Faithlife
Faithlife

Philippians 3v12-4v1 Pressing towards the goal

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The present reality

Not yet perfected. Paul.  In the previous verses Paul has been expressing his aspirations rather than the present realities of life.  He powerfully reminds us that the Christian life is one of ongoing struggle “pressing towards the goal”.

The work of God is an ongoing work.  It continues throughout our lives.

The cooperative nature of salvation is clearly set forth here.

            God

            1          Makes perfect.
            2          Takes hold of sinners.

            3          Divine calling                            v14

           

            Paul

            1          Humility
            2          Determination
            3          Single mindedness
            4          Forgetting the past
            5          Effort
            6          Keeping an eye on the end

           

Paul contends that all mature Christians share this same view of themselves and these same goals.


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Those that don’t will come to that opinion because it is the truth of God.

Paul’s final exhortation is that we do not neglecting sanctification while arguing about it doctrinally.

Living examples

1          Paul exhorts them to follow the example set by his life, the challenge of this statement for us is enormous.  It is one thing to put a “fish” on our cars, or a “cross” on our lapels, quite another to live Holy lives.

2          We are to “take notice” of people obedient to the word of God.

3          There are an abundance of negative examples also. Our  children are often choosing as “idols” those whose very lives proclaim them enemies of the cross.

Factors to consider.

What does it mean to “live as an enemy of the Cross”?

1          There were many who came into this category!

2          Paul records this fact with tears. Why?

·                      These people were pretending to be Christians but were in truth “lost souls”.

·                      They were leading many astray.

·                      They brought dishonour upon the name of Christ.

3          Their manner of life betrayed them,

·                        They are destined for “destruction”.

·                        They were greedy. (Sensual pleasure was all that mattered to them).

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·                        They gloried in sin.

The Christians deliverance

Christians live differently because they have a hope beyond this world.

·                      A citizenship in heaven

·                      An expectation of Christ’s return

·                      An expectation of his future eternal reign

·                      A hope of their own changed and eternally glorious resurrection bodies

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