LA COURSE DU CHRETIEN VERS LA PERFECTION

 

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CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

Sunday January 5th 2020

Sermon by Past. Marc E Simeon

The Christian Race Toward Perfection

La Course du Chrétien Vers la Perfection

Philippians 3:13-15

Php 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (NKJV)

13 Frères, je ne pense pas l’avoir saisi; mais je fais une chose: oubliant ce qui est en arrière et me portant vers ce qui est en avant, (LSV)

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

14 je cours vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus-Christ. (LSV)

15 ¶ Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (NKJV)

15 ¶ Nous tous donc qui sommes parfaits, ayons cette même pensée; et si vous êtes en quelque point d’un autre avis, Dieu vous éclairera aussi là-dessus. (LSV)

INTRODUCTION

The Apostle Paul is remarkable in his usage of metaphoric language to communicate the truth of the Gospel.

Among others he uses the followings:

  • The Christian as a military: Put on the full armor of God.) Revêtez-vous de toutes les armes de Dieu
  • The Christian as an architecture; (You are the temple of God.) (Vous êtes le temple de Dieu.)
  • The Christian as a sacrificial lamb: (Present yourself as a living sacrifice acceptable unto God.) Je vous exhorte donc, frères, par les compassions de Dieu, à offrir vos corps comme un sacrifice vivant, saint, agréable à Dieu
  • In this instance The Christian is compared as an athlete: ( Run toward the goal to win the prize of the upward call.) 14 je cours vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus-Christ. (LSV)

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A RACE

  • What better way to compare the Christian life than that of an athlete on a race track.
  • It is noteworthy to say that Paul is not suggesting salvation by work in using this metaphor. For he wrote to the Ephesians stating: for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not of works, that no man should glory. Eph 2:8-9 (ASV).

In the same manner of salvation, the notion of Christian perfection is a three dimensional process.

  • It involves past, present, and future implications.
  • It starts with justification: once the repented sinner places his faith on the finish work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary and acknowledges Him as Savior and Lord over his life, he is thereby declared legally justified and by default declared perfect in the sight of God.
  • Beyond that initial stage, the newly born Christian undergoes a transitional stage whereby, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit he is expected to mature to the likeness of Christ.

The process involves real hardship, endurance, and discipline.

  • Paul displays it as a strict race, where the participants can be disqualified if they do not play according to the rules of the game.
  • Paul affirmed the Philippians that he was persuaded that He (the Holy Spirit) who began this good work in them will be faithful to complete it for the day of Jesus Christ.
  • No Christian has the luxury of being spared this maturing process in his or her life.
  • Although ‘faith in Christ’ is the determining factor in one’s salvation, progressive perfection is the indicating factor of the experience of salvation.

Illustration of the butterfly

Not every crippling insect can or will become a butterfly even if it undergoes some of the same stages of a butterfly.

The one that is designated to become butterfly has been wired from birth. Its inclination and actions are that of a butterfly; It naturally goes to the processes of growth, endures alienation, and nearly starvation not in order to become a butterfly, but because it is a butterfly. In due time what it was created for become manifested.

Outline

A. The stages of Christian Perfection

1. Positional perfection in Christ.

a. As many as are perfect. (Phil 3:15; He 10:14)

Php 3:15 ¶ Nous tous donc qui sommes parfaits, ayons cette même pensée; et si vous êtes en quelque point d’un autre avis, Dieu vous éclairera aussi là-dessus. (LSV)

15 ¶ Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (NKJV)

Heb 10:14 Car, par une seule offrande, il a amené à la perfection pour toujours ceux qui sont sanctifiés. (LSV)

14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (NKJV)

b. The Christian has been sanctified in Christ. (1 Cor 1:2; Heb 10:10)

1Co 1:2 à l’Église de Dieu qui est à Corinthe, à ceux qui ont été sanctifiés en Jésus-Christ, appelés à être saints, et à tous ceux qui invoquent en quelque lieu que ce soit le nom de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, leur Seigneur et le nôtre: (LSV)

2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (NKJV)

Heb 10:10 C’est en vertu de cette volonté que nous sommes sanctifiés, par l’offrande du corps de Jésus-Christ, une fois pour toutes. (LSV)

10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NKJV)

2. Progressive perfection toward Christ.

a. Forgetting what lies behind. (3:13a)

b. Reaching forward to what lies ahead. (3:13b)

c. Pressing toward the goal. (3:13c)

3. Complete perfection like Christ.

a. I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet.

b. we shal be like Christ

1Jo 3:2 Bien-aimés, nous sommes maintenant enfants de Dieu, et ce que nous serons n’a pas encore été manifesté; mais nous savons que, lorsque cela sera manifesté, nous serons semblables à lui, parce que nous le verrons tel qu’il est. (LSV)

2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (NKJV)

B- The prizes of the Christian Race. Les récompenses de la course du Chrétien.

