Philippians 3:12 Not
that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I
may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have
apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and
reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us,
as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise,
God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have
already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren,
join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a
In this great
section of Scripture Paul is exhorting the Philippians to keep at it and not to
quit. He lets them know that even though
he had all of these great human accomplishments they meant nothing to him now
that He knows Christ. That they are
actually something that hold him down in life and are excess baggage and even
as worthless as dung. He tells them that
even though he was all these things in the world’s eyes, that he is still not
perfect, that he has not attained the pinnacle of Christ likeness, he still has
work to do. He does this so they won’t
get discouraged and give up since none of us will ever achieve perfection in
this life and we will still mess up and sin.
Finally he says we are to keep our eyes fixed on the goal of being like
Christ and our prize is that one day when we get to heaven we get to finally be
What are your Goals in Life?
We should grow because:
Bible says so, it is a command from God
2Peter 3:18 grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus
1Peter 2:12 having
your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as
evildoers, they may, by your good
works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
our witness to the world Matthew 5:16 Let
6 principles we need to know in order to pursue the prize
The awareness of the need to achieve a better condition
6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay
hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good
profession before many witnesses.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore
seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us
lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us,
1Corinthians 9:24 -27
need focused Concentration on the one goal
Motivation V 14 calls us to a lifelong pursuit of spirituality
1Thessalonians 4:16 For
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Live in the light and expectation of heaven and God's glory
need to recognize divine resources for spiritual growth
The Word 2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:12,
Desire the pure milk of the word 1 Peter 2:2
V17 Follow an example
1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
V 15 as many as are mature
V 16 One more thing let us keep living by that same we have
In other words whatever you are spiritually live up to it
and keep moving forward
TOOLS FOR SALE
It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the
date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection; each tool being
marked with its sale price. They were a treacherous lot of implements...
Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, Pride, and so on. Laid apart from the
rest was a harmless looking tool, well worn and priced very high. "What is
the name of this tool?" asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it.
"That is discouragement," replied the devil. "Why have you
priced it so high?" "Because it is more useful to me than the others.
I can pry open and get inside a man's heart with that when I cannot get near
him with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It
is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since very few people know
that it belongs to me." Is the devil beating you down trying to discourage
you? The Lord has good news for you! But he said to me, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I
all the more gladly about my weaknesses, SO THAT CHRIST'S POWER MAY REST ON
ME." II Corinthians 12:9, Phil 4:11
for I have learned in whatever
I. THE CHRISTIAN DILEMMA
A. PAUL AS A CHRISTIAN MAN...
1. Who is carnal, sold under sin - Ro 7:14-15
'Sold under sin' is exactly what the new
convert does not know! Forgiven, justified, he knows himself to be: and he has
the joy of it! But now to find an evil nature, of which he had never become
really conscious, and of which he thought himself fully rid, when he first
believed, is a 'second lesson' which is often more bitter than the first—of
statement that he was then as a Christian sold under sin may seem to contradict
what he wrote earlier in chapter 6 about no longer being the slave of sin. The
phrase "sold in bondage to sin" is proof to many interpreters that
Paul was describing a non-Christian here. However, in chapter 6 Paul did not
say that being dead to sin means that sin has lost its appeal for the
Christian. It still has a strong appeal to the Christian whose human nature is
still sinful (6:15-23). He said that being dead to sin means that we no longer
must follow sin's dictates.
one sense the Christian is not a slave of sin (6:1-14). We have died to it, and
it no longer dominates us. Nevertheless, in another sense sin still has a
strong attraction for us since our basic human nature is still sinful, and we
retain that nature throughout our lifetime. For example, a criminal released
from prison no longer has to live within the sphere of existence prescribed by
prison walls. However, he still has to live within the confines of his human
limitations. God has liberated Christians from the prison house of sin
(6:1-14). Notwithstanding we still carry with us a sinful nature that will be a
source of temptation for us as long as we live (7:14-25).
minimize the difficulty of grasping this distinction Paul used different
expressions to describe the two relationships. In chapter 6 he used
"slaves," but in chapter 7 he wrote "sold" (v. 14). In
chapter 6 he spoke of the relationship of the new man in Christ (the whole
person, the Christian) to sin. In chapter 7 he spoke of the relationship of the
flesh (a part of every person, including the new man in Christ) to sin. Adam
sold all human beings into bondage to sin when he sinned (5:12, 14).
a. Desires to good, finds himself unable
b. Desires to abstain from evil, finds himself unable
Paul's sinful human nature influenced
him to such an extent that he found himself voluntarily doing (approving) the
very things that he despised intellectually. This caused him to marvel. All
Christians can identify with him in this.
2. Who agrees the law is good, but finds that sins dwells in him - Ro
V 16 The apostle's attitude toward the
Law was not the reason for his dilemma.
Ro 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who
do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Rather his problem was traceable to the
sin that dwelt within him, namely, his sinful flesh. Paul was not trying to
escape responsibility but was identifying the source of his sin, his sinful flesh.
