Time to Wake the Sleeping Giant
A Call to Reckless Abandon
– This morning our message was a call to be Jesus to this world.
– What comes to mind when you think of the phrase; a call to reckless abandon? It is going to cost me something, and that is the truth. Living a life of reckless abandon for Christ will cost you something, you will have to die. You will have to die to self, life will no longer be about you – it will be all about Jesus Christ and His priorities.
– Why is it a non-negotiable issue? Why must you live a life of reckless abandon for Christ? Because that is the only way you can properly live for Jesus Christ.
– Paul writes to the Philippians and shares how he views knowing Christ as more important than anything else in the world, and that he wants to receive righteousness from God through faith in Jesus Christ. In this passage we are going to discover 4 priorities for living a life of reckless abandon for Christ.
1) Knowing Christ is more important than possessions and accomplishments (7)
– Whatever Paul thought was great, and was a great gain, instead of being a great gain, he now thinks they are a loss, they are not valuable compared to truly knowing Jesus Christ
– D.L. Moody in a message once said, “I want to call your attention to what true repentance leads to. I am not addressing the unconverted only, because I am one who believes that there is a good deal of repentance to be done by the church before much good will be accomplished in the world. I firmly believe that the low standard of Christian living is keeping a good many in the world and in their sins. I have repented 10,000 times more since I knew Christ than ever before; and I think most Christians have some things to repent of.”
– We must first acknowledge that we are not living properly, we have not recognized Christ as more important than ourselves and our things; just like Paul we must go from being – self-centered to being Christ-centered
– Dr. Barackman in the book Victors not Victirms wrote, “We cannot make changes in our lives as long as we see ourselves as the victims of our problems and as ones who are helpless to do anything about them. It is useless to blame our wrongdoing on the influences of wicked people, dysfunctional family life, unhappy circumstances or to consider our sinful behavior as an involuntarily contracted disease. It is also futile to wait passively for God to do a miracle which will change our lives. Having provided us with effective resources, God expects us to deal with sin and to do His will.”
2) Knowing Christ is more important than everything in the world (8)
– Paul says that there is not one thing in this world that is more important than truly knowing Jesus Christ, Paul says that he has lost all things for Jesus, and even though he lost them because of Jesus, he considers them to be rubbish/garbage/dung/worthless. Paul considers what he now has as a Christian not only preferable or a better alternative; in contrast, his former way of life was worthless and despicable
– A.W. Tozer in the Pursuit of God once said, “The whole transaction of conversion to Christ has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may not be exercised without a change to the moral life. Christ may be ‘received’ without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is ‘saved’ but he is not hungry nor thirsty for God. In fact, he is specifically taught to be satisfied and is encouraged to be content with little knowledge of or thirst for God.”
– Michael Youssef in his book Divine Discontent said, “The most dominant among our idols is the god of self. Our resources, our energy, our time – our complete focus – is on the self. Slick politicians make campaign speeches that cater to the powerful god of self. The advertising industry dedicates itself to feeding the god of self. We even have a magazine called Self. Pick up a dictionary and you’ll find as many as 3 pages filled with words that begin with the prefix self, from self-absorbed to self-worth. How concisely that demonstrates our obsession with self!”
– This is not only a knowledge of facts, but a knowledge gained through experience that, in its surpassing greatness, transforms the entire person. The following verses spell this out.– The evaluation of Christ compared to all of the things that the world can offer here is very telling, Paul lined up all the great things that the world can offer then stared at them, then he stared at Jesus Christ and said, you can keep the world – this is called living for Christ with – reckless abandon
3) Being found blameless in Christ (9)
– Not through our own righteousness, doing good things
* Union with Christ – not simply an experience in the past, but a present, continuing relationship; righteousness through faith in Christ is a principal benefit of union with Christ
* Paul correctly states that he wants to be found in Christ, this means innocense, not guilt! This means righteousness not sinfulness!
