Leaving Our Baggage Behind

Baggage  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:52
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In order to fully live in Jesus' freedom, you have to leave your old baggage behind.

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Engage

Engage

Think long and hard about how you can do your best to get their attention.
Illustration: Something
Question: Something

Tension

What you’re doing here is bringing up some kind of a problem. The tension you create should make people lean in and give them an opportunity to anticipate the tension being resolved.

Truth

Once you have engaged the congregation and presented some kind of tension, you can now go to God’s word in order to resolve the tension. The next section, Application, should happen naturally as you are teaching through Scripture, and come to a point after you teach through Scripture.
Exegesis
Hook: Illustration: Something
Book:
Look:
Something
Took: Something
Something
And stuff
Hook: Illustration: Something
Book:
Look:
Something
Took: Something
Something

Application

As you walk through the text, in the previous section, application will happen naturally.
Existential leap
Something
Bottom Line: Something
Something

Inspiration

This is the time where you can ask great questions

Action

Think through what you want them to do in light of your message and spell it out plainly to them.

Manuscript

Engage

Engage
Think long and hard about how you can do your best to get their attention.
I was a huge jerk and didn’t tip the guy (well) who helped at the airport with our luggage.
Question: What is the worst tip you’ve ever given or received?
Sometimes collections can turn into a full-on episode of hoarders.
I’ve had a few collections in my lifetime. Sometimes collections can turn into a full-on episode of hoarders.

Tension

What you’re doing here is bringing up some kind of a problem. The tension you create should make people lean in and give them an opportunity to anticipate the tension being resolved.
I don’t know about you, but my baggage is full of junk that weighs me down and wears me out. Let me show you: Technical Skills, Drafting Skills, ROTC Skills
Technical Skills
Drafting Skills
ROTC Skills
Am I just trying to brag here? It’s a nice side effect, but no. These are the things, at some point along the way, I decided added value to me as a person. I’m sure there are those things in your life, too. The things you know about yourself at the end of the day. Maybe you’re good at finance. Maybe you’re an expert businessman/woman. Maybe you’re the best mother this side of the Mississippi. For all of you, with exactly one exception, I would contest that one.
But, we don’t just use our skills and abilities as a litmus test for our personal worth. We do that in our faith life all the time: Collection of Torn Up Bibles, Went to and Worked at a Bible College, Servant’s Heart Award, Work at a Church.
Collection of Torn Up Bibles
Went to and Worked at a Bible College
Servant’s Heart Award
Work at a Church.
I’ve got all this stuff that can seem really great, but when I start trusting in my own skills, my own accomplishments, that’s when I discount God’s grace. That’s when I look to myself for salvation, instead of looking to Jesus.
We all have things in our past that we try to use to measure how much we’re worth as a person, as a follower of Jesus. This stuff just weighs us down in our walk with Jesus.
Specifically, the habit of keeping our own “spiritual scorecard” of how well we’re stacking up. We fall into the pattern of doing things to try and reach God. We go to camp or a retreat with the hopes of connecting with God, and re-building the relationship we have with him.

Truth & Application

Once you’ve engaged the congregation and presented some kind of tension, you can now go to God’s Word in order to resolve the tension. The next section, Application, should happen naturally as you are teaching, and should come to a point after you teach through Scripture.

Context

If you’ve got your Bibles with you, you get 5 Jesus Points, and if you open it with me, you get an extra 10. Go ahead and start opening to . And, if you’re using one of the brown Bibles underneath the seat in front of you, we’ll be on page 952. We’ll start in verse 12, but while you’re turning there, I want to try and catch you up to speed about what’s already happened here:
Written by Paul, while he was in prison (Rome, probably). Most emotional we’ve ever seen Paul.
Most emotional we’ve ever seen Paul.
Written to the Church in Philippi. The first church that Paul established in Europe. Roman colony, and very proud of it.
It’s all about trusting in Jesus, whatever the circumstances may be. Paul’s in prison: He’s trusting Jesus. Philippian Christians were persecuted, struggling with false teachings: They can trust Jesus. We are weighed down by our baggage: We can trust Jesus.
Roman colony, and very proud of it.
Let’s read.
Philippians 3:12–21 NLT
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Philippians 3:12-21

