Philippians 3:12-16


Speaker: Chad Osbourne
Text: Phil 3:12-16
Date: April 18th-19th, 2015
Theme: Philippians


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recap: teaching points and scripture

BIG IDEA: A Christian Must Learn to Live and Strive In The Tension of “Already & Not Yet”.

A Christian Has Already Been “Made Alive” But Has Not Yet Been Resurrected
A Christian Has Already Won the Race But Has Not Yet Crossed the Finished Line

"What the heart most wants the mind finds reasonable, the affections find desirable, and the will finds doable." - Tim Keller

The Christian Who Thinks “I've Already Matured” Has Not Yet Matured

I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” - John Newton

respond: discussion and action points

For conversation and prayer:
1. Because of Jesus, we’ve been given freedom, righteousness, belonging, adoption, and new life. We have them now. But, we do not have them in their fullness. We already have them, but do not yet have them. It’s an interesting dilemma in the Christian’s life, but Paul looks at it squarely here. In verse 12, after mentioning the resurrection power we have and will receive, he says that he has not yet arrived there. Paul, of all people, said he hasn’t arrived. He is not yet perfect.

  • What are some of the dilemmas and difficulties if we believe “we’ve arrived” in the Christian life?
  • Why is it so important to keep both hands of “already” and “not yet” as part of our understanding of the Christian life?

2. While he isn’t perfect, it was no excuse for Paul to back off of pursuing Christ. Matter of it, he said that he “press[es] on to make it his own…”(v12). That word “press” has to do with total exertion. Not only does Paul know he hasn’t arrived, he is working his tail off. But his work, his effort, his striving doesn’t go to his head for one reason: Christ has already made him his own. In other words, Paul is working hard at the Christian life not to belong to Jesus, but because He belongs to Jesus (v12b).


  • What is the difference between doing things to belong to Jesus vs. doing things because you belong to Jesus?
  • What does it mean to belong to Jesus?

3. In response to this, Paul says that he lives his life “forgetting what lies behind...”

  • Think about Paul’s life. What lies behind? Think about your life. What lies behind? 

He says he is “straining forward to what lies ahead…the upward call of God in Christ.”

  • What does it mean to strain forward toward Christ?