Hope we have learned a lot in this series. I’m not going to recap the whole series, but I do want to refresh last weeks message… Watch out for the dogs. The religious people, the ones who look to their own flesh for their right standing before God. They worship in their flesh, they glory in their flesh, put their confidence in their flesh. Citizens worship in the spirit, glory in Christ Jesus, and put all of their confidence in his finished work on their behalf. This morning Paul is going to flesh that out a little bit for us. we will see how our confidence is tied to what we are looking at as we run this race.
FCF: the tendency for believers to rest on our past successes: has your spiritual life grown stale? : do you think you have reached a plateau: what keeps you going in the walk? What’s my motivation? ……
Paul is in a similar place as most of us. What he is wrestling with in this passage is the fact that he is in what’s called by anthropologists a Liminal state… v.12
1. Forget: what is behind,
- past mistakes: airline dispatcher on 9/11 still lives with the feeling that he could have done it better. Could never go back to work. Paul just told us he has lots of past successes he could lean on, but he called that rubbish/successes: uncle Rico,
- our fleshly desires, the things we strive for in this life are passing away along with our bodies.
- earthy things. v.19
2. Strain: to what lies ahead: keep your eyes forward. Lean for the tape.
- eternity with Christ.
- New heavens and new earth.
3. Press toward: toward the upward call of God in Christ,
- hold true to what we have attained: the Righteousness of Christ.
- Follow Paul’s example of serious dependence on Christ.
- live like citizens.
Christ is going to return! He is the king of our country! That is what keeps us going, that is how we face our lives.
Those whose god is their belly get exactly what they want, this body fails, this world passes away, only those whose citizenship is in heaven will attain the eternal life promised. If you are not doing these things, it’s possible that you are living like a citizen of earth, not heaven.