As teenagers, it is essential for you to grow in your faith and develop a strong foundation for your future. The passage we will be exploring today, Philippians 3:4b-14, offers valuable insights and guidance on how to press on in our faith journey. In this passage, the Apostle Paul shares his personal testimony and challenges us to prioritize our relationship with Christ above all else. By understanding the importance of pressing towards the goal, we can navigate the challenges and distractions that come our way.
Bible Reading: Philippians 3:4b-7
“If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 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; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 shares his impressive religious background and achievements, highlighting his commitment to following the law.
- Despite his remarkable credentials, Paul realizes that none of these accomplishments compare to the value of knowing Christ.
- He recognizes that everything he once considered important is now considered as loss and garbage when compared to the surpassing worth of having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
- Have you ever placed your confidence in external factors to validate your faith? How did that affect your relationship with God?
- What are some things that society often values but may not hold eternal significance? How does this align with the perspective Paul presents in the passage?
- In what ways have you experienced the surpassing worth of knowing Christ? Share any personal experiences or stories.
- How can we practically prioritize our relationship with Jesus above worldly achievements and ambitions? Share your thoughts and practical suggestions.
Bible Reading: Philippians 3:8-11
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 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.”
- Paul expresses his deep longing to know Christ intimately and experience the power of His resurrection.
- He acknowledges that this journey involves both sharing in Christ’s sufferings and becoming like Him in His death.
- Despite not having reached spiritual perfection, Paul emphasizes the need to press on and pursue the purpose for which Christ has called us.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
- What does it mean to “know Christ” in a personal and intimate way? How can we deepen our knowledge and understanding of Him?
- In what ways can we participate in Christ’s sufferings? How does this concept challenge our perspective on suffering and difficulties?
- How does the hope of resurrection impact the way we live our lives? Discuss how this future hope can shape our present actions and decisions.
- What are some practical steps we can take to press on towards the goal of knowing Christ better? Share personal strategies or ideas.
Youth Group Game: “Pressing Towards the Goal”
In this game, divide the group into teams and set up an obstacle course. Each team member takes turns navigating the course while blindfolded, with their teammates guiding them to complete it successfully. The goal is to emphasize the importance of having guidance and support as we press on towards our spiritual goals.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the valuable lessons we have learned from Philippians 3:4b-14. Help us to prioritize our relationship with You above all else and press on towards the goal of knowing You better. Guide us through the challenges and distractions that come our way, and empower us to live lives that honor and glorify You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Remember, as you press on towards the goal, know that God is with you every step of the way. Keep cultivating your faith and pursuing a deeper relationship with Him.