Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Last week you learned three truths in making your God bigger in your life:
- Enlarging your hope in Christ to be large enough to consume all of life
- Filtering all of life through Christ
- Having a passion to know and experience Jesus as your first love and priority.
Living in the reality of these three truths will help you better embrace: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Today’s teaching focuses on four truths which will help you more fully make Christ Lord of your life, so that you can live as Paul did . . . in the reality that to live is Christ and to die Is gain.
The first truth to Lordship is Philippians 3:3: “We put no confidence in the flesh.” You live life in the flesh, but you live it in the reality that only Christ produces life. An underlying truth in living this way is found in Philippians 3:8, “For whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” You move from gripping life in this world to open handedly seeing that true life and worth is in Christ alone. You learn to let go and let God be God!
The second truth to Lordship is Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” You live in the two-fold purpose of knowing and experiencing Christ regardless of the outcomes. Potential outcomes do not define your Lordship. Your actions flow from your Lordship while leaving your outcomes in God’s hands. You are not a spectator in Christ, but a full participant in living for Christ.
The third truth to Lordship is Philippians 3:9: “Be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ.” The transformation of your life is not through activities and rituals, but through faith in Christ alone. Faith is not a background prop, but a daily exercise of trusting God with everything in your life. This is where your transformative experience comes from.
The fourth truth to Lordship is Philippians 1:27: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Your life must reflect Christ . . . no matter the results. Live as the apostles did in Acts 5:40-42: “They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” Allow the reality of Jesus in you to give you the same strength that Stephen had before he was stoned to death in Acts 6:15: “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” Even the prospect of death did not drive Jesus out of Stephen’s life. Everything we do must point to Jesus. We are not called to be marginal Christians of comfort and convenience, but fully devoted followers of Christ who live without reserve for Jesus.
Colossians 2:10-12 “You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area: “Discipleship” and “Satisfaction.”