This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 28 March 2015
Philippians 3:15-21 Citizens of Heaven
are not citizens of the world. Is that a surprise? Not if you’re a Christian.
Paul says in Philippians 3:15-21 that we do not belong to the environment in
which we live. We live elsewhere. Our citizenship is in heaven. We need to know
which realm we are citizens of, because the answer determines our choice of
spiritual maturity of the Philippians was the result of obedience to God’s
principles, disciplines and commands. They were not to let anyone change their
approach to the Christian life. They were to remain faithful to the principles
of God’s word, just like we are to remain faithful.
enemies have a different goal, a different god and a different glory than
Christians. Their grid for making decisions is different as well. Their grid is
earthly things, the Christian’s grid is the things of heaven, which is every
believer’s future home.
Jesus Christ is immortal, infinite God and his words are completely
trustworthy, our future is eternally secure with him. It doesn’t matter is we
have little faith and great faith. It doesn’t matter if we are mature disciples
or immature ones. It doesn’t matter if we have been a Christian for many years
or if we have just recently received Christ. We are on our way to heaven. Our
hope is secure in Christ.
word “lowly” is not a derogatory term. It refers to our weak, limited bodies in
their earthly condition. Many Greek pagans believed that the body was a vile
prison for the soul. Christians see the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Paul looked forward to every Christian’s eternal hope-the day when the bodies
of the saints would be redeemed and refashioned like the glorified body of
Christ and all made new. We will be transformed so that we will be
calls on us to behave in a way that is consistent with our spiritual lives and
our practical daily lives. Part of this behaviour is learning to say “yes” to
Christ in every area of our lives every day. Our consent is necessary for the
Holy Spirit to transform our lives. We must be faithful to the truth of God’s
are many people who are enemies of the cross of Christ. Their minds are set on
their fleshly appetites. They refuse to be open to the transforming power of
God’s love. If they refuse to accept the death of their old, earthly lives,
their fate is destruction. If we feel that we are at home on earth, we are
headed for disaster. We are to shed tears for them and pray that they may be
led by the Holy Spirit to see the Saviour, his cross and the empty tomb. We are
to pray that they will see that in Christ there is salvation and eternal life.
are called on to be humble models of Christian life. We have been rescued from
the old, earthbound humanity. We are to be models for Christians who are still
held captive to an earthly life. We are aliens in this world, and we must not
forget our true, heavenly home. We were not made for earth. We will have
moments of joy here on earth, but they do not compare to the happiness we will
have in heaven.
wants us to focus on where God is and where we are going. We experience the
pull of the world every day, and every day we are tempted to make plans for our
worldly lives.Instead, we should be
busy making plans for our eternal lives. We must take pleasure in pleasing
Christ and Christ alone. Our spiritual home is of greater value because of its
eternal nature. Our citizenship lies there. We who are faithful to God will be
richly rewarded in heaven.
we set our mind on heavenly things, we see ourselves as pilgrims on earth. We
appreciate our heavenly citizenship, especially since Jesus bought it with his
blood. We begin to look forward to Christ’s return. We look forward to having
Christ change our bodies into ones like his. If we want to see further ahead
into God’s will for our lives, we have to move ahead into the will of God just
as far as we can see.
are citizens of Christ’s heavenly city, which is governed by the gospel. Our
true citizenship exists now in the foreign land called heaven. We must be
heavenly-minded if we are to do Christ’s work here on earth. If we are citizens
of heaven, it means that we follow Christ’s example as modeled by Paul, acting
in humility and self-sacrificial service to others.
we imitate Paul’s behaviour, and as we learn from the faith and life of our
Christian brothers and sisters, the result is a community of people who
resemble Christ. Jesus’ life and ministry is our example. Jesus showed us what
it’s like to be fully human, to be right with God, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
we see ourselves as God’s special creation, we must walk in agreement with God.
Agreement that he has forgiven us. Agreement that he will give us the strength
we need. Agreement that we have been created for a purpose and that God will
help us achieve that purpose. That purpose is to share Christ with the world. Our
interactions with others will shape their understanding of what it means to
lead with humility and confidence. Who may be trying to follow our example as a
leader? When other people look at our lives, do they see someone who is
learning to lead like Jesus?
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, NKJV (Brentwood,
TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013)
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 31: Galatians/Ephesians/Philippians/Colossians/Philemon
(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1982)
3.Lucado, M.: The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible (Nashville,
TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2010)