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Highly Relevant to One Another's Growth in Discipleship

Gospel Partnership Series


Here is an excerpt from the sermon "Standing Firm in the Lord–Part 1: An Exposition of Philippians 3:15–4:1 Part 1":

"But what is the church as Paul depicts it in Philippians 3:15-17? It is a body of believers making progress together. Some are further along in their walk, and they set an example for us. We watch them; we “imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7); we follow in their footsteps. In due course, we grow into maturity and become examples worth imitating. All true believers, whatever their maturity level, are bound together in the loving fellowship of one body, and we exhibit grace and patience and thanksgiving toward one another. We imitate the more mature members among us, and we desire to be one of those more mature members – not out of pride, but – out of love, that we might be more effective at helping others keep their feet to the path and thus making the whole body stronger. In other words, we are highly relevant to one another’s growth in discipleship! Do you believe this? According to verse 17, you either ought to have your eyes on some people in this church with a view toward imitating them, or other people in this church ought to have their eyes on you with a view toward imitating you – and quite possibly it ought to be both at the same time, as there are those ahead of us and those behind us when it comes to maturity. But levels of maturity notwithstanding, we are one church family; all the members are “side by side” (Philippians 1:27) moving in the same direction; we are growing in Christ together. Here is not “abstract theology”, but theology that is visibly lived out for the benefit of others and for the glory of God."