"I" describes the new man Paul had become at his conversion (Gal.
2:20). Viewed as a whole person he was dead to sin. Nevertheless, the source of
sin within him was specifically his sinful human nature that was still very
It comes as a terrible discovery for a
new believer, or an untaught believer, to realize that our problem with sin is
complex. We are sinners not only because we commit acts of sin (Ch. 3) and
because, as descendants of Adam, we sin because he sinned (Ch. 5). We are also
sinners because we possess a flesh that is thoroughly sinful (Ch. 7). Jesus
Christ paid the penalty for acts of sin, He removed the punishment of original
sin, and He enables us to overcome the power of innate sin.
In general, we may say that in verses
14-17, the emphasis is upon the practicing what is hated, —that is, the
inability to overcome evil in the flesh; while in verses 18-21, the emphasis is
upon the failure to do the desired good, —the inability, on account of the
flesh, to do right.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my
flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform
what is good I do not find.
a. In his flesh nothing good dwells
b. The desire to do good is present, the ability to perform is not
"Thus the double failure of a saved
man either to overcome evil or to accomplish good—is set forth. There must come
in help from outside, beyond himself!"
These verses restate the idea of verses 15 and 17 respectively. Paul evidently
repeated the ideas to heighten our appreciation for the sense of frustration
that he felt.
Ro 7:19 For the good that I will to do,
I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Paul meant that sin had thoroughly
corrupted his flesh
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that
dwells in me.
c. The good he desires he does not, the evil he desires not he does
d. Thus sin dwells in his flesh
3. Who is enslaved to a "law" (of sin and death, cf. Ro 8:2) –
Ro 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is
present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22 For I delight in the law of God according
to the inward man.
Ps 1:2 But his delight is in the law of
the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
2Co 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart.
Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed
day by day. Eph 3:16; Col 3:9-10
23 But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law
of sin which is in my members.
a. Where evil is present in one who desires to do good
b. Where a law in his members (flesh) wages war against the law of his
c. Where the law in his members brings him into captivity to the law of
4. Who finds himself wretched - Ro 7:24
a. "O wretched man that I am!"
b. "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?"
-- A wretched dilemma: sold under sin, indwelt by sin, enslaved to a law
The agony of this tension and our
inability to rid ourselves of our sinful flesh that urges us to do things that
lead to death come out even more strongly here. What Christian has not felt the
guilt and pain of doing things that he or she knows are wrong? We will never
escape this battle with temptation in this life.
B. DELIVERED BY CHRIST...
1. Expressed in chapter seven - Ro 7:25
The solution to this dilemma is not
escape from temptation but victory over it.
a. By way of anticipation, interrupting his train of thought
b. "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
c. But again, the dilemma:
willing to serve the law of God with the mind, but with his flesh he
serves the law of sin!
2. Explained in chapter eight - Ro 8:1-6,11-14
a. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, provided they walk
according to the Spirit
b. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ frees one from the law of
sin and death!
1) Christ's death fulfills the
righteous requirement (death for sin)
2) Becoming spiritually minded is
life and peace, for submission to God is now possible
3) Indwelt by the Spirit, He
imparts life to our mortal bodies - cf. Ro 6:12-13;
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you,
according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His
Spirit in the inner man,
4) We are no longer debtors
(enslaved) to the flesh, to live according to the flesh
5) By the Spirit we can put to
death the deeds of the flesh, and live as sons of God!
-- A blessed condition: no longer
enslaved to sin, but empowered by the Spirit!
1. In Romans 7, Paul vividly illustrates
the weakness of the Law of Moses...
a. The Law was holy, just, and good, but it
did not offer true deliverance
b. It did not offer deliverance from the guilt and power of sin - cf. Jn
c. One can will to do good, but the ability to truly do as one should is
Have you experienced freedom from the
guilt of sin through the blood of Christ (Ep 1:7)? Are you experiencing freedom from the power
of sin through the indwelling Spirit (Ro 8:12-13)?
Both blessings begin when one receives
you ever felt the weight of sin like Paul – unbelievers don’t
you have a longing to please God and keep the law?
God ever broken you so that you have said wretched man that I am and turned to
God for salvation
problem is worry …………v6
Most people have an inadequate knowledge of God and an inadequate
trust in God...both are blasphemous.
Matthew 6:25-34 "For this reason I say to you, Do not be
anxious for your life as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor
for your body as to what you shall put on."
prescription is prayer…………v6
1 Peter 5:7,
casting all your care on Him, because he cares for you
Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He
shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
promise is peace…………v7
John 16:33, "In this world you shall have tribulation but be
of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose
mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 43:23 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the
rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall
not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness
in the heavenly places.
principle is right thinking or the principle of displacement…………v8
2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high
thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought
into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
brethren, whatever is true
"Thy Word is truth." Psalm 19:9, Psalm 119:15
is right." And the word is righteous. Think on what is absolutely
consistent with the holiness of God.
is pure," meaning morally clean, undefiled.
is lovely," that means pleasing, attractive, amiable.
