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Intro: In these verses here in Philippians chapter 3, we find the Apostle Paul taking a spiritual inventory of his life. He tells of his pedigree in verses 4-6. In these verses, Paul relates that if any man could claim works as his banner, then Paul was that man. However, in verses 7-12, Paul tells us that all those things he had formerly counted on were just so much dung before God. He tells us that the most important thing in life is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. So that when we arrive before God in Heaven, we will not appear there in our own flawed, sinful righteousness, (Isa. 64:6), but we will be able to stand before God in the righteousness of Christ and be accepted into Heaven on that basis, (Eph. 1:6). What we find here, is that Paul, with all his accomplishments and his great spiritual lineage was still unsatisfied with where he was with the Lord, v. 12-13a. As Paul begins to look at his life, he sees himself as a man who has not yet arrived and one who stands in need of improvement. In essence, he is describing every person here today. Most of us have the testimony that we are saved by grace and on our way to Heaven. However, I would venture to say that not a single one of us is completely content with where we are before the Lord. Anyone, who is, is in great danger at the very heart of his or her spiritual life. When we get satisfied, we get complacent and when we get complacent, we cease to grow as a believer. While this is true for the individual, it is equally true for the church as a whole. I believe that we here at Gilead Baptist have a lot to be thankful for. God has blessed us greatly and we have seen His do many wonderful and exciting things here as the years have passed. Even now, we are seeing the church grow and we are experiencing His blessings both spiritually and materially. However, there is always the danger that we will become complacent and become satisfied with things as they are. Therefore, this morning I want to give you three looks that Gilead Baptist Church needs to take to keep from falling into the quagmire of complacency that has trapped so many other churches.If we will take these three looks, we will never be truly satisfied, but we will always be striving to go farther in Jesus. My prayer in preaching this sermon is that Gilead Baptist Church will never be guilty of becoming complacent, but that we will always strive to get closer to Jesus and be more of what He wants us to be.


A. Look Review) What I am talking about is taking a spiritual inventory. As individuals and as a church body, we should list our accomplishments, our failures, our hopes, our dreams, etc. We need to see again where we came from and how we got to this place.

1. As An Individual, does your backward look include salvation? If so, then praise the Lord that you are saved and rejoice in your new life in Christ. If not, then do something about it and come to Jesus right now and be saved! Does your past include failures? Successes? Shattered dreams? Unrealized goals? Often, it is painful to review our past, but it is helpful to keep us from making the same mistakes again! It may be painful, but look back and take that inventory of your life.2. As a church body, does our backward look include times when we, as a body, have made mistakes? When we have failed? When we have achieved some level of success? Are there unreached goals? Are there shattered lives that lay in the wake of this church? Again, these things may be painful to remember, but pain the first step in healing the wounds of the past!

B. Learn (Remember) The wise man and the wise congregation will look back on the past and will learn from it. We will do our best to see that we are never again guilty of repeating the same mistakes. Yes, we all do things wrong. But, we should be wise enough to learn from those things so that we will never be guilty of them again!

C. Leave(Repent and let it go) If, in your spiritual inventory, you found areas of failure and times when mistakes were made, then those things need to be left where they are in the past! When we are guilty before God, the answer lies in repentance. If we are willing to turn from those sins, then God is willing to forgive us, (1 John 1:9). Then, if we have repented of those sins, and done everything in our power to make them right, we are clear of them in the Lord's eyes, Rom. 8:33-34! All I am saying is this: Do not beat yourself to death over things that happened yesterday, if you have repented of them and made them right. Walk away from them and leave them behind!

1. As individuals, we are constantly beating ourselves up over things that were done before we were even saved. Well, it doesn't have to be that way. After all, the person who did all those awful things is dead, and a new man has taken his place; Rom 6:8; 2 Cor. 5:17. (Ill. Some folks just can't seem to get past their past.)

2. For the church, there is always a danger of looking back. Too many churches have allowed themselves to become just shells of what they were formerly. When this happens, and a backward look is taken, too often, churches and church members just want to go on living in the past instead of striving in the present. (Ill. Too many live with, "I remember when…")(Ill. John Claypool tells the story of "two Buddhist monks walking in a thunderstorm. They came to a swollen stream. A beautiful young Japanese woman in a kimono stood there wanting to cross to the other side, but afraid of the currents.
"One of the monks said, 'Can I help you?'
"'I need to cross this stream,' replied the woman.
"The monk picked her up, put her on his shoulder, carried her through the swirling waters, and put her down on the other side. He and his companion then went on to the monastery.
That night his companion said to him, 'I have a bone to pick with you. As Buddhist monks, we have taken vows not to look on a woman, much less touch her body. Back there by the river you did both.'
"'My brother,' answered the other monk, 'I put that woman down on the other side of the river. You're still carrying her in your mind.'