Forget Your Old Baggage

Forget Your Old Baggage
Hook
The first question that comes to my mind as I read through this passage is “What is Paul’s past that he’s leaving behind?” Well, luckily for us, he’s already answered that for us, if we jump back a few verses, to the beginning of chapter 3.
Book
Philippians 3:2–6 NLT
Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
Philippians 3:2-
Paul’s got quite the resume here. He makes some hefty claims, but he had the credentials to back it up. But then, when he met Christ, his thinking shifted radically.
Philippians 3:7-9
Philippians 3:7–9a NLT
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Philippians 3:7-9
Philippians 3:7–9 NLT
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
So, Paul moves away from thinking about faith as this laundry list of things to do, and starts putting his faith in Jesus. He changes his mind, and so what does he do? Let’s head back to where we started. Verse 12.
Hook
Book
Philippians 3:5–9a NLT
I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Something
Philippians 3:
Philippians 3:12–14 NLT
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:12-
Look
There’s a few things I want to point out here, about what we just read:
Our Baggage Is Not Always Bad Stuff
Paul
The things that Paul considered “baggage” weren’t necessarily bad things. Specifically, Paul is talking about his own quest for salvation. The good things that he did as a follower of Judaism. For the most part, we wouldn’t argue that those are terrible awful things. Ok, maybe persecuting Christians was a little unnecessary, but you get my point.
Us
We typically think of “baggage” as an addiction, a sin from the past that has consequences in the present, a sickness, a loss, or some other type of tragedy. Surely, some of us do have those things in our past. Some of us are struggling through those things right now. Absolutely, those are obstacles to overcome. Those are things that will have echoes throughout the rest of our lives. But, here, in Philippians, we’re talking about our own “acts of righteousness.”
Our Baggage Is Worth Less Than Garbage
Paul’s accomplishments are now “garbage.” It’s even worse than garbage. A lot of translations use the word “dung,” but that doesn’t totally capture the vulgarity that Paul is bringing to the table here. His self-righteousness that he depended on for so long, he now considers to be characterized by worthlessness and filth.
Paul’s accomplishments are now “garbage.” It’s even worse than garbage. A lot of translations use the word “dung,” but that doesn’t totally capture the vulgarity that Paul is bringing to the table here. His self-righteousness that he depended on for so long, he now considers to be characterized by worthlessness and filth.
Us
I’ve got a lot of things I’m proud of doing. Both in my personal life, and things I’ve done for Jesus. But, at the end of the day, when I compare my things with the things that Jesus has done for me, there’s no possible way I could stack up.
Our Baggage Is Never Fully Gone
He hasn’t arrived yet, and he knows it. He says pretty clearly, without backing down, and multiple times, that he’s not there yet. It takes time, dedication, perseverance, faith, and hard work to get rid of your baggage. To get rid of that drive, that desire, to seek out his own righteousness. It wasn’t easy, he grew up knowing nothing but that mindset. His dad was a Pharisee, he was taught by really smart Rabbis from a very young age. There was loads of history there that he had to move past.
He hasn’t arrived yet, and he knows it. He says pretty clearly, without backing down, and multiple times, that he’s not there yet. It takes time, dedication, perseverance, faith, and hard work to get rid of your baggage. To get rid of that drive, that desire, to seek out his own righteousness. It wasn’t easy, he grew up knowing nothing but that mindset. His dad was a Pharisee, he was taught by really smart Rabbis from a very young age. There was loads of history there that he had to move past.
Paul’s first way of thinking, his self-righteousness, is tempting for us and appealing because it makes sense to us. There are rules to follow. There’s an order. There’s cause and effect. It fits well within our 21st century, empirically-driven mindset.
More
Paul’s first way of thinking, his self-righteousness, is tempting and appealing because it makes sense to us. There are rules to follow. There’s an order. There’s cause and effect. It fits well within our 21st century, empirically-driven mindset.
More
Jesus’ grace is messy, it’s confusing, it’s hard to understand. It’s abstract. It doesn’t make sense, because it’s hard for our justice-centric society to wrap our heads round grace and mercy.
Leaving our baggage behind is going to be a life-long journey. It won’t happen overnight, and some bit of our baggage will always be present. But, trying to embrace that baggage, trying to make our way to God on our own will just weigh us down and wear us out.
Took
Technical Skills
Technical Skills, Drafting Skills, ROTC Skills, Collection of Torn Up Bibles, Went to Bible College, Servant’s Heart Award, Work at a Church.
Drafting Skills
ROTC Skills
Am I just trying to brag here? It’s a nice side effect, but no. These are the things, at some point along the way, I decided added value to me as a person. I’m sure there are those things in your life, too. The things you know about yourself at the end of the day. Maybe you’re good at finance. Maybe you’re an expert businessman/woman. Maybe you’re the best mother this side of the Mississippi. For all of you, with exactly one exception, I would contest that one.
But, we don’t just use our skills and abilities as a litmus test for our worth. We do that in our faith life all the time.
Collection of Torn Up Bibles
Went to and Worked at a Bible College
Servant’s Heart Award
Work at a Church.
I’ve got all this stuff that can seem really great, but when I start trusting in my own skills, my own accomplishments, that’s when I discount God’s grace. That’s when I look to myself for salvation, instead of looking to Jesus.
Forget your baggage. Stop trying to earn your way to salvation. Jesus has already given you righteousness, you don’t have to get it for yourself any longer. You can just let it go. Leave it behind.
Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad.
Just forget your baggage.
What did Paul consider to be in his “old baggage”?
What are some things that might be in your “old baggage”?

