Service Video Message Video Message Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses Philippians 3:8-9, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 3:20-21, Philippians 2:5-16, Matthew 5:14-16, Acts 2:42-47, Philippians 3:17, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Corinthians 1:11, 1 Corinthians 4:16 Downloads & Resources God's Spirit: Do You Model the Spirit-Filled Life? Dr. Jon Morrissette - 10/26/2003 In his bestselling book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes, "Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good— and that is their main problem."I want to confess to you that I have spent most of my life being a good Christian. Although I struggled with my faith for a time in high school, I never really lost my way. I confess that I have always read my Bible, prayed to God, memorized scripture, worshiped Jesus Christ on Sunday mornings, and attended Bible school. I probably haven’t missed church more than twenty times in thirty years.Since childhood I have attended church camp, Bible studies, conferences, and other events designed to deepen my faith in Jesus Christ. I have always served Christ in the local church, mostly behind the scenes doing things like setting up chairs, preparing communion, and doing service projects. But in recent years I've been preaching, teaching, counseling, administrating, praying, pastoring, and more.Throughout the years I have kept myself free from alcohol, tobacco, the love of money, sexual immorality, and so many other excesses. I have made it a point to choose my friends wisely, to respect the elderly, to be gracious and mindful of the needs of others, and to work hard and be responsible. I have spent most of my life being a good Christian. But I do not want to spend the rest of my life just being a good Christian.Good is the enemy of great.Good is the enemy of great. Good is greatness compromised. Good is lowering the bar from greatness to some lesser goal. And I do not want to live the rest of my life by the low expectations of what is good. I want to live according to what is great. Satan wants us to be good Christians. He wants us to compromise greatness. But he is terrified at the notion that we might put it into our hearts to become great Christians.I would suspect that most of us have spent our lives being good Christians. We have been comfortably living well below our fullest potential. But I wonder if there is some small part of us that would want to become great. I wonder if there is a small part of us that is sick and tired of being good and that yearns to become great and aspire to the fullness of Jesus Christ. And I wonder if we might somehow allow that part of our life that yearns for greatness to seize control and guide us through the remaining years of our lives.The vision of "good enough" is not from God.Lakeside Christian Church is a good church. We have it in us to become a great church. Many of us are good Christians, but we will only become great as we renounce the vision of "good enough" and embrace a vision of "imitating Christ's greatness." The vision of "good enough" is not of God, not of Jesus Christ, and not of the Holy Spirit.The vision of "good enough" is a counterfeit vision- a competing vision. The vision of "good enough" teaches us to compare ourselves to other Christians instead of to Christ. It teaches us to find satisfaction in being better than others, but less than Christ. The vision of "good enough" teaches us to settle for second best, to get comfortable where we are at, and to retire, to kick back, to take it easy, and to coast— to only exert a minimum amount of spiritual energy.The vision of "good-enough" has us keeping in step with the Spirit during the day, but dancing with the sinful nature by night. This vision of "good-enough" causes us to grow weary in doing good and to continually lower our standards until greatness is completely compromised. To become great we must renounce the vision of "good-enough."The "greatness" of imitating Christ.In contrast, the vision of imitating Christ’s greatness is of God. The vision of imitating Christ’s greatness teaches us to compare ourselves to Jesus Christ and encourages us to strive to become like him in every way. The vision of imitating Christ’s greatness teaches us to find comfort and security in God’s grace while struggling with all Christ’s energy which so powerfully works within us, to become everything God intends for us to become.The vision of imitating Christ’s greatness teaches us to keep in step with the Spirit by day and by night, to never grow weary in doing good, and to set our standards by the fullness of Christ instead of by the half and quarter measures of man. To set our standards by Christ's standards means to never, and I mean never, compromise greatness in pursuit of what is only good. Good is the enemy of great. "Good enough" is the lesser, not the greater vision.The apostle Paul was a good man before he was a Christian.The apostle Paul spent his entire life being a good man. He grew up in a Jewish culture and had all the distinguishing traits that his society deemed good and virtuous. He had jumped through all the hoops and was circumcised on the eighth day. He came from the perfect background, of the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. He was a notch above other men. He was a Hebrew among Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee. He was devoted to his religion and was zealous, persecuting Christ's new Church. And as for legalistic righteousness, he was faultless.But one day Paul caught a glimpse of the greater vision. He encountered our living, resurrected Lord and Savior in all his fullness. He saw Jesus Christ in all his greatness and majesty. He stood in the presence of true righteousness and holiness. He understood why good was the enemy of great.In Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV) he writes, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 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 and is by faith."Paul came alive once he saw the greatness of Jesus Christ’s righteousness. More than anything else, he wanted to accentuate Christ’s righteousness in his own life. Paul understood that one of God’s greatest works in his life, beyond salvation, would be the transformation of his life from mediocrity into the fullness