Deeper – October 6th, 2016

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In our last sermon in our Philippians Series we reviewed verses one through three and went on to cover verses four through eleven in chapter three. In these verses we saw Paul emphatically denounce salvation by our works and proclaim beyond the shadow of a doubt that our salvation, or acceptance by God, is based solely on faith in Christ’s work on the cross. Then from this we saw in the ending verses of this passage the benefits of having faith in Christ’s work and not our own. The benefits are a surpassing relationship, true righteousness, tremendous power, shared suffering, and the hope of our resurrection to new and perfect life with Christ.
Today I want to go a little deeper into the benefit of the surpassing relationship we receive when we place our faith in Christ. Philippians 3:9-10a says, “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him…” To know Him implies having a relationship with Christ. Just as if I were talking to you and defended an individual with the statement, “Well I know _______, and they would never do that,” I would be implying that I have a relationship with that individual. That is what Paul is communicating here. He is saying, I have thrown away my own self-righteousness and placed my faith in Christ-righteousness in order to have a relationship with Christ. And it’s here I want to go a little deeper and mention something very important. When Paul first placed his faith in Christ righteousness and gained this relationship Paul didn’t hang up his boots, grab a cup of Joe and say okay Jesus you did it, I’m just going to do what I want from here on out and I’ll see you in heaven. NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. As a result of having this wonderful relationship Paul did what every person should do with every worth-while relationship. He got to know Christ more. Knowing Christ starts with laying aside our worthless task of trying to earn righteousness before God and depending on Christ righteousness but it doesn’t end there. We are called to grow in our relationship with Christ. How do we do that? First by depending on Him and second by adopting venues/practices of life He has said He grows us through. What are some of those venues/practices from which God grows our relationship; prayer, personal reading/study of God’s word, group bible study/prayer corporate worship (prayer), exercising spiritual gifts, witnessing, serving, giving, encouraging others, forsaking sin, etc. In the last sermon I blasted, and rightly so, all of these as worthless practices if we are trying to earn God’s acceptance and they are. None of them save us or make God loves us more in the slightest. BUT, once we place our faith in Christ, these are wonderful venues/practices that we can take part in, because we are accepted by God and because He uses them to grow our relationship. Jesus wants to bless us beyond all reason in our relationship with Him, but he does not want a one-sided relationship. Ask yourself today, is my relationship with Jesus one-sided, or are you, because you have a relationship, with all your heart seeking to make that relationship stronger through all the wonderful different venues/practices He gives us today.

Pastor John Wright

Pastor John is married to his beautiful wife Kimberly and has 5 young children. John holds a Master’s of Theology (ThM.) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has been serving in full-time pastoral ministry for 10+ years. John is passionate about declaring the truth of the Gospel and leading people in their knowledge, understanding and application of God's Word.

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