Whatever is of
good repute," which means well thought of, or highly regarded.
there's any excellence and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on
Since there is
excellence and since there are some things worthy of praise, please focus on
them." Please. Your mind is the greatest treasure you have in terms of
those gifts of human life.
Luke 11: 24 "When an unclean spirit goes
out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he
says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 “And when he comes, he
finds it swept and put in order. 26 “Then
he goes and takes with him seven
other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the
last state of that man is worse than
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind,
23: 7 For as a man thinks in
his heart, so is he
thoughts lead to right attitudes which lead to right actions
practice of Godly living…………v9
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only,
provision of God’s presence…………v9
7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin
revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to
bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and
by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and
just and good. 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But
sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good,
so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
Law reveals our Appetite or tendency for sin
says he was in the same condition that Adam and Eve were originally. They were free from the law (alive once without
the law) until the commandment came.
Then they wanted the one thing they could not have (sin revived and I
died… (Realized I was dead Spiritually)).
2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the
garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely
Ray Steadman says he was in the Colorado Rockies. A man met him to take me into
the mountains for a conference. When he came out to the curb, he was waiting in
his new, powerful, shiny Lincoln Continental. He got into the car and he
expected him to turn on the ignition. But to his amazement, he started driving
without turning on the engine -- or at least that's how it seemed to him. He suddenly
realized that the engine had been running all the time. It was so quiet that he
hadn't heard it. As we moved up into the Rockies, the power of that engine
became manifest. We traveled up the steep grades in those great mountains
without difficulty because of the power released by the touch on the
that is something like what Paul is describing here. Sin lies silent within us.
We do not even know it is there. We think we have got hold of life in such a
way that we can handle it without difficulty. We are self-confident because we
have never really been exposed to the situation that puts pressure upon us --
we never have to make a decision against the pressure on the basis of the
commandment of the Law "Thou shalt not... "
that happens, we suddenly discover all kinds of desires are awakened within us.
We find ourselves filled with attitudes that almost shock us -- unloving,
bitter, resentful thoughts, murderous attitudes --
- The Law reveals the death that sin brings
And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For
sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
all sinned, and all died (Romans 5:12)
speaking of his personal experience, in Adam, at the fall, described in Genesis
2 and 3 and Romans 5.
like every other human being, sinned in Adam. We are all born sinners (Psalm
51:5). From the day of our birth we are “dead in our trespasses and sins”
(Ephesians 2:1-3). We have never been alive, other than in Adam before the
fall. We will never be alive, other than in Christ and His work on the cross.
18:20 "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of
the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the
righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon
4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to
work all uncleanness with greediness.
killed Adam and Eve spiritually, we are born dead spiritually, so the more sin
we commit the further from God we go.
When you are dead, you are what (past feeling), dead people cannot feel.
value of dying or knowing you are dead is so that you can turn to God and live
18:23 "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?"
says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live? Ezek
18:30 "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according
to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your
transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 "Cast away from
you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new
heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 "For I have no pleasure in the death
of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which
was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the
cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle
of them, triumphing over them in it.
what the Law is for. It is to expose the fact that this evil force is in every
one of us, waiting only for the right circumstance in order to spring into
being, overpower our will, and carry us into things we never dreamed we would
do. Many of us experience this. According to this passage, the great power of
sin is that it deceives us. We think we have got life under control -- and we
are fooled. All sin is waiting for is the right occasion when, like a powerful,
idling engine, it roars into life and takes over at the touch of the
accelerator and we find ourselves helplessly under its control.
And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The
woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into
- The Law reveals the Holy Nature of the
Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
comes from a Holy, Righteous, and Good God, so it must be holy, just, and good.
19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to
them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
9:14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it
upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does,
though we have not obeyed His voice.
10:18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but
One, that is, God.
of man in the Garden of Eden shows just how evil sin is, using God’s command to
tempt men, to produce coveting, then disobedience, and finally death.
- How did the Law kill me if it is good?
then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might
appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through
the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
question of verse 13 is the result of confusing the evil-doer and the
instrument. It results from confusing the one who pulled the trigger with the
gun which the evil doer fired, taking the life of another. Many people want to
curb violence and crime in our neighborhoods by getting rid of the guns, rather
than by dealing with the person using the gun. So it is with sin. Paul’s
question indicates that some would like to do away with the Law in the hope of
solving the problem of sin and death, when the source of the problem lies
elsewhere. Blaming the Law for death, rather than sin, is like watching a
policeman appear at the scene of a murder only to seize the murderer’s weapon
and then release the murderer with a pat on the back.
is designed to expose that sin, and to make us feel this way so that we begin
to understand what this evil force is that we have inherited by our birth into
this fallen human race. The Law shows sin to be what it is, something
exceedingly powerful and dangerous, something that has greater strength than
our willpower and causes us to do things that we are resolved not to do