TEXT: Philippians 3:17-4:1
READING: Psalms 61 and 62
SUBJ: The exhortation of Paul to stand fast (persevere) in the assurance of Lord and what He will do.
AIM: That we might be found in the way, standing fast in the Lord.
INTR: Timeliness is often the issue as we look to a precept from God’s Word. Here we would be aware of the world in which we live as contrasted with the hopes and expectations before us.
1. Standing fast implies that a purpose is in view rather than merely being intractable.
2. The things for which and in which we persevere are in stark contrast to worldly hopes.
3. The message of Paul here directs us to a particular goal that is to be realized at the appearing of Christ our Lord – we stand fast knowingly as these things are revealed to faith.
THESIS: True salvation gives us a view of the frustration of pursuing earthly goals or pursuing them for the wrong reasons. Rather, our affections are set on things above with precious expectation. Paul exhorts to “stand fast” because of:
I. Demonstration (vv. 17-19)
1. Be followers of Paul in his pursuit of “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (v. 14)
1) Not as though he had attained – He would realize the full design of the cross.
2) An example in not being satisfied in this present world
2. Not only Paul, but mark the example seen in others
1) An observed walk – “…worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.”
2) They are to be marked out for comparison.
3. Contrast the enemies of the cross – Christians who have no desire or interest in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. These were a cause for weeping with Paul.
1) Whose end is destruction – that is they would destroy the image of true faith.
2) God is their belly – encompassing all forms of earthly satisfaction
3) Whose glory is their shame – that which they believe to be glory (pride, etc.)
4) Who mind earthly things, in contrast to affections being set above.
II. Identification (v. 20a)
1. For our citizenship (Paul’s) is in heaven
-- a matter of culture, nature, allegiance, identity
2. As a motivation to stand fast in the Lord – we are His citizens.
III. Expectation (v. 20b)
1. Our expectation is from the One to whom we look. We do not look to Heaven because it is a nice place, but because our Lord was received up into Heaven.
2. We look for the Savior, who has saved us from our sins and will save us from this present evil world and will save us unto eternal habitation with Him.
3. Our Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ and those who so look for Him know Him as such – to them shall He appear “the second time without sin unto salvation.”
IV. Transformation (v. 21)
1. To change the body of our humiliation (Robertson, et al) into one suitable for association with Christ – this is not merely deliverance from earthly limitations and the effects of sin, but rather, to unhindered compatibility with Christ.
2. Note that what the disciples saw on the Mount of Transfiguration would have seemed impossible if applied to themselves – “we shall be like Him.”
3. It is according to the working that is applied to our change:
4) Physical – New Heavens and New Earth – why not our bodies.
V. Exhortation (v. 4.1)
1. Such direction is born of true Christian love – stand to persevere!
2. Such a stand must be in the Lord else there is no expectation
1) Vitally joined
2) Literally, Christ is our “element” – our Life.
3. Not only is there herein a description of reasons to stand fast, but a description of the nature of those who “endure to the end.”
4. We are kept by the power of God and in His keeping, we persevere.