October 30, 2011

The Glory of Gaining Christ

Though the early church faced hostility, idolatry, and immorality all around, they obeyed and turned the world up-side-down for Christ.

Scripture: Philippians 3:1-11

Sermon Notes:

  1. Though the early church faced hostility, idolatry, and immorality all around, they obeyed and turned the world up-side-down for Christ (Acts 17:6).
  2. There is a power at work in the church today, which is the same power seen in the cross.
  3. There is no limit to the effectiveness of God's vulnerability: it doesn't apply just to Jesus; it's also for us.
  4. All things, including evil, work together for good (Romans 8:28); when we are weak then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  5. If we worship God rightly and are seized by the Holy Spirit, we cannot but live obediently before God.
  6. When Christ finished His work, He sat down to reign as King with all power and authority, everywhere in the world.
  7. Jesus is Lord, yet He continues to suffer (cf. Revelation 5:6). He identifies with the suffering of His people (Acts 9:4).
  8. The apostles recognized that it was an honour to identify with the suffering of Christ (Acts 5:40-42).
  9. Christ is of surpassing worth to you only if He is your Lord, and He is your Lord only if you obey Him.
  10. The work of God done outside of us is of worth to us only if He has also worked transformation inside us.
  11. We are to place our whole trust in His Lordship and not in our own.
  12. Paul says the symbol of circumcision was to represent faithfulness to our Lord and King; if we are unfaithful to the Lord, it's a false and useless sign.
  13. Though Paul was exemplary according to standards of Jewish righteousness, he considered it all worthless compared to knowing Christ.
  14. Paul's legalistic “righteousness” lead to confidence in himself; he gave up what he was holding onto, making Jesus Lord.
  15. Jesus calls us to share the burden of work together with Him (Matthew 11:27-30).
  16. We're called to trust in Christ who is yoked with us.
  17. If we are not following with Christ, we're going to bring unnecessary suffering on ourselves and miss His blessing.
  18. Partnering with Christ, we're blessed and we see fruit for our labour.
  19. As a church, we're called to fit into the body and to pull together.
  20. If we are disappointed or burdened, we are to come to Christ for strength and blessing.

Application Questions

  1. What is the significance of Christ's sitting at the right hand of the Father?
  2. Why would we see it as an honour and a blessing to suffer for Christ?
  3. What is the relationship between faith in Christ, the Lordship of Christ, and the way we live (personal ethics)?
  4. Do we trust in the things that we do, or do we trust in what Jesus did on our behalf?
  5. What does it look like to have faith and to trust in the power of Jesus?
  6. How would I explain the Glory of gaining Christ to an unchurched person?
  7. Am I willing to confess that Jesus is Lord?
  8. What do my actions say about who is Lord of my life?
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