Based on Biblical Text Philippians 1:9 KJV
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
In our text Paul is writing to the Philippians. He is expressing his gratitude for their spiritual maturity, and he challenges them to continue in pursuit of excellence in ministry.
God is looking for some “grownup Christians.” What does a grownup Christian look like? How do you know a “grownup Christian” when you see one? This text very clearly spells out for us the undisputed marks of a mature or “grownup Christian.”
The “grownup Christian” has the mark of a thankful heart. We should thank God for the privilege of living among the believers we are surrounded with every day. We should thank God for the love, care and support that we get from each other. We should thank God that we can call upon each other for help any hour of any day.
The “grownup Christian” has the mark of prayer. Paul says that he always prayed for the church. We should be praying for the church? God needs some prayer warriors and some devoted prayers. God needs somebody praying constantly for the believers and for the non-believers. God needs somebody praying constantly for our ministries and our mission.
The “grownup Christian” has the mark of joy. In our text Paul is in prison but, his heart is filled with joy. Joy means inner gladness or a deep seated pleasure. Joy is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful and rejoicing heart. No outside influence can affect the joy of the Lord. The believer’s joy is divine. It is possessed and given only by God. Its roots are not in earthly or material things or cheap triumphs. It does not depend on circumstances or happiness. Happiness depends upon happenings, but real Joy depends on Jesus!
The “grownup Christian” has the mark of fellowship. Our source of fellowship is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the great salvation of God. The gospel of Christ is the glorious news that He has died for our sins, He has risen again, and has conquered death that we might live with God eternally, never ourselves having to die. Believers have fellowship. Fellowship is a spiritual union we share as we experience the same salvation and embrace the same faith. We are bound together around the gospel, we live, serve, and bear witness to the same Lord; therefore, our lives are bound together in the Spirit of Christ and His fellowship.
The “grownup Christian” bears the mark of confidence in God’s salvation. We bear the confidence and assurance that God’s Spirit actually lives within the heart and body of the believer, and bears witness with our spirit that we will one day be redeemed and presented perfect before God. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is the entire guarantee we need of our salvation. For this reason we know that the work begun in us by God will transform us from what we are to what we will become.
The “grownup Christian” bears the mark of Christian partnership. Paul and the church were closely bound together. They were partners in heart. Paul loved them as he loved himself; he held them close to his heart and they were constantly in his thoughts. They were partners in his sufferings and they sympathized with him. What one experienced, the others experienced as well. This is the picture of the kind of sympathy we need to express, one for another. We are partners in joy and in sorrow. We must actively defend the cause of Christ and witness to His saving grace. We must take the Great Commission of our Lord seriously.
“Grownup Christians” bear the mark of a growing and discerning love. We need to know more and more about Christ, but we also need to know more and more about each other. The more we know about Christ and each other, the more our love for each other will grow.
“Grownup Christians” bear the mark of righteousness. Righteousness means two very simple yet very profound things. Righteousness means to be right and to do right. Many we know stress being righteous but neglect doing righteousness. These are not grownup, they are the immature Christians who live and do pretty much as they desire. They mistakenly believe that their behavior will not affect their salvation. They think that no matter what they do, they will still be acceptable to God. Unfortunately, they will discover that is false righteousness.
The Bible teaches nothing about being righteous without living righteously or of being acceptable to God without being made righteous in Christ Jesus. The only bible many unsaved sinners may ever know is the bible they witness us live every day. We are challenged to grow up in faith. We are charged to “henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:15). God is looking for some “grownup Christians.”
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, November 17, 2013, is the Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost.
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 and 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
Proverbs 31:10-12, 20, 26-31
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Texts Psalm 51:1-12
Sermon Title Restore Our Joy!