02. Joy Has A Name // 10 Christ The Goal - Tobi Ford-Western // Philippians 3:12-4:1
As a city we pride ourselves in our originality and ability to be ‘different’. We tend to value elevation and improvement over imitation of others who have gone before us. However, sometimes cultural progress can lead to moral regress.
In this passage, Paul equates copying and imitating others to christian maturity. This does not mean to be inauthentic or fake but to learn from those around us. He encourages the Philippians to be like him and emulate his behaviour. In saying this, he is not being arrogant or prideful. In fact, we have seen through history, pride tends to protect its success, preserving its uniqueness and legacy from others. Paul shows genuine humility here. He is using himself as an example to others.
Paul is not uncomfortable telling people to imitate him, even though he is not without sin and he knows it. He knows that seeing the example of other godly men and women can help us to understand what it means to follow Jesus - it does not require perfection! Therefore, we should not be uncomfortable with imitating others or with being imitated. It is not anything that has originated in ourselves, it is only Christ’s character at work in us that is worthy of imitation and so, we are not putting ourselves on a pedestal but lifting Him up.
Paul is not really talking here about following the example of well known global pastors or big names in christianity. He wants us to emulate normal people in our church, people that we can get alongside, spend time with and ask questions of. We should watch their godliness and giftings and take note of them. We should remain humble and teachable, receive critique and believe encouragement so that we can grow and become more Christ- like.
Specifically, Paul wants all christians to grow in our understanding and application of grace. We are often taught that grace means that our sins are forgiven and we don’t have to work for our salvation. But, Paul says ‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ He is showing us that perseverance does not mean working FOR our salvation, it means working OUT our salvation. There is power at work in you, propelling you forward to complete the tasks that God has set before you. Grace is not just our motivation but our means, it is not just forgiveness but power. It does not take away the difficulties of life but it gives us the strength to press on.
Finally, Paul wants us to see how much further Jesus went for us, not just imitating us but becoming one of us and entering into the human experience in order that He could take on the curse of sin in our place. He became like you and got what you deserve so that through faith in Him you can receive what He deserved.
Humble yourself and stop striving towards progress and achievements in order to lift yourself up, but instead honour and lift up the name of Jesus.
Find 3 people around you who you can imitate to become more Christ-like.
Imitate Paul’s application of grace in working out your salvation and pressing on.
17.Joy Has A Name // 11 Rejoicing in Christ - Joel Virgo // Philippians 4:2-9, 21-23Recap
We see in this passage, Paul is openly emotional. Often emotions can feel like the enemy and so we try to detach ourselves from them, but the bible does not do this. Emotions can be...
Show episode 38:01
16.Joy Has A Name // 10 Christ The Goal - Tobi Ford-Western // Philippians 3:12-4:1Recap
As a city we pride ourselves in our originality and ability to be ‘different’. We tend to value elevation and improvement over imitation of others who have gone before us. However,...
Show episode 35:19
15.Joy Has A Name // 9 Riches In Christ - Stephen Dawson // Philippians 4:10-20Recap
This Sunday we skipped forward to the end of Phillipians where Paul thanks the church for their gifts and for sending him Epaphroditus. This is more meaningful and heartfelt than the...
Show episode 34:13
14.Joy Has A Name // 8 The Surpassing Worth Of Christ - Matt Carvel // Philippians 3:1-11Recap
Paul’s life’s work was to go around sharing the good news of Jesus: the forgiveness of sins and the love of God. He would proclaim the gospel everywhere he went and people would become...
Show episode 34:37
13.Joy Has A Name // 7 Workers For Christ - Joel Virgo // Philippians 2:19-30Recap
Previously in this letter, Paul has been explaining to the Philippians the way that God has revealed Himself through His son Jesus. In this passage however, there seems to be a change in...
Show episode 38:47
12.Joy Has A Name // 6 The Fear Of Christ - Tobi Ford-Western // Philippians 2:12-18Recap
Paul tells the Philippians in this passage that they need to ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’. On the surface, this can seem frightening and can be misunderstood to...
Show episode 34:20
11.Joy Has A Name // 6 The Fear Of Christ // ApplicationDiscussion on the sermon:
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10.Joy Has A Name // 5 The Humility and Glory Of Christ // ApplicationDiscussion on the sermon:
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09.Joy Has A Name // 5 The Humility and Glory Of Christ - Matt Carvel // Philippians 2:5-11Recap
A common question that people ask about Christianity is, why, if God is real, does He not make His existence more obvious to us. We ask this question because we want things to be simple...
Show episode 34:44
08.Joy Has A Name // 4 A Christ-shaped Mind // ApplicationDiscussion on the sermon:
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07.Joy Has A Name // 4 A Christ-shaped Mind - Matt Carvel // Philippians 2:1-4The humility of Christ (which is about to be unpacked in the following passage) is a demonstration of the other-person focus of the Gospel. Love is selfless, not selfish.
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06.Joy Has A Name // 3 A Christ-Shaped Walk // ApplicationDiscussion on the sermon:
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05.Joy Has A Name // 3 A Christ-shaped Walk - Matt Carvel // Philippians 1:1-27-30‘Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel’ can be a confusing command. Isn’t the point of the Gospel that we’re not worthy of it?
Paul’s command then (like all other NT commands)...
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04.Joy Has A Name // 2 A Christ-shaped Life // Application
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03.Joy Has A Name // 2 A Christ-shaped Life - Neville Jones // Philippians 1:1-12-26The sovereignty of God and the supremacy of Christ.
Again, Paul demonstrates a provocatively joyful attitude. In the face of his unjust imprisonment and even ‘gospel advocates’ trying...
Show episode 33:18
02.Joy Has A Name // 1 Joy in Christ - Joel Virgo // Philippians 1:1-11Joel looks at the union and unity that Christ brings us into.
Paul is overjoyed at the thought of the Philippians. These ‘partners’ are not just loosely associated with Paul but fellow...
Show episode 39:30
01.Joy Has A Name // Introduction to the seriesThis autumn we will be preaching through the New Testament letter of Philippians. We’ve called the series, ‘Joy Has a Name’ because the letter is all about how Jesus is every Christian’s source of...
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