Saturday, September 26, 2015

My New Normal - Sunday Questions

Today’s sermon is from Philippians 3:7-16.  Paul discusses the intensity with which he pursued knowing the Lord, and he presents his radical striving as normal for the Christian.  This study is intended to help you go over those verses again on your own.  First, see if you see things like Paul did.  Second, consider how that type of zealous focus would look in your own life.

1.       Read Philippians 3:7-11.  The things to Paul’s “profit” were all the things that made him look good, righteous or holy to others.  What kinds of things accomplish that today?  In one way, this seems like bad advice from Paul… isn’t a good reputation a good thing?  Paul has talked this way in other letters.  Read 1 Corinthians 4:3-4.  When Paul does boast, he brags different than most folks.  Read 2 Corinthians 11:22-30.  Can you sum up, in a sentence or two, what Paul thinks about our achievements?
2.       Paul says he wants to know Christ (3:8, 10), and you get the sense it is his highest priority.  How do you think he accomplished that goal?  For you to be able to honestly say “Knowing Christ is my highest priority”, what kinds of life changes, if any, would you need to make?
3.       Read Philippians 3:12-16.  Using the imagery of a track race, where did Paul feel like he was at in his spiritual life?  Where are you?  What is the prize?  How was Paul planning to reach it?  Paul used this picture of a race in other letters he wrote.  Read Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Galatians 5:2-7; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; and Hebrews 12:1-3 for other examples.  Why is “running a race” such a great metaphor for the Christian life?
4.       In Philippians 3:15-16, Paul says that all mature people see Christianity the same way that he does.  Compare that statement to what you see in church today.  Is it still true that 100% devotion is the only mature way to look at the faith?  If it’s true, how would that change how you see “maturity”?  Maybe maturity is not defined by titles, outward successes, great speaking ability, etc.?

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