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Make a Fresh Start

June 7th, 2020

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
Philippians 3:4~14 NIV
ピリピ人への手紙 3:4~14 JLB

4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:4~14


ピリピ人への手紙 3:4~14 JLB


We’ve all come to a new church experience with the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over us. This is the new normal and a new challenge is here. I don’t know what you did when we were not meeting together. You probably made some new resolutions, some special changes for the new season—how you’re going to “turn over a new leaf.” We certainly need to do the same as a church.
まだ私たちは、COVID-19のパンデミックの渦中にいますが、このパンデミックを通して、私たちは教会として今までになかった新しい経験をしました。その経験とは、「新しい日常」であり、「新たな課題」のことです。私たちが教会で共に集まることができない間、皆さんがどのように毎日を過ごされていたのかはわかりません。おそらく、新しいシーズンに向けて、 新しい決意をしたり 、特別な変化を感じたりしたことでしょう。

Someone has said, “The trouble with ‘turning over a new leaf’ is that once you’ve done it twice, you’re right back where you started.” This midyear, maybe what we need is not turning over any leaves. Maybe what we need is a “reset.”
「本の新しいページをめくる」という英語の言い回しがあるように、生活を丸々一新することは難しいと思います。それはまるで、一度や二度、本のページをめくっても、また元の場所に戻ってしまうというように難しいのです。しかし、今年の私たちに必要なのは、ページを元に戻さないことかもしれません。必要なのは 「リセット」する、やり直すことなのかもしれません。

How many of you here today would like to have a reset this midyear? All of us here this morning have been through ups and downs and…well, we’d rather not talk about them, right?

Some of us have experienced setbacks, losses, disappointments and failures in our lives. Sometimes we allow these mistakes, these setbacks and failures to enslave us to the point that we never enjoy the full life that God wants us to experience.

But I want you to know that God wants you to have a fresh start this time.

Please open your Bibles to Philippians 3:4~14. Let me share with you four (4) ways we can have a fresh start in life this morning.
聖書を開いて、ピリピ人への手紙3章4~14節を読んでください。 今朝は、私たちが人生の新たなスタートを切るための4つの方法を紹介します。

  1. Get Your Eternal Destiny Settled – verses 4~9
    あなたの永遠の運命を決める – 4~9節

Before Paul’s conversion, he thought that his salvation all depended on HIM and he was trusting himself. He said in Philippians 3:4: “… though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:”

He elaborates on this false foundation for salvation in verses 5~6:

  1. Before he discovered the truth, he relied on his RELIGIOUS HERITAGE – He says in verse 5a –”circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews”

Some people think they’re going to heaven because they were born in a Christian family. But your religious heritage won’t save you. Being born in a Christian family, even a pastor’s family, will no more make one a child of God than being born in a garden makes one a cabbage:). The truth of the matter is that you can’t, for each of us must answer to God for ourselves.

  1. Paul also relied on his RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION to put him into a right relationship with God – He further said in verse 5b, “…in regard to the law, a Pharisee…”

He prided himself in being a member of the strictest religious sect of his day, which he thought secured God’s approval. But he came to understand that his religious affiliation was of no value. You cannot get to heaven by your membership in a certain church. See, being a Baptist or a Lutheran or an Anglican or a Pentecostal will not make you right with God and wash away sins, for salvation is not about denominational affiliation.

  1. Third, Paul trusted in his SINCERITY to gain God’s approval – verse 6a – “…as for zeal, persecuting the church…” Paul was so sincere in his religious doctrine that he thought he was doing right by persecuting the early church. But he later found out that he was deluded.

Many think that as long as they are sincere, in the end, God will accept them. Have you ever heard someone say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, so long as you’re sincere”? That’s not true. It’s possible to be sincere but be sincerely wrong!

Personal Illustration:  I have difficulty recognizing some colors. Sometimes, I have to confirm with my wife if I’m using the same color pair of socks! No matter how sincere I am, I can be sincerely wrong with my color choices!

A lot of people are like that: They’re very sincere (in many ways, not just) in their religious beliefs. But God says there’s only a certain way to Him. If you go any other way, it doesn’t matter how sincere you are—you’re going the wrong way and you’ll end up at the wrong destination. And, there’s only one other destination besides heaven and it’s called, hell!

