#Philippians 3:9-14

THE FOUNDATION

Philippians 3:9-14

INTRODUCTION

What would happen if we were to build a two story foundation and then to proceed to put a ten story building on it? Crumble city. At first it might look okay. Then we would notice a crack in the foundation. One day brick would slowly began to pull away from the wall. Then brick would began to fall. Finally the building would collapse.

The same scenario applies to the Christian life. A person starts our all fresh and excited in their new life. They look like any other babe in Christ. They have zeal and excitement. Then things begin to get out of kilter in their lives. They get ‘a bubble of plumb’ in their Christian beliefs. They began to act and respond in non-Christian ways. Then one day they ‘crumble.’ They fall apart and want nothing to do with the things of God.

Success or fail of a new structure or a new Christian life depends upon the foundation that a person builds. In the Christian realm many cannot take much spiritual pressure in their lives because they do not have the right Biblical foundation or spiritual growth. And to quote the words of Jesus regarding a house with an improper foundation: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.     Matthew 7:27

THEME: IF WE ARE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THE RIGHT WAY:

I. WE MUST BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT FAITH          vs. 9

     A. We Must Be Found In Him

          1. The verb involves the idea of a surprise

          2. To be in Christ is nothing else than having the righteousness that comes from God

               a. My own righteousness

               b. The diametrical opposite of being in Him

     B. Our Faith Is The Faith Of Christ

          1. Faith

               a. This is simply belief

               b. If we believe in someone or something we have faith

NOTE: Not all will experience:

          a. Romantic love

          b. Artistic insight

          c. Exceptional intelligence

          d. But we all experience faith

          2. False definitions of faith

               a. Believing something that we know is not true

NOTE: Faith becomes a delusion

               b. Credulity

                    1) To accept something as true apart from evidence simply because we earnestly wish it to be true

                    2) Rumors of miraculous cures of incurable disease encourages this attitude

                    3) Belief in alien life

               c. Faith grounded only in feelings

NOTE: When we drive our car across a bridge we have faith in:

          a. The engineers who designed the bridge

          b. The men who built and maintain it

          c. The inspectors who guarantee its safety

          d. In people we have never seen before

NOTE: Bridge that washed away south of Natchez, MS. People trusted the bridge was there; it was not; they died

     C. The Greatest Example Of Faith We See Is In Marriage

         1. “Will you marry me?” and “Yes” are only five words

              a. But this is a pledge that is to last until death

              b. It is a personal pledge

          2. This is the illustration given in Scripture of the faith between a Christian and Jesus    Ephesian 5:32

               a. God never breaks His pledge to us

               b. Getting saved is like getting married

               c. It is just the beginning of a growing, knowing, sharing relationship

T.S. IF WE ARE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THE RIGHT WAY:

          I. WE MUST BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT FAITH

II. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE       vs. 10

     A. We Must Know Him

          1. Know

               a. Get a knowledge of

               b. Have knowledge of

               c. Perceive

               d. To become acquainted with

               e. To learn to know

NOTE: All Americans know the President; few know him personally

          2. The most significant distinction of the Christian

               a. To believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that He lives today

               b. To know Him personally, intimately and experientially is the first and greatest goal of the believer’s life

               c. Not “That I may know about Him” but, “That I may know Him”

                    1) Between the two statements is all the difference in the world

                    2) Paul wanted to know Jesus through experiences in Christian living

                    3) And he wanted this to affect his day by day living

NOTE: Know

          a. Not content of the brain

          b. Nothing is truly known unless it is being practiced in daily life

          c. Knowledge must be allowed to control the conduct of a person

     B. We Must Have Knowledge Of God’s Resurrection Power

          1. Here Paul speaks of experience

          2. In addition to knowing about the resurrection, he also wants to experience its power

          3. How did Paul want to experience this?

               a. In the living of a godly life

               b. A life full of holiness

NOTE: We can turn over all the new leaves in the world and not have power to change our lives

NOTE: The three greatest powers in Paul’s day

          3. Roman power

          2. The power of sin

          1. The resurrection power of Jesus

NOTE: He breaks the power of canceled sin,

He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean -

His blood availed for me.