* The righteousness from obeying the Law or from doing good things, is not what anyone wants to rely on, each and every time the person will be found lacking of goodness/righteousness, they will be found guilty
– We need to stop relying on some kind of union with the powers of this world, and rely on union with Christ, this is not our home, stop trying to remodel it to make it like heaven; people must become disciples of Christ, not moral people
* A.W. Tozer in his book Warfare of the spirit said, “The hope that the nations will accept the ethics of Jesus, disarm and live like brothers is utterly unrealistic and naive. In the first place the teachings of Jesus were never intended for the nations of the world. Our Lord sent His followers into all the world to make and baptize disciples. These disciples were taught to follow the commands of Christ. They would become a minority group, a peculiar people, in the world but not of it, sometimes tolerated but more often despised and persecuted. And history demonstrates that this is exactly what happened wherever groups of people took the gospel seriously.”
– Righteousness from God on the basis of faith in Christ
* Paul wants the righteousness/goodness that comes from God, that is great, how do you get that? Not from doing good things, but by trusting/believing in what Jesus Christ did on the cross and through His resurrection, by faith
– Ray Comfort in his book The Way of the Master gives the following diagnosis to our presentation and form of Christianity, “If those who say, ‘God has a wonderful plan for your life’ were ‘converted’ under the same gospel that they share, and they did not repent, then there may be some truth in what they are saying. If they continue to live in lawlessness, they will not have a struggle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. If they are friends with the world, they will flow with it rather than against it, and therefore will not have tribulation in it. Those that come to Christ seeking happiness have ‘found religion’ and think that by going to church on Sunday morning they are all right with God, and this calms their nagging consciences. They may have actually found happiness in their new lifestyle – but they haven’t found new life in Christ.”
– God wants His people to view knowing Him as more important than anything else in the world, and that they should want to receive righteousness from Him through faith in His Son.
4) A desire to know Christ (10-11) – recklessly abandoning all other pursuits, to pursue Christ
– Power of His resurrection
* this knowledge is not merely factual, it includes the experience of the power of His resurrection – Paul really wants to experience the power that raised Christ from the dead – see Ephesians 1:17-20
* Henry Blackaby in his book Experiencing the Cross says the following, “You and I must ask ourselves some crucial questions: How is the cross affecting my life? Is my life centered on the cross? Is that the reality – not just in my ‘theology’ but in my experience? Am I experiencing the life of the living Lord? Or…does the world still have priority in shaping how I spend my time, energy, thoughts, and all that I have? Am I in any way quenching and resisting His activity in my life, setting aside the grace of God, so that the cross of Christ is made of no effect in me?”
* The Navigators mission statement is “to know Christ and to make Him known.” A.W. Tozer makes a similiar statement in his book Warfare of the spirit, “The task of the church is twofold: to spread Christianity throughout the world and to make sure that the Christianity she spreads is the pure NT kind.”
– Fellowship of His sufferings
* Paul wants to actually experience suffering for Christ, to bring Himself closer to Jesus – see Acts 9:16
– Conformed to His death
* Paul wants to wants to experience everything, to know Jesus so closely that he is conformed to the death of Christ – see 2 Cor 4:7-12; 12:9-10
– Resurrection from the dead
* As true believers in Christ, we already share positionally in the death and resurrection of Christ – see Rom 6:12-13; Col 2:12-13
* Pauls wants to experience everything, to know Jesus so closely that he will even be resurrected from the dead, like Jesus was.
* Paul wants to know Jesus so much, he wants to suffer for Him, die for Him, and raise again from the dead, just like Jesus
* He doesn’t just want to hear about Jesus, and know about Him, he wants to experience Him
– Christians should view knowing Christ as more important than anything else in the world, and that we should want to receive righteousness from God through faith in Christ.
– What are the 4 priorities for living a life of reckless abandon for Christ: (1) Knowing Christ is more important than possessions and accomplishments; (2) Knowing Christ is more important than everything in the world; (3) Being found blameless in Christ; (4) A desire to know Christ
– Are you living a life of reckless abandon? It is possible you might be, but are you living it for Jesus Christ and His glory? We must give up our own comfort, to live a life of reckless abandon. God is not just calling us out of our comfort zones, He is commanding us to get out of our comfort zones!
– A Christian who is not living a life of reckless abandon for Jesus Christ, is not living the Christian life the way that it was meant to be lived! We must become authentic, fully committed followers of Christ!