Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Philippians Part 16- How to win the race: Introduction| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on  January 24th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

The Great Apostle Paul wasn’t a neutral person. He was anti- Christian. He both physically and verbally opposed them. He took and dragged people to jail. He was aggressively anti- Christian.

Acts 22:4-9 is the testimony of Paul. An amazing work happened on his way to Damascus. Paul was persecuting the church and Jesus asked him why he was persecuting him. The church is the body of Christ and causing harm to the body is directly causing harm to Jesus. Paul was there when Steven was put to death.

In verse 10, the transformation happens when Paul says, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ Paul was born again! He gave his life over to the proclamation of the gospel.
In addition to the suffering, there was much glory in his life as well. In 2 Corinthian 12:1-4 Paul talks about the amazing encounters with God. He had visions and revelations, he had great experiences. Yet, he had many things that we have- he is a new creation, he has salvation, right standing with God, etc.

Paul is a great Christian. Last week we looked at 5 things that Paul wanted: knowing God, righteousness of Christ, the power of Christ, the fellowship of sharing in his suffering and the resurrection body on the second coming of Jesus.
Phil 3:12- Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. He says I’m not perfect. That is so different from so many Christians

Q. Are we complacent and content with what we have?
We have all things God has given us. Is that all? No. There is something for us to do. As long as there is breath in us.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25- Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”. The Christian life is like a race. We are not running for heaven, salvation, forgiveness, etc. We already have all those things. The process of running is our sanctification. The goal of our life is to be like Jesus. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Verse 26-27: Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize

We have received so much but it is not everything. Romans 8:29- For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brothers and sisters. That’s the goal of our life- there is a fighting that is involved. The perseverance we need is by the grace of God.

Abhinav Bindra is a rifle shooter and won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. Now, did he just wake up one morning and go shooting at the Olympics? No. He does everything it takes to get the accuracy in shooting. He has given his life to that. And he has achieved it. Now these medals don’t last, but our actions have eternal significance. Let’s make every effort to become like Jesus. We are not perfect and we need to put in effort to become more like Jesus, and we do it with the grace of God.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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