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Forgetting The Failures! (1 of 6)
Philippians 3:12-14; 4:8-9
INTRO: We are living in an age where everyone is looking to their past to explain their problems or to excuse their behavior in the present. While we have made it a science digging into the past to understand ourselves only Jesus Christ can heal that past and get us living in the present and future with a new life.
While the world emphasizes looking backward Christ emphasizes looking forward! We are now new creatures, the old has past away and new creatures in Christ with a whole new clean start! No scientist in the world can do this!
So how does one forget the past? You can't literally forget it; but you can learn from it and move on! The term "forget" as Paul used it means to "not regard the past as having any bearing or influence on your present spiritual outlook or behavior" (this is the meaning of the Greek word translated here "forget" Philip. 3:13). It is not an issue of the memory functions of the brain, it is an issue of the motivation to go beyond our history and not get stuck in it.
God's Spirit gives us the strength and power to move on no matter the failures of our past. His love brings healing for past pains; His love grants total forgiveness from past sins, we are allowed the emotional freedom to begin again, fresh and whole - as though we had never sinned before!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that in Christ we are free to experience a new life, old sins and painful past events don't have to rule our present experience. Healthy people learn to move on, to learn from the past and "press" on toward the future. Christ gives us the power to do this!
I. PRESENT POSITION Philip. 3:12
A. Performance Philip. 3:12a
1. Paul is evaluating his present state of life by announcing the fact that at the present he still has not arrived at perfection!
a. His performance in the present is still imperfect, he hasn't been made perfect yet but he is not what he used to be either, yet in spite of all this God has declared him to be totally whole in Christ!
(1. He is whole in that he is "justified in Christ" - declared whole "justified" by Christ's work.
(2. He is progressively growing however; this is the work of "sanctification" - the Spirit's work, becoming what he has been declared!
b. The previous verses were spent on dealing with his past, how he has laid the past aside and how he now embraces a new life, but one that still hasn't become perfect!
2. He has come a long ways and has made great progress from his terrible past but there is still room to go!
3. His point is simple:
a. He has overcome his past pain, though occasionally his overcoming this still shows itself flawed.
b. He has become strong but not enough to yet boast, he still has more room to grow!
c. Thus he is neither overwhelmed by past mistakes nor arrogant about progress, he simply is grateful for progress and seeks to experience mor ...
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