of Jesus Christ.Consider some of Paul’s hope-filled sayings throughout the book of Philippians. In Philippians 1:6 (NIV) Paul affirms,"…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." In Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV) he writes, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."In order to move from good to great, we need to understand that God’s work in our lives is just beginning and that it will not be finished until the day of Christ's return. In the present, Jesus Christ is bringing our lives under the control of his Holy Spirit in order to transform our lowly bodies so that we might become just like him!God wants to mature us from goodness into greatness, and from mediocrity into excellence. One of the things we have been talking about in this series is this process of maturity. In relationship to God’s Son there are four steps to attain maturity. First we know Jesus Christ. Next we grow in Jesus Christ. Then we stand in Jesus Christ, and ultimately we remain in Jesus Christ. There is a process through which we deepen and strengthen our relationship to Jesus Christ.In relationship to God’s Spirit there are also four steps to attain maturity. First we respond to Christ’s life, thus receiving the Spirit. Next we practice Christ’s life by sowing seeds of righteousness. Then we live Christ’s life by gaining victory over the sinful nature. And last, as we will discuss in a few moments, we model Christ’s life by inviting others to follow in our steps. "Good" is settling for the first and second steps. "Great" is allowing Jesus Christ to carry his work to completion and to allow him to step us all the way to maturity!Paul challenged people to move from goodness to greatness.I love the book of Philippians because it completely reveals Paul’s heart on these matters. In Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV) Paul prays for the Church. "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ— to the glory and praise of God."Paul wanted them to wake up and discern the difference between what was good and what was best or great. He did not want them to settle for anything less than being pure and blameless and being filled with the fruit of righteousness. He prayed for them to live all out for the glory and praise of God.And Paul wasn’t afraid to challenge people to move from goodness to greatness. In Philippians 2:5 (NIV) he says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." And he did not leave any room for discussion about what Christ’s attitude is. Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing. Philippians 2:7-8 (NIV) says, "He(Jesus)made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!" Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross. Jesus went all out for the glory of God. And so should we. Jesus moved from good to great.In Philippians 2:12-16 (NIV) Paul says, "Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life."Paul wanted the Philippians to shine for God’s glory, as stars shining in a dark universe. God doesn’t want us to be a few lumens brighter than our world. He wants our character and lives to stand in stark contrast to those around us. Goodness pales in comparison to greatness. Goodness barely causes people to take a second glance. But greatness, becoming pure and blameless, now THAT achieves glory for Christ!Modeling Christ's Very LifeI promised to say a word about the last step we take in relationship to God’s Spirit. The last step we take in relationship to God’s Spirit is that we model Christ’s life for others. Jesus Christ set an example for us that we might follow in his footsteps. Through the power of God’s Spirit, God demonstrates that Christ’s life is to be lived by all.The reason God’s wants us to shine is not for our glory, but for Christ’s glory. He wants people to come to the light and discover the word of life, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) Jesus explains, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."Our ambition for greatness isn’t driven by self-glorification, but out of duty to Jesus Christ and for gaining the potential faith of those outside Jesus Christ. God draws men unto himself through our character and devotion and ministry! Consider what happened in Jerusalem when the members of the Church devoted themselves, not to what was good and comfortable, but to what was bold, outrageous, and great.Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."But notice in the latter part of Acts 2:47 (NIV) the impact that their radical, God-glorifying greatness had. "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." This is why Satan is not threatened by goodness. Goodness doesn’t attract people to God. But greatness, greatness makes God irresistible to our families and friends. The brilliant contrast of Christ’s righteousness and greatness shining in our dark world through our lives brings the world under conviction and to faith in God.I want to end with a few more of Paul’s statements. In Philippians 3:17 (NIV) Paul says, "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you." In 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) he tells Timothy, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." In 1 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) he says, "Therefore I urge you to imitate me." In 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) Paul concludes, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."One of the most powerful tools in God’s arsenal is Christians who strive for greatness and leverage their whole lives for the glory of Jesus Christ. Not many of us would be comfortable inviting others to follow our example. But perhaps that is only because not many of us aspire for that which is great. Good is the enemy of great. Good is greatness compromised and watered down.My prayer is that every one of us might become great. My prayer is that Lakeside would be more than a good church. I pray that it would become a great church. A church that has been brought under the control of God’s Holy Spirit and is unashamed to say to the world, "Follow us. We live for Christ. We are the light of the world. Here are the words of life." My prayer is that we would keep in step with the spirit by responding to Christ’s life, practicing Christ’s life, living Christ’s life, and ultimately, modeling Christ's life.