Secret Of Paul's Success
- SCRIPTURE READING:
Phil. 3:13-14 = "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
- PAUL IN THESE VERSES REVEAL THE SECRET OF HIS GREAT LIFE.
- He tells us hat made him the kind of man he was.
- He gives us four things that made him successful in his service.
- A SENSE OF PERSONAL UNWORTHINESS:
Phil. 3:13 = "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
" [KJV]; "Brethren, I count not myself yet to have
- Though he was a very dedicated to serving the Lord, yet he
was painfully away of his own weakness.
Rom 7:18 = "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but
how to perform that which is good I find not."
- Personal improvement is impossible to the man who does not
see his mistakes and mourn over them.
- SINGLENESS OF PURPOSE:
Phil 3:13 = "
This one thing I do,
- He did not say: These three things, or these two things I
do, but "this one thing I do."
- The rays of the sun, when diffused are relatively impotent;
but, if focused, would burn the world.
- Steam, when diffused, is powerless; but when concentrated
moves giant machines.
- There is likewise, power in the concentration of purpose.
Jer 29:13 = "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye
shall search for me with all your heart."
Matt 22:37 = "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy mind."
Phil 1:21 = "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is
- While on the other hand, a divided life is a weak life and
is at the mercy of circumstances.
Matt 6:24 = "No man can serve two masters: for either he
will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold
to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
James 1:8 = "A double minded man is unstable in all his
Luke 8:14 = "And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares
and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to
- OBLIVION OF THE PAST:
Phil 3:13 = "
Forgetting those things which are behind,
Comment: The runner has no time to cast his eyes over his shoulder
to mark the steps already trod. If the things behind him cannot
make us better, they should be remember no more. Consider the things
that Paul forgot:
- A noble ancestry.
Phil 3:5 = "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of
Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews;
as touching the law, a Pharisee;"
- While our ancestors were heathens, worshipping gods of
their own making, the apostle's ancestors were worshipping
the most high God.
- When Paul became a Christian, he left kindred behind.
- A respectable religion.
Phil 3:3-6 = "For we are the circumcision, which worship
God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no
confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence
in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof
he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth
day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew
of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning
zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which
is in the law, blameless."
Comment: Paul's religion was venerated with traditions of ancient
worthies; but when the Lord called he "was not disobedient
to the heavenly vision." [Acts 26:19].
- Personal accomplishments.
- These included: moral, intellectual and political.
- He did not allow the memory of these things to breed
vanity in his soul.
- His injuries:
- The stripes he had received, bruises, imprisonment, and
- He did not allow any of these things to discourage him
he harbored no malice.
- His miserable mistakes.
- He had persecuted God's Church.
- The memory of his sins, which had been forgiven, did
not thwart his onward march.
- THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS:
Phil 3:14 = "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Comment: From the beginning, God has wanted man to move forward,
hence the arrangement of the lower limbs, the position of his eyes
-- in front and not in the back of the head.
Ex 14:15 = "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest
thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:"
Comment: In the language of the apostle, two ideas are prominent.
- Intensity: "I Press
" The figure is that
of a runner -- body thrown forward, hands extended, eyes fixed
on the goal.
- Direction: "Toward the Mark
- Movement in the wrong direction is not progress.
Comment: I recall one time seeing a football player who
ran with the ball toward the opponent's goal.
- Our aim is on Christ -- which includes:
- Christ likeness in character.
- Christ likeness in service.
- The crown of victory, the heavenly reward.
2 Tim 4:6-8 = "For I am now ready to be offered,
and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept
the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown
of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,
shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto
all them also that love his appearing."
- WE SEE WHAT MADE PAUL A SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN:
- A sense of personal unworthiness.
- Singleness of purpose.
- Oblivion of the past.
- The spirit of progress.
- WE ALL CAN LEARN FROM HIS EXAMPLE TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN.
- THE BIG QUESTION OF THE HOUR IS DO YOU FIRST WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN?
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