Sunday July 2 2017

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances

Part 8: Securing Joy by Going on to Spiritual Maturity


Philippians 3:15-21, p. 832

“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is set on earthly things But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” 


Spiritual Immaturity

  • The Apostle Paul is pointing out a distinction between those who are spiritually mature (includes himself as an example of spiritually maturity)
  • Paul is identifying the Judaizers (false teachers and followers) as those who lack spiritual maturity
  • Identifying features (vv. 18-19)
    • Focused (mind) on this world and the things of this world only
    • Live for the flesh for “their god is their stomach” (earthly needs, pleasures)
    • All energy, commitment, and attention is earth bound
    • Their end is destruction (hell) and are enemies of the cross of Christ (Christ on the cross defeated the world and the flesh; cross speaks of sacrifice and suffering, yet these people live for the world and seek only to please themselves)


Spiritual Maturity

  • Share with Paul the pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness
  • Know our real home is in heaven, our citizenship is in heaven; when people become members of God’s family, they are written down in heaven (Luke 10:20, p. 734) which means they live for the glory of heaven and not for praise on earth
  • Are whole lives are pointed heavenward (passions, possessions, plans, purpose)
  • Will be found faithful and not ashamed on the Great Day of Judgment at Christ’s coming (1 John 2:28-3:3, p. 863)


1 John 2:15-17, 28, p. 863

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever… And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”



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