  1. Fourth, Paul said he relied on his PERSONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS to get him into heaven – verse 6b – “…as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.”
    To get to heaven, God is not interested in OUR righteousness.
    第四に、パウロは、自分が天国に行くためには、法律による自分の義を信じると言っています。6節 には、自分のことを「 律法の義については落ち度のない者である。」と書いています。
  • Isaiah 64:6 says, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”
  • Titus 3:5 affirms that “He saved us, NOT because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

What I’ve just shared with you are four (4) things Paul was trusting in to please God and secure eternal life for himself—four of the same things many today are trusting in.

But in verses 7~8, Paul tells how he came to see the worthlessness of these things to gain God’s approval, and he threw them in the garbage so that he could win CHRIST – “7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

Paul discovered the truth of how to get to God and obtain eternal life in heaven:

  1. He realized that the righteousness required to get to heaven is not self-generated; it is bestowed by God. In verse 9 he says, “9 And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

The righteousness we must have is not our OWN righteousness, but righteousness that comes from GOD as a gift. God alone is perfectly holy and entirely righteous.

That’s the only way anyone can be saved—we must have GOD’S righteousness. Christ died on the cross for our sins, and when He did, He bore our sins on the cross, but what is not often understood is that when we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, WE RECEIVE HIS PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS. It’s an exchange. Let me show you a verse that proves that:

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
コリント人への第二の手紙5章21節 – 神はわたしたちの罪のために、罪を知らないかたを罪とされた。それは、わたしたちが、彼にあって神の義となるためなのである。

  1. The second truth Paul discovered about how to get to heaven is that this righteousness from God is received by faith in Jesus Christ. He says in the middle of verse 9 – “…that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God”

How can you receive God’s righteousness? Simply believe in Jesus Christ. “Believe” means to “trust in; rely on; put your faith in.” “You mean all I have to do is trust in Jesus?”—Yes, that’s ALL you must do.
どのようにすれば、神の義を受けることができるのでしょうか?答えは簡単です。イエス・キリストを信じるだけなのです。「信じる」とは、「信頼する、頼る、信頼を置く」という意味です。そうすると、「イエスを信じるだけでいいのですか?」とあなたは思うかもしれませんが、 そうです。「イエスを信じるだけでいい」のです。

To have a fresh start in life this midyear, first of all get your salvation settled. Believe in Jesus Christ who loves you so much, He died for your sins and do it TODAY!

  1. Get to Know God in His Fullness – verse 10

What did Paul say was his goal?—Look at verse 10 – “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

In a nutshell, Paul said he gave up religion and rule keeping and religious affiliation and misplaced zeal in order to know Christ in three (3) ways:

  1. First, he wanted to know Christ PERSONALLY – “I want to know Him…”
    It’s about having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the living God as real as knowing your own spouse.
    まず、パウロはキリストを個人的に知りたいと思っていました。「神を知りたい」 という気持ちを持っていたのです。
  1. Paul also wanted to know Christ POWERFULLY – He said, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection…” – He wanted to know the power that raised Christ from the dead!

Paul didn’t want a dead RELIGION based on his own power and strength. He wanted a vibrant RELATIONSHIP with God that transformed his life supernaturally, just as God supernaturally raised Christ from the dead.

  1. But Paul also wanted to know Christ PAINFULLY – “…and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…”

Modern Christians want an easy faith that involves no sacrifice or suffering. Not Paul. To REALLY know someone in the most intimate sense is to be there in their pain as well as in the good times.

Every truly born-again Christian knows Christ; but most also know that it’s really in the midst of struggle and trial and suffering that we REALLY come to know Christ intimately. It’s usually only then that we call out to God and truly seek Him and so many times it’s then that people look back and say, “That’s when I REALLY came to KNOW Christ.”

  1. Put the Past Behind You – verse 13
    過去を振り返らない- 13節

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”

Paul had cast off religion and embraced a relationship with Jesus. But he says, I have not yet “taken hold of it.” That means, “I have not arrived spiritually.”
パウロは宗教を捨て、イエス様との関係を受け入れました。しかし、彼は言っています、「私はまだ それをとらえたとは思っていない」と。つまり、「霊的にまだ到達していない」と言っているのです。

If Paul, the apostle, had not “arrived” spiritually, where in the world does that leave you and me? You may or may not have tried to live for the Lord in the past. Either way, we know we have failed the Lord many times.

