Sermon preached on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Philippians 3:14-16.
Turn in your Bible, if you will, to the third chapter of the book of Philippians – Philippians chapter three where we return to this short study titled, Pressing on Toward the Goal.
Read Philippians 3:12-16.
As Christians, our attitudes and motives should be honoring to the Lord at all times. In fact they should be pure at all times.
They key is the spiritual behavior of a believer. Paul writes of this in Galatians chapter five, beginning with v. 16 –
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
The spiritual behavior of walking by the Spirit causes us put away the habitual, ongoing evil deeds of the flesh and positively causes us to bear the good fruit produced by the Spirit.
In the NT we are given several examples of spiritual fruit produced through believers:
In Heb 13:15, the author writes of the praise of the Lord as fruit -
15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
In 1 Cor 16:15, Paul speaks of winning converts to Christ as fruit -
15 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints),
In Col 1:10, Paul refers to godly work in general as fruit -
10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
All of these are examples of the good fruit produced by the Spirit through believers.
But such action fruit must come from attitude fruit, and that is the kind of fruit Paul focuses on in Galatians 5:22-23 –
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
In other words, if those attitudes are characteristic of a believer’s life, the fruit of active good works will inevitably follow.
This is what separates us from unbelievers – the fact that there is fruit in our lives. Jesus said “you will know [men] by their fruits” (cf. Matt 7:16).
You will know if they truly are citizens of His kingdom by their fruit.
This begins in the attitudes that are characteristic of a believer’s life.
Paul continues the theme of attitude in his epistle to the Philippians.
He writes in Philippians 2:5 –
5 Have this attitude [Gr. φρονέω - “to develop an attitude based on careful thought”1] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
We as believers are called to have this kind of attitude which was also in Christ Jesus.
It is one of love, fellowship of the Spirit, of affection and compassion – not an attitude of selfishness or empty conceit.
We are called to have an attitude of selfless humility which was also in Christ Jesus. This Paul says in Philippians 2:1-5.
Attitudes and actions go hand and hand. But Paul places a priority on the attitudes from which the deeds follow.
These godly deeds come from godly attitudes – attitudes that must have root in our hearts and in our thoughts.
This is what Paul calls for in our text this morning.
If you recall, the Apostle Paul provides in this text a healthy manner by which you can measure your eagerness towards knowing Christ. So let’s look at what Paul gives as a spiritual gauge.
A Healthy Assessment (vv. 12-13)
A Healthy Ambition (vv. 14)
A Healthy attitude (vv. 15-16)