My Forgetfulness, His Faithfulness
Philippians 3:1-14 ESV
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and it is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus and put not confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
No matter how proud or how ashamed we are of our past, there is a battle waged in us and around us to find our identity in Christ alone. We must forget what lies behind, abandoning our past by faith in Jesus Christ and entrusting it to the cross for our forgiveness, and press on to the only goal worth our entire lives: the goal of knowing Jesus Christ fully and being with Him eternally. When we recognize the incomprehensible eternal worth of Christ Jesus and His love for us as shown on the cross, we will see our past as God sees it: our successes as rubbish compared to Christ’s success of perfectly pleasing God the Father and our failures as opportunities to glory in Christ and His limitless mercy, grace, and love.
What do I need to forget (repent of) that wages war against my soul being found in Christ alone? EVERYTHING that lies behind. This is why Jesus said to even enter the Kingdom of Heaven you must be born again. This is why Paul says he has been crucified with Christ and no longer lives but Christ lives in Him. The great exchange it has been called: my sinful life for his righteous life. Everything consists of:
When we “forget” our past and remember the love of God shown in the cross of Christ and the power of God shown in the resurrection, we can move forward free from sin in the confidence of God’s love and acceptance.
1 John 1:8-10 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Philippians 1:6 ESV
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 2:12-13 ESV
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Lord, reveal to us by your Spirit the eternal worth of Jesus Christ, revealing Him as the only way by faith to a God based righteousness. Give us faith to lay down our lives with all our fearful failures and self righteous successes, in exchange for Christ’s righteousness, that we may receive the miracle of the freedom and joy of being found in Him alone, here and now and for all eternity. This is salvation. Amen.
Second City Church - Declarations Of The New Year- Pastor Cole Parleir 2018