Sunday Sept 15

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Pay attention to who you follow

phil 3
Philippians 3:17 CSB
17 Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us.
everybody is following somebody who is following somebody.
We need to be diligent to find people who follow Christ.
There are several components in making this choice:

Looking at the result of time:

What is the fruit of their life?
(Story) Stan May looked me in the eye and said: “you have to know the whole book.”
If I was on a pastor search committee…I would ask the candidate to explain the story of the Bible to me…why, because I have come to know that if there are gaps in your knowledge of Scripture, there are gaps in your knowledge of God.

Looking at the disciplines in the present:

How do they read the Bible? Are they memorizing Scripture?
You cannot pass on what you have not achieved.

Looking at the way they handle crisis:

Paul says rejoice even though he is in jail.
How does someone act when the heat is on?
How do they make decisions in the middle of crisis?
Paul says that the way he follows Christ is a pattern for others to follow. How can he say that?
Because he really does know Christ!
Paul really did change as a result of knowing Christ:
In America, we tend to want to follow the celebrity teacher who we have no way of knowing.
He was the greatest persecutor of Christians, and he radically became persecuted himself.
He was a self-righteous Jew that held to a Scripture he didn’t understand, but now he pleaded with Jews to get it right.
(story) He was like David…he had lion and bear stories.
you want to follow someone who has lion and bear stories.

When you find an example to follow, FOLLOW:

you will have to put in some spiritual sweat
you will have to reorder your life
you will have to commit and endure the hard times.
(Story) Elijah and Elisha

Anyone who is not following Jesus is His enemy

Why would you want to follow an enemy of the cross?
Philippians 3:18–19 CSB
18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,
Galatians 1:7 CSB
7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
if you follow them:
if you follow them:
you will be destroyed with them on the day
you will be driven by cravings that cannot be satisfied
you will glory in things that ultimately bear shame
you will live your life focused on earthly things
Notice how Paul describes those who do not follow Christ:
There end is destruction: They may have some success in this life, but there will be a time when they are destroyed.
I remember working at IPC…Mark Easton…woman at the hotel. I would go out with him after work and witness to him, pleading with him to follow the Lord.
One week after I resigned from that job, Mark called me in tears…he had cheated on his wife and gotten caught…his life was destroyed.
Their god is their belly: it is interesting how closely our ability to exercise self-control in our eating is tied to our ability to be controlled in other areas.
Adam and Eve
Their glory is their shame: Nebuchadnezzar gloried in the kingdom he built, but God demonstrated that what he gloried in was actually his shame.
They are focused on earthly things: they are focused on things that will burn up one day. They are investing in things that will burn up one day. How foolish is that?

Stand Fast in the Lord

phil 3
Philippians 3:20–21 CSB
20 but our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.
because Our citizenship is in heaven:
therefore we must wait for what others want now:
riches, check
power, check
happiness that does not end, check
complete satisfaction, check
life with no persecution, check
because our bodies are limited and weighted down by sin:
Paul is in prison and endured many beatings;
He is looking forward to the day when Christ transforms his humble body.
because Jesus is all-powerful
all that He has promised to do, he will do
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