Sermon on Sunday, March 10, 2013 by Pastor Thomas Tate


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Sermon Outline


  • I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus


  • Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.

–      Ecclesiastes 7:10


  • More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.


  • Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same  standard to which we have attained.

–      Philippians 3:8-16


  • Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.  But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.


  • Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.

–      Hebrews 5:11-6:3


  • As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”


  • But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

–      Luke 9:57-62


  • This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.  Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

–      1 Timothy 1:18-20

Sermon-based Bible Study Questions

1. What is something in your past that you can’t seem to get over? Why is the rear view mirror on a car so small compared to the front windshield and why? How does this relate to life?

2. Read Ecclesiastes 7:10.  Do you find yourself thinking of the good old days and hoping that things in America will go back to that one day? The church to go back? Family? What does this passage say about doing that?

3. Read Philippians 3:8-16.  Paul has been serving Christ for 30 year at this point, what is it that Paul says that he needs to forget? Why do you think that is? What is the danger of looking back? Why does he need to press on? How does this apply to us?

4. What happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back (Genesis 19:17,26)?  How can becoming a “pillar” (something unmovable/built in the past) in the church be bad?

5. Is a foundation a house or what it’s built upon?  Read Hebrews 5:11-6:3.  What is our foundation? What kind of house would you look like if you have not built upon that foundation?  What does this passage say is the cause of those who haven’t built on the foundation (5:11)? What are some of the elementary teachings (6:1-3)?  What is required to be mature (5:14)?

6. Read Luke 9:57-62. What are some of the excuses listed? What are some excuses we use today? What is Jesus response to those who aren’t ready to move forward with Him?

7. How do you respond when you are confronted about something others have deemed as wrong or hurtful?  Do you stay in control and try to understand them and take ownership or do you quickly defend yourself and go on the attack? (Be honest).

8. What are you willing to do to start building again? What do you need to leave behind?