PHIL. 3:17- 20a
INTRO: Although v. 17 was part of the previous lesson we studied from the book of Philippians, I read it with our text for tonight because it really attaches to an idea which continues. Our thought last Sunday evening was that spiritual maturity is in ones willingness to be an example of the faith. However, corresponding to that is the responsibility of every Christian to choose his example carefully. In our text it seems to me that Paul makes one of his most passionate appeals and emotional pleas. He is a prisoner. He cannot personally be with them to watch over them. He is agonizingly concerned about their welfare. No wonder, then, he is so emotional and passionate here as he thinks of threats to their faith!
I ALL OF US NEED/ FOLLOW MODELS
A. Some of the most common?
1. earliest is/are mother and fatherchildren copy so much they see in parents and settle their own role for the future thereby
2. in many endeavors we choose models
a. in sports, in profession, in hobbies
b. my teacher once told me to choose outstanding trombonist, buy
a recording, listen to it over and again, and copy his tone
B. Examples of the faith are models we copy
1. some of mine? P. Stevens - T. McElroy - H. Peeples - Ivor Paull,
2. what does an example do for us? gives us a goal a pattern
says, Heres how its done.
3. Heb. 11 is really a listing of some great examples
4. what to look for in an example?
a. consistency - sincerity - conviction - humility
b. one whose choices do not appear to be worldly ones, whose
emphasis is spiritual, whose speech is wholesome, etc.
c. I Cor. 11:1 follow one who - to the best of your ability to discern
- is carefully following the Lord
II DO NOT FOLLOW ENEMIES OF THE CROSS (3:18)
A. Who are the enemies fo the cross?
1. certainly the Jews were
2. the Romans were (Rev. 13:7)
3. the antiChrists were/are (I Jno. 4:3) anyone who is any way
arrays himself against the Lord
B. But Paul is referring to professed disciples!
1. is not the greatest danger, threat from within?
2. Col. 2:4-6 Titus 1:9,10
3. there must have been some Christians in Philippi whose examples
were a danger to the pure faith of others
C. Look how they are described (3:19)
1. they mind earthly things
a. world is the limit of their horizon (Philips)
b. here, of course, was the glaring fault these were interested in
here and now a mind concerned with and centered on earthly things is bound to become in practice a life inconsistent with Christ (cf Col 3:2)
2. they live to satisfy their appetites
a. they worshiped things satisfying earthly desires
b. pride? gluttony? human praise? wealth? whatever it was, it
got between them and the Lord! (there is such a real danger of our letting this happen!) ...Isa 47:8a
3. they find pleasure in things they ought to be ashamed of
a. how many times have I heard people boasting about the sinful
things they do (or have done!)
b. but I wonder if the shamelessness of our time has not
watered down the conviction of so many of us ... we must remember that Gods standard hasnt changed!
4. the end of this lifestyle is destruction
a. professed Christian who minds earthly things is in a lost state
before God ... he must repent while opportunity is
b. 2 Pet 2:13-15 which have forsaken the right way yet, they
remain professed note the with you in v. 13
CLOSE:Disciples, then, must at all times remember they are citizens of heaven. That remembrance must regulate all of a disciples life.
Cecil A. Hutson
16 July 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)