Resolutions: Do you make them? Do you keep them? The idea is to grow in some way. Everyone wants to grow in some way. Two key things you need to grow as a follower of Christ: Motivation and Direction I have both for you today. 1st The Motivation: Wherever you are I hope this declaration from Job would inspire you:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. ESV
Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. NASB
But I know that my Redeemer lives, that in the end He will rise on the dust; CJB
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand up at the Last, upon dust, the earth. OJB
For the direction, I offer you this passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In this letter Paul; describes a life worthy of the Gospel, how we are to imitate Christ, how we are understand what He did and who He is, and that we are to put our faith in Him rather than our abilities. Then he shares his personal convictions about what he does to grow.
Philippians 3:8-17 (NLT)
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him.
- We know Paul actually lived based on the belief that knowing Christ was job 1
- You cannot make Christ priority unless you get rid of other things
- If you continue to value the things of this world you can’t become one with God
9 I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith.
- He used to think his obeying the mosaic law made him good with God
- No longer! Instead it is faith that creates the bond…
- Faith makes us right & one with God
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
- In addition to knowing Christ (redundancy) Paul wants to experience His power
- Paul knows the only way to know Christ is to know suffering
- Paul knows the only way to be experience HIS power is to lay down his life
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
- Because His readers know how he lives He wants to clarify his humble attitude
- No matter what he accomplishes he see how much he still needs to grow
- He has a vision for who God wants him to ultimately be (fully owned by Christ)
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
- He honestly self-evaluates… and that makes him see he needs to improve
- He does not live for the past or is haunted by the past
- He lives for today, tomorrow and eternity
15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
- He ties spiritual maturity living as he has just detailed
- Those who are mature agree as to what makes one mature
- Mature Christians believe God reveals truth to His people
16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
- This giving up of progress made is often called backsliding… (temporary)
- We are to not just admire strong saints, we are to live by their example
- We are to copy attitudes, values and lifestyle of mature Christians (specifically)
Maturing Christians have a growth plan! You can start your s for 2023 with these 7 resolutions for Biblical Living:
Resolve to make knowing Christ the highest priority in YOUR life!
- Value the ways and words of the Biblical Christ over everything else.
Resolve to live trusting God rather than in what You can do!
- Quit thinking you are righteous based on Your behavior, walk with God by faith.
Resolve to embrace hardship while living for Christ!
- Christ’s resurrection power is experienced living in the midst of hardship.
Resolve to be humble and teachable as Christ’s disciple.
- Be humble as to where you are and learn to be who Jesus bought you to be.
Resolve to live focused on future glory instead of past failure.
- Forget the past and move forward in your life as a disciple
- Recognize the things that God has called you to live for are eternal.
Resolution # 6:
Resolve to become mature through scripture application.
- Resolve disagreements & promote unity by ardently seeking God in HIS Word (Common Doctrine)
Resolve to follow the example of mature Christians.
- Study and pattern your life after the life of mature christians, don’t backslide!
- Consistent serving of God’s people is the standard