In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.” Satan wants you to wallow in defeat and to feel intense guilt for your past actions, both before and after you trusted in Christ as Savior. But Paul has a different solution. He says, “Forget what is behind you.”
黙示録12章10節では、サタンは 『われらの兄弟らを訴える者』と呼ばれています。サタンは、あなたが敗北にうずくまり、救い主としてのキリストを信頼する前も後も、あなたの過去の行動に対して強い罪悪感を感じることを望んでいます。しかし、パウロは別の解決策を持っていました。その解決法とは『過去のものを忘れる』ということです。

Let’s realize the fullness of God’s forgiveness. You may see yourself as a failure and maybe, humanly speaking, you are. But God sees you in Christ—forgiven and perfect in God’s sight!

So Paul says, “Forget the ways you blew it in the past and reach forth to the victory God wants you to have in the future.” Once you have done that, don’t live in guilt and self-loathing; live in God’s forgiveness!

In that same way, we must put behind us the bitterness toward those who have wronged us.

The writer of Hebrews warns us in Hebrews 12:14~15: “14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

If you have been offended, God gives you the grace to forgive that person, and if you do not forgive them, the writer here says you “fall short of God’s grace.” But here’s the scary part: When we don’t forgive, a root of bitterness springs up in us, and through it MANY ARE DEFILED. Bitter people affect everyone around them…their kids, their family, their friends.
もしあなたが、誰かに不愉快な思いをさせられたとしましょう。そして、神が恵みを与えて、その人を赦しているにもかかわらず、あなたがその人を赦さないならば、あなたは 「神の恵みからはぶかれる」と、警告しているのです。しかし、ここからが怖いところです。私たちが人を赦さないならば、私たちの心の中に苦渋の根が湧き上がり、そのような苦々しい思いによって多くの人々の心を汚してしまうことになるのです。苦々しい心を持った人は、周りの人に影響を与えます。彼らの子供、彼らの家族、彼らの友人にまで影響を与えてしまいます。

God has a better way – Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:31~32, “31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

  1. Persevere In Pursuing Christ – verse 14
    キリストを粘り強く追求する- 14節

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Here is the key to finish the course. That is to “…press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us]…” The word “goal” referred to the white finish line in a Greek Olympic race.

The word for press here is the same Greek word that is found in verse 12, which literally means, to “follow after.” It’s the Greek word dióko, which when used of a race, meant, “to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after; to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal; to pursue.” It’s the idea of being in a race and seeing the finish line, and running hard and with an unfailing persistence and reaching forth with all one’s might to reach the finish line. It implies persistence and fortitude to reach the goal and NOT GIVE UP!
ここでの「プレス」という言葉は、12節にあるギリシャ語の言葉と同じで、文字通り「後に続く」という意味です。これはギリシャ語のdiókoで、レースで使われる時には、「人や物を捕まえるために素早く走る、追いかけるために走る、押し進める:比喩的には、レースでゴールに到達するために素早く走る人のことで、追いかけるために 」という意味で使われます。レースに出て、ゴールを見て、一生懸命走って、粘り強く、全力でゴールを目指すという意味です。プレスとは、ゴールに到達するための粘り強さと不屈の精神を意味しています。

So Paul is saying, “I gave up religion for a relationship with Christ. I’ve put my past sins and failures behind me and I’m looking ahead to serving God with all my heart. Now I’m pressing toward the finish line. I won’t give up till I reach heaven, the finish line. I won’t quit. I won’t stop. And if I fall, I’ll get up and keep in the race and press on.”


Despite the novel coronavirus setback, this year could be the greatest, happiest year of victory and spiritual advancement in our life. How can that be possible?

First, get your salvation settled. Begin by bowing your head and telling God you acknowledge that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sin. Tell Him you are trusting in HIM to save you, not your own works. Ask Him to become your Lord and Savior from now on. If you do it, God promises to forgive you of all sin and give you eternal life.

Second, get to KNOW Christ. Get to know Him PERSONALLY by trusting in Him. Get to know Him POWERFULLY by listening to Him in His Word, by obeying Him, and by listening to and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Know Him INTIMATELY by calling out to Him in the midst of your trial, getting into the Word of God in the midst of your trial and seeking His face and asking God to reveal Himself to you, and trusting Him through the trial.

Third, put your failures and your sins behind you by repentance and confession, and put your offenses and hurts behind you with forgiveness and tenderheartedness.

Finally, follow Christ with all your heart unswervingly. PURSUE the Lord; never give up; persevere to the end. And if you do fail, go back to the point number 3: Put the past behind you, get back in the race, get your eye on the finish line again, and keep on keeping on for God.