Bible

 Midday Bible Study

Wednesday

11:30

JOURNEY INTO STRESS FREE LIVING

LESSON 11

BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS

PHILIPPIANS 3: 15-4: 1

AS CHRISTIANS WE SHOULD BE CONTINUALLY GROWING AND BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST. CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE LIKE GREEN FRUIT ON A TREE, ALWAYS MATURING. WHEN A PIECE OF FRUIT REACHES MATURITY AND BECOMES RIPE, WHAT HAPPENS? IT BEGINS TO ROT. WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE ALL YOU NEED TO BE AS A CHRISTIAN AND ARE COMPLETELY MATURE, YOU WILL BEGIN TO ROT SPIRITUALLY. WE FIND FOUR THINGS IN THIS PASSAGE WE MUST DO TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS AND TO KEEP FROM ROTTING SPIRITUALLY.

FIRST THING: LIVE BIBLICALLY (PHILIPPIANS 3: 15-16).

PAUL WRITES: LET US THEREFORE, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, BE THUS MINDED (PHILIPPIANS 3: 15A). LIKE PAUL, WE SHOULD ALL BE FOCUSED ON THE MARK AND PRIZE (PHILIPPIANS 3: 14) OF BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE CHRIST, SO WHEN WE STAND BEFORE GOD HE WILL SAY, WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT (MATTHEW 25: 21).

PAUL WRITES: AND IF IN ANYTHING YE BE OTHERWISE MINDED, GOD SHALL REVEAL EVEN THIS UNTO YOU (PHILIPPIANS 3: 15B). SOME CHRISTIANS THINK THEY DO NOT NEED TO GROW AND MATURE CONTINUALLY, BUT PAUL SAYS GOD WILL REVEAL TO THEM THEY DO. THE PRIMARY WAY GOD REVEALS THINGS TO US IS THROUGH HIS WORD.

2 PETER 3: 18

  • SOMETIMES GOD ALSO REVEALS THINGS TO US THROUGH PROBLEMS. AS CHRISTIANS WE DON’T STAND STILL; WE ARE EITHER GROWING AND GETTING CLOSER TO GOD OR WE ARE MOVING AWAY. AS WE MOVE AWAY FROM GOD, AT SOME POINT WE MOVE INTO SIN. WHEN WE DO, GOD DISCIPLINES US.

 

PSALM 119: 67

 

PAUL WRITES: NEVERTHELESS, WHERETO WE HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED, LET US WALK BY THE SAME RULE, LET US MIND THE SAME THING (PHILIPPIANS 3: 16). THE WORD WALK TRANSLATED IS A MILITARY TERM THAT MEANS “TO MARCH IN RANK” OR MARCH IN LINE. IT MEANS WE STAY IN LINE WITH WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED OR ALREADY KNOW ABOUT GOD’S WORD.

“THE PROBLEM WITH MOST CHRISTIANS IS NOT THAT THEY DON’T KNOW ENOUGH BIBLE; THE PROBLEM IS THEY DON’T LIVE THE BIBLE THEY ALREADY KNOW.” DO YOU ALREADY KNOW ENOUGH BIBLE TO BE A MUCH BETTER CHRISTIAN?

JOHN 13: 15

TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS, LIVE BIBLICALLY.

SECOND THING: LIVE CAUTIONSLY (PHILIPPIANS 3: 17-19).

NOW PAUL URGES THE PHILIPPIANS TO FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE OF HAVING AS HIS GOAL A DESIRE TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST (PHILIPPIANS 3: 17A). PAUL WRITES: AND MARK THEM WHICH WALK SO AS YE HAVE US FOR AN ENSAMPLE (PHILIPPIANS 3: 17B). THE KEY WORD IN VERSE 17 IS ENSAMPLE, WHICH MEANS PATTERN.

QUESTION

WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN WILL NEW BELIEVERS IN YOUR CHURCH BECOME IF THEY USE YOU AS A PATTERN?

PAUL WRITES: FOR MANY WALK OF WHOM I HAVE TOLD YOU OFTEN, AND NOW TELL YOU EVEN WEEPING, THAT THEY ARE THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST (PHILIPPIANS 3: 18). HERE PAUL IS REFERRING TO PEOPLE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS BUT PERVERT THE PRINCIPLES OF GOD’S WORD. THEY ARE NOT OPENLY HOSTILE TO THE FAITH; THEY JUST WANT TO CHANGE IT. THEY ARE OFTEN CHURCH MEMBERS WHO SEEK ACCEPTANCE SO THEY CAN GAIN PLACES OF INFLUENCE OR LEADERSHIP.

MATTHEW 7: 15

  • PAUL TELLS US ABOUT SUCH PEOPLE IN VERSE 19: WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION, WHICH MEANS ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD. PAUL WRITES, THEIR GOD IS THEIR BELLY. THIS MEANS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THEIR LIVES IS SATISFYING THEIR PHYSICAL APPETITES. PAUL WRITES, THAT THEIR GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME, WHICH MEANS THEY TAKE PRIDE IN JUSTIFYING BEHAVIOR THE BIBLE CONDEMNS AS SIN.

