Philippians 3:13-14 Paul gave very wise advice in Philippians 3:13 MSG Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. 14 I’m off and running, and I'm not turning back.
<ul><li>Let’s consider what Paul taught. </li></ul><ul><li>NOT TURNING BACK, </li></ul><ul><li>FORGETTING THAT </li></ul><ul><li>WHICH IS BEHIND </li></ul><ul><li>A. Sins committed for which we have received forgiveness. </li></ul>
1. God is faithful and has forgiven them. Ephesians 1:7 MSG Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people--free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!
a. God’s forgiveness is a forgetfulness . b. Hebrews 8:12 MSG They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
<ul><li>2. We also need to forgive and forget. </li></ul><ul><li>The ones who sin </li></ul><ul><li>against us. </li></ul><ul><li>All forgiveness is based on repentance. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s take a look at the word repentance. </li></ul>
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas ( Matthew 27:3 ).
(2.) Metanoeo , meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. (3.) This verb, with the cognate noun metanoia , is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God; and (4) persistence after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt, of pollution, and of helplessness. Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance. (ISBE)
(a) Luke 13:3 MSG Not at all. Unless you turn to God, ( Metanoeo ) you too will die. (b) Luke 17:3 MSG “Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, ( Metanoeo ) forgive him.
(2) Matthew 18:21 MSG At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?" 22 Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
(3) Luke 6:37 MSG “Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier.
Matthew 6:14 MSG “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. 15 If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.
b. Forgive ourselves. (1) This is often the most difficult area of forgiveness. We should not have guilt feelings. (2) Matthew 9:2 MSG They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, "Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins."
(3) Romans 4:7 MSG Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate. 8 Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score. 3. We are not discussing those sins for which we have not yet asked forgiveness.
B. That which is good. 1. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent over the good we have done. 2. We need to continue in that good.
<ul><li>C. But, in forgetting we learn from what has gone before. </li></ul><ul><li>We cannot change it. </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 15:4 MSG Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it's written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. </li></ul>
a. Applies to the Scriptures. b. It is a principle that can apply to our lives. II. I‘VE GOT MY EYE ON THE GOAL . A. We have not yet attained the goal God has set for us. B. We look for that which is in the future.
1. The figure is that of a person who is so eager that his hands and body are stretched to lay hold of it or the racer who leans forward to the goal.
2. We must make those things in the past spur us on to greater things in the future (not allow them to hold us back).
III. I’M OFF AND RUNNING, and I‘M NOT TURNING BACK . A. I’m off and running 1. Moving rapidly and decisively toward an object. 2. A runner straining with every ounce of energy he possesses. 3. This shows determination in one’s life. 4. Christianity should be foremost in our lives.
a. Matthew 6:33 MSG Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
b. Luke 9:23 MSG Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat--I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. 24 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
<ul><li>B. Goal </li></ul><ul><li>It is a mark on which to fix the eye, or as Webster says, </li></ul><ul><li>“ The end or final purpose; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or accomplish.” </li></ul><ul><li>2. Goal—example of the race. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Heavenly calling. </li></ul>
a. Titus 1:2 MSG My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago--and he doesn't break promises!
b. Hebrews 6:18 MSG God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.
19 It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God 20 where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
Conclusion: The only way to receive that crown of life is by becoming and then living the Christian life—reaching forth and pressing toward the Goal.