TEXT: Philippians 3:7-15
Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome to present their bodies “a living sacrifice.” This metaphor referred to the bringing of sacrifices to the altar of God. The person making an offering selected the choicest of his flock, one without blemish, and brought it to the altar and presented it there as an atonement for his sins. We, too, are included in Paul’s exhortation. When Jesus, the Lamb of God, died to take away the sin of the world, He made it possible for Christians to be living sacrifices to God. We are to give ourselves wholly to the Lord, just as the burnt offering was wholly given on the altar—no part held back for any other use. The whole man—body, mind, and soul—is to be given to God. When this has been done, we can live a holy life, one that is “wellpleasing” to God (Hebrews 13:21), and we can know that our future is in God’s hands.
- At the end of the key verse we read: “. . . which is your reasonable service.” After reading the introduction to this lesson, how could offering this type of complete sacrifice be considered “reasonable service”?
- Review the lessons from this quarter, and give several ways we can glorify God in our body and spirit.
- Excerpts from Adam Clarke’s commentary on Philippians 3:13-14 give some clarification: “Whatever gifts, graces, or honors I may have received from Jesus Christ, I consider everything as incomplete till I have finished my course, have received this crown, and have had my body raised and fashioned after His glorious body. The sole business of my life is to forget those things which are behind and reach forth to those things which are before. In other words, my conduct is not regulated nor influenced by that of others. If others think they have time to loiter or trifle, I have none. Time is flying. Eternity is at hand and all is at stake.” Give an example from daily life (either hypothetical or real) that would give the impression that one is living by this Scripture.
- In verses 12 and 13 of our text, Paul says he had not yet “attained,” meaning he had not yet reached the goal. But a very good formula is given in verses 13 and 14 to help one in reaching the goal. What is it and what does it have to do with our future?
- A traditional phrase in Christian churches is, “I will go where You want me to go, I will say what You want me to say, and I will do what You want me to do.” While these are noble words of actions which will affect your future, what might be some indication that you really meant what you said?
- Many times we feel the excitement of a revival and determine in our minds that we are going to consecrate everything to God, including our future. But Satan is also aware of these good intentions, and after you tell the Lord that your life is totally submitted to Him, Satan will try to cause you to ease up and be less “radical” about all this. You see, Satan knows total commitment to Christ means NO commitment to him, so a war will take place. However, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). How far-reaching might the results be if we turn back from a total commitment of our future to the Lord? See Psalm 106:15.
In concluding this lesson as well as this quarter, it is obvious that we must first decide where we will place Jesus in our lives. Jesus teaches that we should love Him more than anyone or anything—no other relationship can compare with our relationship with Him. We must be willing to say from the depths of our being that He will have preeminence over all others. We must be willing to say, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This is the only proper response that we can give God for the great things He has done for us. There is no way to be holy other than by being instruments set apart by God to fulfill His purposes in our world. Holiness is not a “better than you” attitude, but a willingness to let God set you apart for His work. Will you let Him? We do not know what the future holds, but we can know the One who holds the future.