Sermon Follow Up - Week 17, 2022
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” (Philippians 3:17–4:1 ESV)
The hope of the second coming of Jesus empowers and motivates us to stand firm amid the persistent problems of the present.
1. You are able to connect to the power of hope through godly examples.
We have two choices of those whom we observe AND imitate. The power of hope in our lives is strengthened as we observe and imitate those who walk in a manner worthy of the gospel and in the hope of the return of Jesus/resurrection.
- There are enemies of the cross whose destiny is destruction. And there are those whose joy is in the cross and whose destiny is eternal freedom.
- There are those devoted to indulging the body and make a god of its appetites. And there are those who look forward to the transformation of the body by our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
- There are those whose citizenship is completely centered on this world. And then there are those whose citizenship is primarily centered on the new heavens and new earth.
- There are those who set their minds on the temporal things of this world and live with no eternal expectation or hope. And there are those set their minds on eternity and live with expectant hope in the promised return of Jesus.
Question: Which of these two choices seem to make the headlines in your life? How does this affect your hope?
2. You are guaranteed to connect to the power of hope through the power of Christ.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20–21 ESV)
The hope of the resurrection, our glorification, at the return of Christ to the home that we've been made citizens of is meant to give us hope and stand firm amid the fiery trials we experience.
Therefore [on account of these truths, these promises, this sure and guaranteed hope], my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” (Philippians 4:1 ESV)
Question: Do you feel that you're standing firm in this day? If not, how might calling to mind the return of Christ regularly help you do so? What in this text ignites your desire for that day? How might being among other "citizens of another kingdom" who walk specifically in a manner worthy of the gospel, serve to encourage you and strengthen you, motivating you to press on and stand firm in the Lord?
- Which kind of person do you want to emulate? Who is it you listen to? Who is it that you observe? Who is it that you emulate?
Our grasp of Christian hope is significantly affected by those we are listening to and emulating. There is a lot of emphasis on more information, more teaching, being the answer to people’s issues especially through the last few hundred years. But we would be wise to recognize that oftentimes truth and goodness and holiness are better caught than taught. With that in mind, who do you hang out with? Whose conduct are you observing, studying, imitating? Whose lives serve as a model for your own?
Can I encourage you to find those around you in whom you see the hope of Jesus and spend time with them? Like a lot of time? And then let their lives wield a positive and constructive influence on how you think, how you talk, and how you live. Who are those people in your life? This church has many imperfect people who love Jesus implicitly and strive to follow him and look forward to the coming day when they will see Jesus face to face. People who look to the return of Christ and find hope and strength for the difficulties that they are presently going through.
- To what extent are you yourself a role model for others? There are those who do in fact observe you. Perhaps it’s children observing parents, or adult kids observing older parents. Perhaps it’s a friend or co-worker. What is it they are observing in you? Do they see a life of angsty morality that claims to be filled with joy in Christ? Or do they see a person filled with real hope? Do they see imperfect people living lives in a manner worthy of the gospel, lives lived in self-denial and in imitation of Jesus Christ living in the promise of the resurrection and our glorification when Jesus returns?
- Take time to send a note of encouragement to someone whom you've observed and been strengthened by as they have walked the road of this life in hope of the gospel and the promise of eternity.
- Might you consider taking up a book like "Heaven," by Randy Alcorn and slowly digest what he writes of?
Psallos Recording - Philippians
"One Day (When We All Get to Heaven)" - Matt Redman
"Creation Awaits" - EMU Music