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The Winning Formula

In the text we studied last week, Philippians 3:12-16, Paul challenged and inspired us to run this race of life to win it for Christ’s sake. After outlining the desires of a winner - the desires to perform better, to grow deeper, to stretch farther and to live to honor Christ in every way - Paul gives us the formula for winning! When we embrace and pursue this winning formula in our lives, we will experience joy on our journey as we live our lives to honor Jesus in every way!

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:17-21

Paul calls us to run this race of life to win it for Christ’s sake, so how do we apply that winning formula in our lives? 

1) Follow Christ-like influencers.  (Philippians 3:17)

Paul emphasized the importance of having Godly examples, Christ-like influencers in our lives. In context, he wanted the Philppian Believers to not be influenced by the false teachers, false disciples among them. We want to avoid those who might influence us wrongly, or deter us in our race, and instead follow Christ-like influencers and strive to be like them. (1 Tim. 4:12). Who are you following these days and who are you influencing for Christ’s sake? (1 Cor. 11:1)

2) Develop a burden for gospel truth. (Philippians 3:18)

It broke Paul’s heart, to the point of tears, that the gospel was being distorted and falsely taught by some. He wanted the gospel truth to be shared! The sad reality today is that the truth of the gospel is still being distorted and wrongly applied by some to fit cultural values and prevailing, perverted social norms. And that should break the hearts of all who believe. Do you have a burden to share the gospel truth with the lost in your world? Not in a way that repels, not in a way that compromises; but in a way that is honest, yet loving, hopeful, yet convicting, gentle, yet compelling? There are people in your life who desperately need to hear this good, life-changing news!

3) Focus on Christ-like desires, not earthly destructions. (Philippians 3:19)

Paul called it like it was. He didn’t mince words or tip-toe around the situation. These false teachers and those who follow them were destined for destruction. Put more bluntly, they were destined for eternal damnation because they wrongly believed that their works would save them, not their faith in Christ alone. (Eph. 2:8-9). The earthly minded love the world and all things in it. But that is not God’s desire for us. (1 Jn 2:15; Ja 4:4). We can embrace Christ-like desires over worldly destructions when we’re careful what we consume from this world and when we surround ourselves with friends who are godly, when we worship corporately weekly, dig into God’s Word daily, and pray ceaselessly! 

The truth is, while we must live in this world, we don’t live as worldly citizens! 

4) Live on earth as citizens of heaven! (Philippians 3:20-21)

The word Paul uses here, “citizenship,” refers to a colony of foreigners. As Believers, we live in this world, but this world is not our home. We live, not as citizens of this world, but as citizens of heaven ruled by our heavenly King! With that heavenly mindset, we live to make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ! What does your life reveal about your citizenship in heaven? Are others inspired and impressed by the way you live for Christ’s sake? If not, change that today! Apply this winning formula in your life and experience joy in your journey! Click here to listen to the entire sermon.


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