  1. The Christian is rewarded for his actions on earth. (Col 3:23-25)

Col 3:23 Tout ce que vous faites, faites-le de bon cœur, comme pour le Seigneur et non pour des hommes,

24 sachant que vous recevrez du Seigneur l’héritage pour récompense. Servez Christ, le Seigneur.

25 Car celui qui agit injustement recevra selon son injustice, et il n’y a point d’acception de personnes.

Col 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

a. Reward of obedience. (Eph 6:1-3)

Re 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Re 22:13 Je suis l’alpha et l’oméga, le premier et le dernier, le commencement et la fin.

14 Heureux ceux qui lavent leurs robes, afin d’avoir droit à l’arbre de vie, et d’entrer par les portes dans la ville!

Eph 6:1 ¶ Enfants, obéissez à vos parents, selon le Seigneur, car cela est juste. 2 Honore ton père et ta mère (c’est le premier commandement avec une promesse), 3 afin que tu sois heureux et que tu vives longtemps sur la terre.

Eph 6:1 ¶ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

b. Reward for those who endures persecution. (Mat 5:10-12; Luke 6:22-23)

Mt 5:10 Heureux ceux qui sont persécutés pour la justice, car le royaume des cieux est à eux!

11 Heureux serez-vous, lorsqu’on vous outragera, qu’on vous persécutera et qu’on dira faussement de vous toute sorte de mal, à cause de moi.

12 Réjouissez-vous et soyez dans l’allégresse, parce que votre récompense sera grande dans les cieux; car c’est ainsi qu’on a persécuté les prophètes qui ont été avant vous.

Mt 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12 “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

c. Reward for the forgiving and merciful Christian. (Luke6 :35-38)

Lu 6:35 Mais aimez vos ennemis, faites du bien, et prêtez sans rien espérer. Et votre récompense sera grande, et vous serez fils du Très-Haut, car il est bon pour les ingrats et pour les méchants.

36 Soyez donc miséricordieux, comme votre Père est miséricordieux.

37 ¶ Ne jugez point, et vous ne serez point jugés; ne condamnez point, et vous ne serez point condamnés; absolvez, et vous serez absous.

38 Donnez, et il vous sera donné: on versera dans votre sein une bonne mesure, serrée, secouée et qui déborde; car on vous mesurera avec la mesure dont vous vous serez servis.

Lu 6:36 “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

37 ¶ “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

2. The crowns of the Believer.

a. The Crown Of Life. La couronne de vie (James 1:12; Rev 2:10)

b. The Crown Of Rejoicing. La couronne de réjouissance (Phil 4:1; 1Thess 2:19)

c. The Crown Of Righteousness. La couronne de justice (2 Tim 4:7-8)

d. The Crown Of Glory. La couronne de gloire (1 Peter 5:4)

Conclusion

  • As a vibrant being going to transitional stages, the Believer is compelled to consciously engage life as an athlete running a race.
  • He who wishes to win the prize of the high calling must know that there can be no room for complaisance.
  • In Hebrews chapter 11, a number of Old Testament Saints who have made it to God’s wall of fame is listed. And the Author goes along to give some of the basis for their nomination.

Heb 11:32 ¶ Et que dirai-je encore? Car le temps me manquerait pour parler de Gédéon, de Barak, de Samson, de Jephthé, de David, de Samuel, et des prophètes,

33 qui, par la foi, vainquirent des royaumes, exercèrent la justice, obtinrent des promesses, fermèrent la gueule des lions,

34 éteignirent la puissance du feu, échappèrent au tranchant de l’épée, guérirent de leurs maladies, furent vaillants à la guerre, mirent en fuite des armées étrangères.

35 Des femmes recouvrèrent leurs morts par la résurrection; d’autres furent livrés aux tourments, et n’acceptèrent point de délivrance, afin d’obtenir une meilleure résurrection;

36 d’autres subirent les moqueries et le fouet, les chaînes et la prison;

37 ils furent lapidés, sciés, torturés, ils moururent tués par l’épée, ils allèrent çà et là vêtus de peaux de brebis et de peaux de chèvres, dénués de tout, persécutés, maltraités,

38 eux dont le monde n’était pas digne, errants dans les déserts et les montagnes, dans les cavernes et les antres de la terre.

  • May extra verses be written to include your pilgrimage to heaven!
  • May your names be pulled out as examples of those who have fought the fight!

AMEN!

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