     C. The Christian Life Is To Be Learned In Suffering

          1. Paul wanted to stand with Christ in such an indivisible union that when the abuses and persecution that Christ suffered also fell on him

               a. He would receive these sufferings as Jesus did

               b. Paul wanted to react like Jesus and therefore be drawn closer to Him

                c. Then His life is seen more clearly in us

          2. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  II Timothy 3:12

          3. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12,13

     D. We Learn Fellowship In His Sufferings

          1. The price to pay for this fellowship

          2.  Being conformable unto His death

          3. Death is the gateway to life

               a. When we die to self in this life we live to God

               b. When we die physically we enter into our full life

NOTE: Obedience vs. compromise

NOTE: The IRS received a letter from an anonymous man who wrote: “I can’t sleep; my conscience is bothering me. Enclosed find a check for $50.00. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the balance.”

4. Total resignation to the will of God means “being made conformable unto His death”

a. Not my will, but Thine be done

b. Becoming like Him in His death

T.S. IF WE ARE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THE RIGHT WAY:

          I. WE MUST BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT FAITH

         II. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE

III. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL         vs. 11-12

     A. The Resurrection Is Our Goal            vs. 11

          1. Paul is not worried about his eternal security

          2. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:        Philippians 1:6

          3. He wished to be so much like Christ in the way he lived that people would think of him as a resurrected person even now, before his physical death

NOTE: The use of “Resurrection”

          a. Resurrection           vs. 10

Greek – anastasis

          b. Resurrection           vs. 11

Greek – exanastasis

NOTE: “I want to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering that I may give the spiritually dead a preview of eternal life in action as I am standing up outstandingly among those who are spiritually on their backs – spiritually dead.”

          c. This is God’s greatest purpose in saving us

     B. We Do Not Try To Reach Perfection     vs. 12

          1. Perfect

               a. Complete

               b. To carry through completely

               c. To accomplish

               d. Bring to an end

               e. Add what is lacking in order to render a thing full

          2. Follow after

               a. As a hunter follows the tracks of the prey

               b. To press on as one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal

               c. To seek after eagerly

          3. Apprehend

               a. To make something our possession

               b. To catch

               c. To lay hold of with the mind

               d. To understand

NOTE: Paul’s whole life was a constant passionate longing after Christ

T.S. IF WE ARE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THE RIGHT WAY:

          I. WE MUST BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT FAITH

         II. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE

        III. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL

IV. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT PRIORITIES        vs. 13-14

     A. This One Thing I Do

          1. Athletics live for one thing

          2. Persistent concentration on one thing: the goal

          3. No diversion from the course

     B. Forgetting Those Things Behind

          1. The opposite of remembering

          2. Not to obliterate from the mind, which is impossible

          3. What is in the past has no bearing or influence upon our present or future conduct or spiritual outlook

      C. I Press

           1. A hunting term, to chase prey

           2. A racing term, to win a race

NOTE: The Run

          a. The race track at Athens was 607 feet long

          b. The Greeks ran a short fast race

          c. We run the ‘cross country mile’ race with patience

NOTE:  … let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us     Hebrews 12:1

NOTE: For believers the best is yet to come

     D. The Goals Of Our Race         vs. 12

          1. The prize – the crowns we can receive in heaven

               a. The award to the victor in the games

               b. The heavenly reward for Christian character

               c. In the original Greek Olympics the winner received a wreath of leaves

               d. In Athens the winner was also given 500 coins, free meals and a front row seat at the theater

               e. All these were temporary

               f. We receive an eternal and incorruptible prize

NOTE: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.        I Corinthians 9:25

          2. The mark – the goal marker

               a. Greek – Scope

               b. The goal or end one has in view

          3. The high calling

               a. Greek – heavenward call

               b. The finish line of our race is the door of heaven

               c. Our race ends when we enter heaven

NOTE: William Borden was the son of a wealthy American family. He graduated from Yale. He went to China as a missionary. Soon Borden contracted a fatal disease and died. At his bedside was found a note that he wrote as he lay dying: “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.” He had given up everything but he had found a treasure that was beyond words.

CONCLUSION

IF WE ARE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THE RIGHT WAY:

I. WE MUST BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT FAITH

II. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE

III. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL

IV. WE MUST HAVE THE RIGHT PRIORITIES 

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