Sermons

One Step Closer

24 February 2019
Timothy Yeo, Assistant Pastor

ONE STEP CLOSER
Text: Philippians 3:7-14

In Paul’s transformative journey, he went from Christian persecutor to Christ seeker, becoming arguably the most well-known apostle in history. Yet despite his spiritual accolades, Paul claims that he’s ‘not there yet’ at Christian perfection. What can we learn from Paul about spiritual growth?

Discussion Guide 

1) Leave My Old Ways Behind (7-8)

Prior to knowing God, we all have our experiences, achievements and personal victories that make us proud or give us confidence in life. These could be our educational qualification, wealth, possessions or achievements. Do you have personal examples of credentials that would be considered of worth in the eyes of the world? What are some of these?

Before knowing Christ, Paul wanted to get right with God by his own works (4-6). Do you think Christians today may tend to do so too? How? Is such self-sufficiency or reliance on one’s own works compatible with the message of the Gospel? Why do you say so? After knowing Christ, Paul considers his worldly credentials “rubbish” compared to having a relationship with Christ (7-8). Paul realises that getting right with God cannot be achieved by his own works, but only by depending on Christ alone (9). What is your immediate reaction to Paul’s words? Do you find his claims unbelievable? Why?

Today, are you striving in the old way of self-sufficiency, or are you embracing the new way of depending on Christ alone for getting right with God? How can you tell? How can the Life Group identify symptoms of self-sufficiency among one another, and prompt one another to leave the old way behind?

2) Know Christ More (9-11)

Our goal as a Christian is not to just know about Jesus, but to know Jesus intimately and become more Christ-like. In what ways can we share in the life of Christ (10)? We follow the example of Christ and allow that to change the way we think and live. For instance, what would Christ think of the ups or downs, prosperity or adversity, success or failure, that you may be going through now? How would Christ respond in your situation and how would you follow His footsteps?

You could be at a certain stage and season in your walk with God today. How do you think you can move a step to know Jesus more? As you think about the ABCD discipleship framework, what do you think is the next step for you? What do you think that will practically translate to? How can the Life Group support you on the journey?

3) Press On Towards The Prize (12-14)

Paul’s description of the Christian journey is not one that is on autopilot, but one that demands humility to admit our lack and commitment to grow. Why is it easy to lapse into autopilot after a while? How can you tell if a believer is cruising along with little desire to grow?

Why is it tempting for Christians who have seen success in ministry to fall into the trap of thinking that they have ‘made it’? How can we prevent our spiritual achievements from becoming obstacles that hinder us from pursuing Christ? What is the right attitude we ought to have with regards to spiritual milestones?

The ‘prize’ mentioned by Paul could refer to Christ Himself (8) or the crown of life (Jas 1:12) promised to Christians who persevere to the end. What are the areas or concerns in your life that could be holding you back from pursuing this prize? What can the Life Group do to spur one another on?

Reflection Questions 

1) Leave My Old Ways Behind (7-8)
Before knowing Christ, Paul wanted to get right with God by his own works (4-6). After knowing Christ, Paul realises that getting right with God cannot be achieved by his own works, but only by depending on Christ alone (7-9). Today, are you striving in the old way of self-sufficiency, or are you embracing the new way of depending on Christ alone for getting right with God? How can you tell?

2) Know Christ More (9-11)
Our goal as a Christian is not to just know about Jesus, but to know Jesus intimately and become more Christ-like. In what ways can we share in the life of Christ (10)? As you think about the ABCD discipleship framework, what do you think is the next step for you?

3) Press On Towards The Prize (12-14)
The ‘prize’ mentioned by Paul could refer to Christ Himself (8) or the crown of life (Jas 1:12) promised to Christians who persevere to the end. What are the areas or concerns in your life that could be holding you back from pursuing this prize? What can the Life Group do to spur one another on?