Contagious Joy-Week 6
Topic: Joy Scripture: Philippians 3:12– 4:1
The Book of Philippians
Sunday, October 8, 2023
Though not perfect, Run this Race Well with Joy
"Remember, sinner, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that is the instrument it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not to thy hope, but to Christ, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of thy faith; and if thou doest that, ten thousand devils cannot throw thee down." Charles Spurgeon
- Running As To Win (v.12-16)
v.12 – Paul is referring back to the previous verses and shows that he is still not perfect but growing in Christ. Clearly, he runs this race because of what Christ has done for him.
“…but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
This is God’s call on Paul’s life and his response to that call.
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul wants us to run the Christian life like a runner runs a race:
First, he doesn’t want us to look back
Second, he wants us to run with single-minded zeal
Third, he wants us to run with every ounce of strength we have
Fourth, he wants us to run with the prize in sight – Jesus Christ
Fifth, he wants us to run with the right attitude
“Let those of us who are mature think this way…Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Paul’s purpose for running and encouraging us to run is to ‘gain Christ fully and completely.
“Paul finds life meaningful precisely because he sees the future with great clarity and the future has to do with beginnings – the (now redeemed) realization of God’s creative purposes through Christ the Lord. There is no other prize; hence nothing else counts for much except “knowing Christ,” both now and with clear and certain hope for the future.” G. Fee
- Our Enemies and Our Hope (v.17-21)
v.17 – Paul wants us to imitate his life because there are enemies of the cross out there. Even though they are enemies Paul is heartbroken by their deception (now tell you even with tears).
Enemies of the cross:
Their end is destruction – Paul sees no future for them now or in eternity!
Their god is their belly – they worship only themselves and have no need of others or authority.
They glory in their shame with minds set on earthly things – they are earth bound, there is no future or afterlife.
Heaven is our permanent home!
Our Savior Jesus will be with us!
We will be transformed – our lowly bodies will get a glorious one!
This happens b/c of the power of Jesus to subject all things to himself.
“Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”
Let’s run this race with great zeal and passion for Jesus. Let’s run this race with eternity in mind. Let’s run this race not looking back, but forward. Let’s run through our obstacles and our enemies. Let’s run with our citizenship in mind.
Let’s run to get the prize – Christ Jesus our Lord!