Pack Your New Bags

Hook
Brandy Packing vs. Me Packing.
Book
Philippians 3:13–17 NLT
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
Philippians 3:13-
Be led by others

Remember The Roadmap

Look
Be Single-Minded
Paul
I like the way the NET Bible translates verse 13
Philippians 3:13 NET
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead,
Be Firm Where You Stand
The point Paul is making here is that he is fully, completely, solely devoted to this idea of putting his own self-righteousness behind him, and embracing more and more fully the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.
Us
We’ve got to find the same focus. We have to work toward the same goal. One of the best ways to do that is to actually read the Words of Jesus. To bring God’s Word into your heart, and keep it there. To meditate on it day and night, and to let the sword of the spirit fully guide you day-in and day-out.
Be Single-Minded.
Be Firm Where You Stand
Paul
Paul tells the Philippians don’t go back. “Hold on to the progress you have already made.” Sometimes, it’s easy to slip into old habits. They’re comfortable. They’re familiar.
Don’t go back. “Hold on to the progress you have already made.” Sometimes, it’s easy to slip into old habits. They’re comfortable. They’re familiar.
But, to do that with this kind of baggage is like you were on the Titanic, you’re in the water, you’re rescued by a life boat, and you decide you’d rather head back into the water.
Be Inspired By Others
Us
We’ve already received the grace of Christ and the mercy of God. We don’t have to be tempted to return to the things of the past. One of the best motivations I have to keep pushing forward, to keep firm where I am is my awesome family. My wife and kids continually push me to be better, to do better, to love better, and to be a better follower of Jesus. Do you have anybody in your life, that just makes you want to give it your all?
Be Firm Where You Stand.
Be Inspired By Others
Paul
Resist the urge to fall back to the comfortable
Eric, In-Laws,
Paul is bold enough to say “follow my example.” I wish I were that confident in my own walk with Christ to say that. He’s already told them that he’s not quite there, yet. He hasn’t arrived, but he’s working hard at it. With everything he’s got! He says follow his example. And the example of others who are doing the same thing.
Us
There are plenty of times when I screw up. But, I have examples in my life of what it looks like to follow Jesus. To live life in a way that honors God. Who do you have in your life, who you can follow? Who’s example will lead you to be a better Christian?
Something
Took
Fidget spinner (and Adderall-XR (30mg)) keeps me focused, Brandy keeps me grounded, Eric inspires me
Pack your new bags. Be single-minded. Be firm. Be inspired.
What did Paul include in his “new bags”?
What are some things that should be in my “new bags”?
Why is it so tempting to go back to the “old baggage”?

