Category: Jesus

Basking in Joy from Victory

Basking in Joy from Victory

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Basking in Joy from Victory
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Philippians 3:7-14, p. 832
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

We can bask in joy from our victory in Christ if we:

Let go of the problems “useless waste” of the past (vv. 7-8)

  • Paul reminds us what it takes to enjoy victory, to reach the goal, to achieve success in Christ.
  • Things that entangle us and hinder us from finishing our race in Christ.
  • Paul gives us his list in verses 4-6 (confidence and distractions of our “flesh”)
  • Acts 27 (p. 793) example throwing all the “cargo” of his past life overboard.

Keep your focus on the finish line (prize) for your future (vv. 8-12)

  • “Gain Christ”: not about gaining Christ as Saviour, Paul was expressing his deep desire to know Christ better and to develop Christlikeness in his life.

Knowing the Person of Jesus Christ 

  • “Know” means to know by experience.
  • You can know someone casually and not know them personally
  • Many Christians have a ‘knowledge’ of Christ that is intellectual but not experiential (need both)
  • Jesus prayer, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, p. 765)

 Knowing the Power of Jesus Christ 

  • We can know the power of Christ in our present from the Holy Spirit to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, p. 799)
  • We will know that power completely in the future when (our bodies) we will be raised up just as Jesus was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15, p. 815)

Knowing the Passion of Jesus Christ 
Matthew 5:10-12, p. 683
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

Knowing the Praise of Jesus Christ
Our Resurrection:  when the dead in Christ shall rise at the time of the rapture and those who are still alive will be transformed, then the saints (followers of Jesus Christ) will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ.  (Matthew 24:44-47, p. 701; 1 John 2:28, p. 863)

Develop the discipline to (vv. 13-14):

Focus
Hebrews 12:1-2, p. 852
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

Forget
Luke 9:62, p. 734
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Follow
“Straining toward,” “press on.”

Cultivating Joy Through Humility

Cultivating Joy Through Humility

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Cultivating Joy Through Humility
Sunday, June 11, 2017

What is false humility?   What does it look like to you?  How would you recognize it?

Philippians 3:1-6, p. 831
“Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the fleshthough I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have morecircumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” 

Context

  • Paul’s friends at Philippi were being asked to mix God’s Grace with the “works of the flesh (legalism.)”
  • Teachers of legalism (Judaizers) had crept into the church attempting to seduce the Christians into adding circumcision to the plan of salvation.
  • Paul warns against these intruders and explains their false doctrine: doctrine matters
  • If our salvation was based upon our own virtue and accomplishments Paul points out he would be the best; but, if Paul could not achieve earned salvation based upon his qualifications then no one could—only by faith in God’s Grace alone.

Paul’s Warnings:  “Watch out” for the Judaizers (legalists) in 3 ways:

Dogs

  • Uncomplimentary term (old and new testaments: Proverbs 26:1, p. 467; Revelation 22:15, p. 879) describes the false teachers who were bringing legalism into the Gospel of Christ.
  • Similar to the false prophets of Isaiah’s time.

Isaiah 56:10-11, p. 525

“Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough.  They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.” 

Evil Workers

  • Those who wormed their way into the congregation a form of teaching other than the Gospel of Christ.
  • Aggressive in spreading their works-salvation.
  • Same intruders in the Corinthian church as Paul identifies them as “false apostles”, “deceitful workers”, “transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13, p. 821)

Mutilation

  • Refers to the cutting of circumcision.
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ was complete within the realm of faith; anything added to that would be as nothing with God.

Genuine Spiritual Worshippers 

  1. Respond to God in the Spirit

John 4:24, p. 753
God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

  1. Rejoice in Jesus Christ alone

Galatians 6:14, p. 826
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” 

  1. Refuse to trust in the flesh

A true follower of Jesus Christ knows he/she is not capable of earning God’s favour through the deeds or works of the flesh.

Luke 18:14, p. 742
God, be merciful to me a sinner!” 

Paul’s qualifications:

  • Circumcised the eighth day
  • Jewish bloodline
  • Tribe of Benjamin
  • Hebrews of Hebrews
  • A Pharisee
  • Persecutor of the church
  • Blameless before the law
  • All considered “rubbish” by Paul.
What Difference Does the Resurrection Make to Me?

What Difference Does the Resurrection Make to Me?

*** Trigger Warning *** The Fact of the Empty Tomb:

 

Dr. Gary Habermas

“Every single shred of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also evidence for my eventual resurrection.”

 

John 11:25, p. 760

Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’” 

 

Early Accounts

1 Corinthians 15:3-4, p. 815

“I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried, and was raised to life on the third day as written in the Scriptures.”  (TEV)

 

Empty Tomb

Luke 24:3, p. 748

“So they went in (the tomb) but the Lord Jesus’ body was gone.” (LB)

  • Most powerful fact about Jesus’ tomb: everybody admitted that it was empty!

 

Eyewitness Testimony

1 Corinthians 15:5-8, p. 815

“He appeared to Peter, and men to the Twelve.  After that, he appeared to more man five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…”  (NIV)

 

Emergence of the Church

Acts 2:14, 32, p. 771

“Then Peter stood up… raised his voice and addressed the crowd. . . ‘God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.’”

  • Nobody knowingly and willingly allow themselves to be tortured to death for something that isn’t true.

 

What difference does the Resurrection mean to me?

  • Establishes the authority of Jesus in my life.

Jesus is Lord; not lunatic nor liar.

Mark 14:61-62, p. 721

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”   

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 

Mark 2:10-12, p. 708

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” 

  • Enables me to have eternal life

John 11:25, p. 760

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”   

  • Empowers me to have faith and live an obedient life

Hebrews 11:1, p. 851

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” 

Hebrews 11:6, p. 851

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” 

Hebrews 12:2, p. 852

“Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

 

Through the Holy Spirit to work in my life as He:

  • Gives me faith in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:3, p. 813)
  • New life in Christ (John 3:3-8, p. 751)
  • Renewal in Christ (Titus 3:5-6, p. 845)
  • Leads me (Romans 3:14, p. 797)
  • Writes God’s word upon my heart (2 Corinthians 3:3, p. 817)
  • Seals my eternity (Ephesians 1:13, p. 827; 4:30, p. 829)
  • Indwells me with inner refreshment as an ever-flowing river of living water (John 14:17, p. 764; Romans 8:9, p. 800; 1 Corinthians 3:16, p. 808)

 

 

 

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