Sermon by Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor, from Isaiah 5:1-7 and Philippians 3:5-14.
It is a hard thing to keep your head when others around you are losing theirs. Those who do the most good in the world are those who focus on one thing.
The readings for this Sunday’s message place before us the Apostle Paul’s spiritual ambition. The Apostle says that there is one thing he does in pursuit of that ambition; he presses on. However, pressing on calls for him to hold on because he is held (vs12), forget what is behind (vs13), and stretch to what’s ahead (vs14). This sermon’s focus is on the spiritual discipline of keeping the main thing the main thing. Like Paul, we don’t want present circumstances to distract us from our future goal; the perfection of Christ likeness.
That is what happened with the house of Israel and the men of Judah in our Old Testament reading. (Isa.5:7) God had been at work in them, but they didn’t work out what God had worked in. The result was that they were removed from the land where God had planted them. As God’s people we have been given a heavenly, upward calling. I shudder to think of what happens if we lose sight of this call!
How do we keep from becoming distracted? Like the Apostle, we turn to the gospel. In the gospel we remember that righteousness is not our own, but comes through faith in Christ. It’s a righteousness from God and is by faith. The one thing that we help one another do is to keep the gospel before us when present troubles would have us look elsewhere. Press on.