Application

As you walk through the text, in the previous section, application will happen naturally.
Bottom Line: In order to fully follow Jesus’ calling, you have to leave your old baggage behind.

Remember The Roadmap

Hook
Hook
Philippians 3:20–21 NLT
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
We got lost on our way from Phoenix to St. Louis. No map. No fancy cell phones. No dice. Truck stops were helpful, though.
Now, I always keep a set of maps in my car, just in case.
Something
For these Philippians, who are now trying to ditch their old baggage, and set course with their new bags, Paul now gives them sort of a roadmap.
Book
Philippians 3:18–21 NLT
For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Philippians 3:
Look
Look To Where We’ve Come From
Paul
He begins by sharing an example of who he calls “enemies of the cross of Christ.” These are people who aren’t followers of Jesus. They might have been people within the church at Philippi. Maybe even the false teachers he’s been struggling with through this whole letter. He might be referring to some non-Christians, or pagans, who were around at the time. We’re not totally sure. But, he draws this line between his readers, and these “enemies of God.”
That’s where many of them had come from. Concerned with only themselves, and finding whatever fulfilled their desires in the moment. He was remind them. This is where you’ve come from. Remember? This is what you acted like. Remember?
Us
We may have come to Jesus from a bunch of different backgrounds. Some of us more extreme than others. But, we’re asked the same questions. Where have you come from? What did you act like? Remember that, so you can recognize when you’re slipping back in that direction.
Remember when you tried to stack up your good deeds vs. your bad deeds? Don’t go back.
Remember when you depended on yourself instead of depending on Jesus? Don’t go back.
Remember when you thought you could handle everything on your own, and you didn’t need help from anybody, much less God? Don’t go back.
Look To Where We Are Going
Paul
Paul outlines this sort of weird, creepy concept that we’ll get this resurrected body. This goes back to his imprisonment. He’s talking about what will come after he dies, which he expects will probably happen sooner or later, because of his preaching for Jesus. This is the prize he was talking about before. This is what he’s running the race towards. Being one with Christ. But, he can’t get there on his own. He has to depend on the grace of Jesus, rather than himself.
When that comes, he’s going to be united with Christ in a marvelous way! We’re going to be citizens of heaven. The truth
Us
For us, we get the same thing to look forward to. Citizenship in the Kingdom of God, alongside Jesus. The cool thing, though, is that’s now! We are, first and foremost, followers of Jesus. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Not independents, Libertarians, or Green. Our primary identifier is we belong to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we’re waiting for his return.
We’ll even get a totally radical new body!
Joy should be the primary response when you think of what lies ahead. When we think of this life with Jesus, and what’s in store, overflowing joy is the result.
The word "joy" appears 16 times in this tiny book. Paul can scarcely get his mind off it. That's not to mention words like "rejoice" and "glad" and "cheered." It is this joy that sustains the Christ-follower in hardship. It is what makes them stand faithfully as a witness. It is what motivates them to Christlike humility. And it is this joy that marks the believer as unique amongst a canvas of miserable people.
We have this joy that overwhelms everything else. While there’s a world full of people out there who are struggling against their old baggage, the ball and chain, wrestling with their pasts, trying to make it on their own. We can let go. Forget our baggage. Leave it behind.
That’s what Jesus invites us to. He’s calling us. He’s got this better life ahead of us. It’s up to you how you want to respond.
Took
Look To Where We’ve Come From
Look To Where We Are Going
Bottom Line: If you want to fully live in Jesus’ freedom, you have to leave your old baggage behind.
He promises us that his burden is light. Because he’s already taken care of our burdens. He’s already checked our baggage. We don’t have to carry it any longer.
Where would you say your citizenship really lies?
What are you looking forward to about your future with Jesus?

Inspiration

This is the time where you can ask great questions. Could be called “reflection.”
What are you trying to earn? How are you trying to achieve your own righteousness?

Action

Think through what you want them to do in light of your message and spell it out plainly to them.
Take a luggage tag. Write your baggage on that. Take it with you, leave it somewhere this week. Somewhere you’re not going to go back and get it. Don’t litter; that’d be a jerk thing to do.
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