaries, Bible study guides and other resources, and they're all designed to equip and encourage you in your walk with Christ. You will find all of those resources on our website.
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