 

ISAIAH 5: 20

PAUL’S FINAL DESCRIPTION OF ENEMIES OF THE CROSS IS THEY MIND EARTHLY THINGS (PHILIPPIANS 3: 19D). THEY JUDGE EVERYTHING BY CULTURE RATHER THAN BY CHRIST. THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE BY THE STANDARDS OF THE WORLD RATHER THAN THE WORD.

JAMES 4: 4

THESE ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS BUT WANT THE CHURCH TO ACCEPT THE WAYS OF THE WORLD. THE WORD WORLD REFERS TO THE VALUES OF SINFUL CULTURE. IF YOU CLAIM TO BE A CHRISTIAN BUT BELIEVE LIKE THE WORLD, THE BIBLE SAYS YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF GOD.

“THEREFORE, IF YOU CLAIM TO BE A CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE EITHER AN EXAMPLE OR AN ENEMY OF THE CROSS.”

TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS, WE MUST LIVE BIBLICALLY, LIVE CAUTIONSLY.

THIRD THING: LIVE EXPECTANTLY (PHILIPPIANS 3: 20-21).

PAUL REMINDS US OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN (PHILIPPIANS 3: 20A). THE WORD CONVERSATION TRANSLATED LITERALLY MEANS “CITIZENSHIP.” AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE “RESIDENT ALIENS” LIVING TEMPORARILY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. THEREFORE, FROM WHENCE (HEAVEN) ALSO WE LOOK FOR THE SAVIOUR, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (PHILIPPIANS 3: 20B). THE WORD LOOK TRANSLATED DENOTES WATCHING FOR SOMETHING EXPECTANTLY. THEREFORE, WE ARE NOT TO WAIT FOR CHRIST’S RETURN WITH RESIGNATION OR DISINTEREST, BUT EXPECTANTLY. TO EAGERLY WAIT FOR CHRIST GIVES US THE MOTIVATION TO BECOME MORE LIKE HIM.

MATTHEW 24: 40-42

  • WHEN JESUS COMES, HE WILL CHANGE OUR VILE BODY, THAT IT MAY BE FASHIONED LIKE UNTO HIS GLORIOUS BODY, ACCORDING TO THE WORKING WHEREBY HE IS ABLE EVEN TO SUBDUE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF (PHILIPPIANS 3: 21). WHEN CHRIST RETURNS, WE WILL GET WHAT IS CALLED OUR REDEEMED OR GLORIFIED BODIES. THEY WILL BE LIKE CHRIST’S RESURRECTED BODY; THEY WILL BE PERFECT, THEY WILL NOT AGE, AND THEY WILL NOT BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISEASE OR DECAY. WE WILL BE ABLE TO EAT, DRINK, TALK, WALK, AND DO ALL THE THINGS WE WANT TO DO TO ENJOY LIFE, BUT WILL NOT HAVE THE PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS OF OUR PRESENT BODIES.

 

TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS, WE MUST LIVE BIBLICALLY, LIVE CAUTIONSLY, AND LIVE EXPECTANTLY.

FOURTH THING: LIVE LOVINGLY (PHILIPPIANS 4: 1).

PAUL CONCLUDES THIS SECTION: THEREFORE, MY BRETHREN DEARLY BELOVED AND LONGED FOR, MY JOY AND CROWN, SO STAND FAST IN THE LORD, MY DEARLY BELOVED (PHILIPPIANS 4: 1). WE KNOW PAUL LIVED LOVINGLY BY SEEING HOW HE REFERS TO THE PHILIPPIAN BELIEVERS. HE REFERS TO THEM AS MY BRETHREN DEARLY BELOVED AND LONGED FOR, HIS JOY, AND HIS CROWN. THESE ARE ALL TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

JOHN 13: 35

THE CROWN IN PHILIPPIANS 4: 1 DOESN’T REFER TO A ROYAL CROWN BUT A VICTOR’S CROWN. THE CROWN WAS A SYMBOL OF VICTORY AND CELEBRATION. ONE OF PAUL’S GREATEST REWARDS IN HEAVEN WOULD BE KNOWING THE PHILIPPIANS WERE THERE BECAUSE OF HIS MINISTRY. WHAT COULD MAKE US MORE LIKE JESUS THAN LOVING PEOPLE INTO HEAVEN, AS PAUL DID!

2 CORINTHIANS 5: 14A

“THIS MEANS WHATEVER WE DO WE DO BECAUSE CHRIST’S LOVE CONTROLS US. BECAUSE CHRIST IN LOVE DIED FOR OTHERS, IN LOVE WE SHOULD LIVE FOR OTHERS.”

CLOSING

TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS, LIVE BIBLICALLY, LIVE CAUTIONSLY, LIVE EXPECTANTLY, AND LIVE LOVINGLY.