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