"How easy it is to be obsessed with the past at the expense of the future.")

3. Learn to shake off the past and leave it behind. If you don’t as an individual, or if we don't as a church, then it will only serve as a weight to hinder us a to drag us down, Heb. 12:1.


A. At How We Live ; (Ill. Paul was doing his best to live for Jesus. He was "pressing" forward. Ill. "Press" = "to run after a thing in order to lay hold on it." Paul’s Christian life wasn’t a hit or miss thing. He was all out for Jesus. Nothing else in life mattered as much as living for the Lord.) There are to ways that we should all be living.

1. For Jesus ; 1 Cor. 13:31 ; Every activity, every attitude, every actions, everything should be to His glory and His honor! This applies to this church as well as it does to every individual here. We must be living for Jesus with all that we have within us. Does this characterize your life?

2. By Jesus – Gal. 2:20 – Here is where so many Christians and so many churches miss it. We tend to try to do "Christian" things in our own power. In reality, we are powerless in and of ourselves, John 15:5. As we look around at where we are today as a church body and as individuals, we need to see that we must be allowing Christ to have total control of our lives. We need Jesus and we need Him to be in control. I, personally, do not have enough sense to know how to run this church, or even my own life. I need His power. (Ill. Some people will call that a crutch. But a crutch is just what a crippled man needs! I am not ashamed to say that I need Jesus to be able to make it through life.)

B. At How We Labor – (Ill. Paul was striving and reaching.) He was doing his best for the glory of the Lord! As we take a look at where we are today, how do we stack up as laborers? As individual laborers? As a church body? (Ill. The night is coming – John 9:4. Therefore, we need to throw ourselves into the Lord’s work without reservation. Men and women, we need to gauge our faithfulness, our earnestness, our desire and our motives. We need to see that we are laboring for the Lord. After all, our labor declares the level of our faith – James 2:18.)

C. At How We Love – As we look at where we are individually and corporately, we need to consider just how well we are displaying and dispensing the love of God. We need to develop and always use the right kind of love.

1. For God – Matt. 22:36-37

2. For Our Fellowman - Matt. 22:38-39; John 13:35 (Ill. 1 Cor. 13:1-8)

D. As you take a look at where you are before the Lord this evening, how would you describe your Christian life? Is it pleasing to the Lord? Is there something lacking? Is there sin, or other things that need to be dealt with? How would you honestly sum up your life? What about this church? How do you feel that we are doing as a group of New Testament believers? Is the Lord pleased or grieved when He looks at Gilead Baptist Church? I don’t know the answer to all these questions, but I do know that if there are problems at any level, God offers us a way to make them right today. Our duty is to exercise the open door of grace that He has given to us.


A. We Are Partakers Of A High Calling – We are called:

1. From Sin To Salvation – 1 Peter 2:9; Eph. 2:1-4!

2. From Death Unto Life – John 5:24!

3. From Strangers Into God’s Family – 1 John 3:1-3!

4. From Wanderers To Witnesses – Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19; John 20:21.

B. We Are Partakers Of A Holy Calling – We are called to be separate from the world – 2 Cor. 6:17; 2 Thes. 3:6; 1 Tim. 5:22. Ill. As born again children of God, we should be doing our best to live for the Lord and bring honor to his name by separating ourselves from the world and its filth. God’s desire is that we grow in holiness until we resemble Him – 1 Pet. 1:16.

C. We Are Partakers Of A Heavenly Calling – (Ill. This life is a race, Heb. 12:1-2. Sometimes we are ahead and sometimes, we find ourselves being left behind. Often, this life becomes a struggle. One day, however, it will all be behind us and we will be home with the Lord!) Hang in there believers, stop looking back at the past, instead, look forward to the future. It is bright and never ending! One day, we will be in that Heavenly home. The hoping, dreaming and wishing will be over and we will be forever home with the Lord! (John 14:1-3)

Conc: As we consider these truths today, where do you find yourself?

1. Are you saved?

2. Are you living for the Lord, as you should?

3. Are you living for the future, or are you stuck somewhere in the past?

4. Are you pressing for the mark and reaching for the prize?

5. What about the church? Are we on track? Is all as it should be? Are we effectively doing the Lord’s work and will?

As we celebrate homecoming today, may I remind you that God has blessed us with a great church?!? May I also remind you that He has big plans for us here? Today, I call every individual here and every member of the church family to take these looks very seriously and see where we are and where we are headed. Things are good and they are about to get even better!

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