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Practical Principles for a New Year

Notes & Transcripts

Practical Principles for a New Year

Text: Philippians 3:7-21

7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,* but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

INTRODUCTION:

We are in a brand new year. Instead of making resolutions (which are things that we prefer to come to pass), we need to establish principles (personal core values) to guide our decisions and actions in the coming year. Let's talk about some biblical personal core values that will prove helpful ...

I. KNOWING CHRIST IS WORTH LOSING ANYTHING THE WORLD HAS TO OFFER (VS 7-9) " 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith."

A- Everything the world has to offer is temporary and ultimately worthless.

1- Notice Paul's pre-Christian bragging list (Philippians 3:4-6):

"5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault."

a. He had the right fleshly pedigree.

b. He was a member of the "right group."

c. He was unsurpassed in religious sincerity

d. His morality was as impeccable.

e. He was trained at the right school

(Acts 22:3) "Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today."

f. He was set up for success- as a member of the Jewish high court.

2- Paul came to understand that everything the world has to offer is worthless in comparison to knowing Christ.

(VS 7-9) " 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith."

II. EXPERIENCING THE RESURRECTION POWER OF CHRIST OUTSHINES THE DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED IN LIFE (VS. 10-14).

"10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

A- The resurrection power of Christ changed Paul's life and continued to

change his life for the better.

(vs. 12) " I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me."

1. Christ's resurrection power initiated a change when we trusted Christ, and continues to change us as we continually yield to him.

B- Paul's focus remained on the pursuit of becoming what Christ saved him

to become.

(vs. 13-14) "13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

(VS. 10) " I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead."

1. There must be a continual pursuit of learning and applying God's word. We must continually pursue becoming what Christ saved us to become.

III. FELLOWSHIPPING WITH EARNEST CHRIST FOLLOWERS IS VITAL (VS. 15-19).

"15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth."

A- It is important to choose the right role-models and the right people to hang out

with.

1- They can either encourage us in following Christ or hold us back.

(3 John 11) "Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God."

IV. MAINTAINING A FOCUS ON THE INCOMPERABLE THINGS THAT ARE AHEAD ENABLES A VICTOR'S ATTITUDE (VS. 20-21).

" 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. "

A- We must recognize that this world is not really our home.

"20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives."

1- I may live in this world, but can never belong to it.

(John 17:14) "I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world."

B- We must live in constant expectation of Christ's return.

(vs. 20) "we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior."

C- We look forward to new bodies...eternal ones.

(vs. 21) "He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. "

CONCLUSION:

Now What?

1. What will I do this week to remind myself of the high value of knowing Christ, compared to the ultimate worthlessness of worldly pursuits?

2. What practical step will I take this week (or even now) to experience the resurrection power of Christ in daily life?

3. What practical steps will I take to establish the best role models and relationships to encourage my walk with Christ?

4. What practical steps will I take to remind myself of the victorious things that await me--especially when the going gets tough?

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