The Possessions Of A Covenant People Sermon Illustrations

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The Possessions Of A Covenant People


Phil. 3:1-3 THE POSSESSIONS OF A COVENANT PEOPLE

Intro: Ill. The importance and significance that God attaches to a covenant. (Ill. Gen. 9:12-16; Ill. Gen. 13:15) A covenant is not a contract. A contract is an agreement that can be broken by either party. A covenant, on the other hand, is an agreement that is binding for as long as the initiator lives. Since all the covenants in the Bible originate with the Lord, then they are all forever! For centuries, the Jews were the covenant people of God. God isn’t done with them yet. However, they felt as though they had a corner on religion. (Ill. This is the problem the Philippians were facing. It seems that certain Judaizers were trying to force these gentile Christians into a Jewish mold. That is the teaching that Paul is writing about here.) Yet, when their long awaited Messiah came to them, they rejected Him, John 1:11. As a result, the Lord initiated a new covenant. Those people who are partaker of that new covenant have certain possessions that mark them as being different from the rest of the religious world. Allow me to take a few minutes and share these possessions of a covenant people with you.

 

I. OUR STATUS AS BELIEVERS

A. Ill. The Judaizers and their attempts at forcing the Law. Theirs was a mixture of Law and grace that did nothing but confuse and enslave those deceived by it. (Ill. No difference between what they taught and what the religious world teaches today!)

B. Ill. "We are the circumcision." Paul says that those who have believed in Jesus, the author of the new covenant, are the true covenant people of the Lord! (Ill. Rom. 2:29; Col.2 :11-12) Ill. This was not a new idea – Deut. 30:6.

C. As believers, we are free from the statutes of men, and the bondage of religious legalism! (Ill. Paul’s contempt for these people – Dogs, evil workers, mutilators!) Ill. If we are in Christ, then we are free – John 8:36; Rom. 8:33-34. (Ill. Even God is not ashamed to be associated with us – Heb. 11:16!

  •  
  • II. OUR STANDARD OF WORSHIP

    A. Ours is not a worship based in fleshly ritual! (Sacrifices, ordinances, rituals, etc!) (Ill. The woman at the well – John 4:19-24.)

  • (Ill. Lutheran church in Denmark! Every time the worshippers would enter this little Danish church, they would turn to the right and bow to the wall. An observer asked why this was done. The only answer he got was, "We've always done it this way." After researching the history of the church, he found that it used to be a Catholic church and that a painting of Mary used to adorn that wall. When the reformation came, the painting was painted over, but the people continued to bow to the white wall. After many years, the reason for the practice was forgotten, but the tradition continued. It was nothing more than a religious ritual.)(Ill. Other religions!)
  • B. Ours is a spiritual worship that flows forth from our hearts. As the Christian ponders the greatness of God, the blessings of the Lord, and the work God has done on his behalf, worship and praise are the natural results. (Ill. The Demoniac – Mark 5:15-20)

    C. Ill. All other forms of worship glorify the flesh! Genuine worship that exalts Jesus and honors God, worship that flows from a redeemed heart, glorifies the Lord in Heaven. (Ill. Instead of elevating the worshipping Christian, true worship will often belittle you in the eyes of others!)

     

    III. OUR SOURCE OF REJOICING

    A. Ill. "rejoicing" = to make a boast. Ill. The Jews were notorious for their boastfulness in their religious practices, Ill. Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; 23:5-7.

    B. The only ground of boasting for the Christian is the name of Jesus – Eph. 2:8-9. We were nothing when He found us, and every thing we are and hope to be, we owe to Him!

    C. Our boasting is in Jesus and His finished and unfinished work on our behalf!

    1. Finished – Redemption, Salvation, Glorification, etc.

    2. Unfinished – Day by day provision, Grace, Heaven, etc.

    D. Ill. There is no room for boasting in who we are and what we have done – Ill. 2 Men in the Temple – Luke 18:9-14.

     

    IV. OUR SPHERE OF CONFIDENCE

    A. Not in the flesh, religion, or what either can accomplish. (Ill. The religionist depends on his works and his system of belief to give him hope for the future.)

    B. We are certainly not depending on the flesh! It can produce nothing of value!

    1. It always seeks to destroy God’s ways – Gen. 6:12

    2. It can never help you in your spiritual walk – John 6:63

    3. There is absolutely no good in the flesh, at all – Rom. 7:18

    The flesh is capable of nothing but evil!

    C. It isn’t this way for the true Christian at all! His soul confidence is in the Lord Jesus and His finished work at Calvary. (Ill. It’s all I have to cling to!) We are not struggling to enter in, we are resting in a secure thing – Heb. 10:9-14!!

  • (Ill. There can be no mixture of grace and works – Ill. There was a lady who argued with her Pastor that salvation was always a mixture of faith and works. She said that it was like a row boat. One oar is faith, and the other is works. If you row with them together, you will make progress and reach the other shore, if you use only one of them, then you will go around in circles. Her Pastor said to her, "There is only one problem with that illustration, nobody goes to Heaven in a row boat!")
  • D. Faith that is in anything but Jesus, or anything plus Jesus is in the wrong place. Faith that resides in Christ alone is a faith that will endure, and that will secure a home in Heaven!

     

    Conc: What a standing is the child of God’s! We have hope of a home in Heaven. Not because of who we are, but because of who Jesus is! We are a different people, praise God! Are these possessions yours? Where is your confidence this evening? Is it in yourself, in your works, your goodness, in your religion? If so, place it in Jesus alone and that will save. Anything else damns! If you faith is in Christ, then rejoice! For you are as sure for Heaven as if you were already standing there. What are you standing on this evening? A firm foundation or shifting sand?

     




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