Pauls Objectives Phil.3:7-12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Pauls objectives when it came to Jesus Christ were very simple. He desired to win, know and apprehend Christ. I’m thankful to Pastor John Robinson, of Bible Believers Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Oregon, who preached this text at a recent pastors’ conference. It is from his sermon that we got the idea for this sermon. Pauls objectives should be our objectives. We should strive to:
Win Christ – Phil 3:7-8 – there is more to being saved than just being saved from hell. Our relationship with Christ began the moment we received him and there is much to gain from that relationship. The problem is that in order to gain all there is in Christ we must lose some things. Winning Christ comes at a price; it comes at a loss. The more we lose of ourselves, the more we gain of him. Paul lost all that was dear to him in order to win Christ. Mk 8:35 says, “whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” The reason more people don’t win Christ is that they are not willing to lose the things that keep them back from their gain in him. Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” [Phil 1:21]. Often lost souls won’t come to Christ because they don’t want to lose their friends, their reputation, their standing, or their religious righteousness. We need to lose those and more.
Know Christ – Phil 3:9-10 – there is so much more to know of Jesus Christ than we know right now. But to know Christ this personally comes at a price; it comes with suffering. You can’t just go out and make yourself suffer. You don’t have to become a monk. But you can be willing to suffer. And you can keep yourself from avoiding suffering. 2 Tim 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” David was a man after God’s own heart and he suffered a great deal at the hands of his enemies. Jesus suffered a great deal for us. And Paul suffered a great deal for Jesus. Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ,” [1 Cor 11:1]. You can suffer inconvenience; you can suffer with Christ for the sake of others. Paul said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus,” [Gal 6:17]. When you suffer with him you get to know his heart, his mind, his love and his desire.
Apprehend Christ – Phil 3:11-12 – to apprehend Christ is to “seize” him, or “to take hold of” him. Jesus Christ is resurrected. The power of our spiritual life comes from his resurrection. Apprehending Christ comes at a price; it comes with death. Paul said, “… being made conformable unto his death,” [Phil 3:10]. He also said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live,” [Gal 2:20]. He also said, “I die daily,” [1 Cor 15:31]. I’m not sure that we have the remotest idea what dying daily involves. We know that it involves dead reckoning [Rom 6:11]. But I believe that most of us are plenty alive and just pretending to be dead. We’re playing possum. And that’s why we have no more spiritual power than we have. We must die [Rom 6]. We must die to our ambition, our pride, our thoughts, our ways, our demands, etc.
Conclusion: to win Christ, we must lose those things that are gain to us. To know Christ, we must enter into his sufferings. To apprehend Christ, we must die to ourselves and take hold of his resurrected life. God help us to strive to do these things; to make Pauls objectives our objectives. If we set our objectives on these things in Christ then the Lord will instruct us in how to win him, know him and apprehend him.