In this sermon, Pastor Neil explains how we are running a race and how we must keep going forward to win the race. Here are some excerpts:

When you’re running a race, you don’t keep turning around to see where you have been. You keep your focus on what lies ahead. You fix your eyes on the goal – on the finish line – so you don’t get distracted. So you don’t get off-track. That is what Paul is talking about.

Keep Going Forward

You’ve got to keep going forward. How do you go forward in your spiritual life? How do you go forward in developing and deepening your relationship with God?

You go forward by:

  • Making Jesus “the surpassing greatness of knowing (Him)” (3:8) the surpassing aim of your life.
  • Spending time with the Bible daily, allowing God to speak to you, to teach you, to direct you, to shape you, and to change you through His Word.
  • Availing yourself of the spiritual nourishment found in God’s Word.
  • Cultivating your relationship with God in prayer.
  • Choosing to prioritize the means of grace – not just Scripture and prayer, but the worship life of the church, fellowship with other believers in large groups and small groups, and opportunities to learn and grow in Christ together.
  • Building relationships of mutual love, care, support, and encouragement with one another in the body of Christ.

You go forward, too, by investing yourself – your time, your skills, your spiritual gifts, your energies, and your resources – in kingdom work. In ministries both large and small, both in the church and in the community, that meet needs and bless people. The Holy Spirit has gifted you to serve in some way. In order to go forward in the Christian life, in order to presson toward the goal, you need to invest yourself in kingdom work. You can’t – you won’t – go forward if you’re just a spectator. Or just a consumer of spiritual blessings. You have been blessed to be a blessing.

Repent and Renounce All Known Sin

You go forward, too, by renouncing and repenting of all known sin in your life. You go forward by consciously looking to God for the grace and strength to resist or run from temptation in whatever form it takes. Do not lead yourself into temptation.

When you sin, when you give in to temptation, you go forward by facing your sin, by confessing it to God, by turning away from it, by seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness, and resting in the assurance of God’s grace.

Start Afresh

You cannot go forward as a follower of Jesus as long as you are rebelling against His sovereign and gracious rule in any area of your life. If you are holding onto sin of any kind, lay it down at the foot of the cross. Let go of it. Give it to Jesus. And start fresh with Him…

July 8, 2018

Philippians 3:7-14

Dr. Neil Smith

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