Escalate Sermon Blog & Connection Point Questions

Pressing on Together - Philippians 3:12-16

June 11, 2012 by Matt Morgan

What's the greatest prize worth chasing after? The answer probably depends on who you ask. Some may say something like a Super Bowl ring, a World Series title, or a green jacket from the Masters. Others might say something like great material wealth or personal health. But for the Apostle Paul the answer was something entirely different. In his mind there was only one prize worth pursuing and the pursuit of that prize was a life-long pursuit - not just for him, but for every believer in Christ. And for Paul, the church at Philippi (as well as the Church today) needed to know what that prize was and they needed to know how they ought to pursue it.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

What if 'Good' Isn't Enough - Philippians 3:1-11

June 4, 2012 by Matt Morgan

There are so many people in our communities today that believe that in order to be in right standing with God their 'good' has to outweigh their 'bad.' Their belief is that God is standing in heaven with a set of scales and that he is constantly placing their 'good' thoughts, words, and actions on one side of the scale and their 'bad' thoughts, words, and actions on the other side. As long as the 'good' side outweighs the 'bad' side they believe that God is pleased with them and will look favorably upon them. The troubling question though is, "What if 'good' isn't enough?" In this week's text we discover that Paul had lived an exceedingly 'good' life in light of Jewish standards - one that surpassed all other Jews. But when it came to his right standing with God it wasn't his 'good' that got him there. In fact his 'good' was actually a bad thing.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

Like Christ, If I Could Be Like Christ - Philippians 2:19-30

May 29, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Twenty years ago Gatorade released a commercial that (in my opinion) had a greater impact than any other commercial I have ever seen. The crazy thing about it though was that the impact the commercial had went far beyond getting people to purchase and drink Gatorade. It inspired an entire generation of boys to aspire to be the best they could be on the basketball court each and every time they played. While studying this passage from Paul's letter to the Philippians I began to wonder what this would look like if an entire generation of believers in Christ began to aspire to be like Him each and every day. I think the unfortunate reality is that in all honesty we aren't. And as a result, many of us have a hard time imagining what a life lived like this would look like. But thankfully Paul gives the church at Philippi (and believers today) two excellent, real-life examples.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

More than a 'Check Box' - Philippians 2:12-18

May 21, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Many individuals like having a daily 'to-do' list. For some it helps to prioritize all that they need to get accomplished and to work more efficiently. Others are motivated by the sense of satisfaction they receive when they complete a task and get to "check it off" from their list. What becomes dangerous is when followers of Christ begin to treat their faith as a 'to-do' list. In this week's post we'll discover how Paul encouraged the church to continuously be living out their salvation and what their motivation for doing that should be.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

The Ultimate Choreographer - Philippians 2:1-11

May 14, 2012 by Matt Morgan

I don't watch a lot of dance performances. But on the occasions when I do get to see dances performed I love to see well performed group dances. I think that they are visually stimulating and amazing to watch. The way the individuals move in unison and harmony, not to put themselves on display, but to put the dance itself on display is fascinating. The shapes they create and the movements they make are stunning. And I'm always left wondering, "How do they do that?" How do they move their bodies that way; how do they remember the steps and timing; and how do they learn it all? Then sometimes I wonder what it would look like if a church could do this. What would it look like if a group of believers in Christ could work in such harmony and unison and selflessness toward a greater purpose? I'm not sure, but I would imagine that it would be just as captivating. But just like a dance needs a choreographer, the church would need someone to teach us and model for us how to do this. And according to the apostle Paul, we have that person!

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

For Jesus' Sake - Philippians 1:19-30

May 7, 2012 by Matt Morgan

We live in a culture that constantly calls us self-centeredness. We're supposed to live our lives in pursuit of our own wants, desires, and aspirations and give all of ourselves to that pursuit. We can on occasion do something for someone else's sake, but only as long as it's convenient and doesn't take us too far from our own pursuits. But life as a follower of Christ should be altogether different - not just for ourselves as individuals, but collectively as a church too! In this week's text we'll see Paul's challenge to the church at Philippi to live for Jesus' sake.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

Good News Still Advancing - Philippians 1:12-18

April 30, 2012 by Matt Morgan

It's not hard for "bad news" to over-shadow "good news." Especially when the "bad news" appears to be really bad. In this week's passage Paul provides the church at Philippi with an update regarding some of the challenges that he is facing - challenges that would appear to most readers as incredibly bad news. But in the midst of sharing his challenges Paul also lets the Philippians know that there is great reason for excitement. His challenges may be great - but in the midst of his challenges good news is still advancing!

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

Partners in Christ - Philippians 1:3-11

April 23, 2012 by Matt Morgan

It seems to me that most people in American society today place a great deal of value on their personal independence. A select few may place some value on lasting partnerships, but I would guess that an overwhelming majority of individuals would still say that partnerships in life aren't essential. And while that may be a popularly held belief the truth we discover in Scripture is that partnerships in Christ are essential to our design and profitable for both us and the kingdom of God. So I invite you this week to give some consideration to the apostle Paul and a partnership he shared with the church at Philippi, and then to challenge you with some of the implications that partners in Christ should have on followers of Christ today.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

Life Transformed by Christ - Philippians 1:1-2

April 16, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Most of us are incredibly guilty of quickly reading over the introduction of NT letters. We think to ourselves, "This is just the author identifying himself and identifying who it is that he's writing to. It's not all that important." The problem is the authors of the NT were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and often had far more to say in their introductions than simply listing who they were and to whom they were writing. That is certainly the case for the introduction of Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. In Paul's letter to the Philippians he clearly and intentionally puts the emphasis on one particular individual and demonstrates how that one individual has done more than simply alter His followers - He's transformed them!

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

Leaving Death Behind - John 20:1-18

April 10, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Following the extraordinary story of John 19 is the extraordinary story of John 20. It's the story of the King who was crucified and put to death, leaving death behind - not for a time or a season, but permanently! It's the story of His resurrection. It seems hard to believe. But the evidence that He leaves, leaves no other explanation. And if the King really has risen; and if the King really is alive, then that demands both our consideration and a response. The only question that remains is, "What will your response be?"

Categories: Extraordinary series | 0 Comments