Here are my notes from a sermon I preached on Philippians chapter 3. During our sermon series, “No Matter What”. You can listen to the podcast here.
This week is: The Gospel No Matter What
Philippians 3:1 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
Rejoice – to enjoy a state of happiness and well-being (feeling or action)
Safeguarded – stable, firm
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators….
Who could he be talking about? Murders? Adulterers? Thieves? Abusers?
who say you must be circumcised to be saved. (haughty, ego-driven, prideful)
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised (saved). We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
RELY – what a huge word. What are you relying on? Your level of peace and your level of stress reveal what you rely on.
4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
Paul’s list here is ENORMOUS! It’s hard for us to relate because we don’t really care quite honestly what tribe he was in or that he was a real Hebrew. It took great courage to list that these items were worthless.
For thousands of years, the items Paul listed were THE test of a faithful servant of God.
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
I asked our church on our online community (The City) to list a modern day list that would be comparable to Paul’s.
- Been in church since birth – 38yrs never missed a weekend unless sick or out of town.
- Baptized when I was 12 years old
- Went to youth group every Friday night, summer camp every summer
- Paid tithes (10% of my income) to the local church ALL of my life
- Been in ministry position at church since I was 18yrs old. (20yrs)
- Married in church, completely faithful to my wife, 3 kids dedicated and baptized
Thomas – 1. With only a High School education I have built a successful career to include being named VP of Sales for a Billion Dollar company.
Elizabeth – *I am a gentle & loving mom *I am quick to serve others
Chelsea -Have led a woman’s bible study for 5 years, loyal encouraging supportive wife
Gary – reading 10 chapters a day for 7 years then going to 45 minutes a day now spending from 1-3 hours a day on one chapter.
Anne – I was superior, highly educated, raised in an intellectual home of the american dream of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Mike – husband, father, businessman, guitar hero
Jennifer is a homeschooling mom
Wynnel – Loving caring faithful wife, mother, sister
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Some folks in here today struggle to make a list of honorable things that define you. You give up the struggle to do good because you feel like their list is not long enough.
Both sides of the issue are wrong. Neither our efforts or lack of efforts make the difference needed.
Jesus said inMatthew 9:13 For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
Matthew 11:11“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
How is that possible? Because people of the Kingdom find their worth in the King! (not in their efforts.
Paul was saying here: JESUS IS BETTER than all my best efforts or my worst failure. He was clear to say: these items in and of themselves are not enough to remit my sin and put me in a right position (righteous) place with God. Only faith in what Jesus Christ has done for me will rightly place me as a son or daughter in his Kingdom.
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
The Holman Commentary said: “He cannot cloud his mind with past memories…Paul forgets the guilt of persecuting the church. He forgets the pain of prison and physical punishment. He forgets the frustration of disobedient church members and false teachers. He looks ahead to see the resurrection, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face.
Whatever has been distracting you. The lies of the enemy try to get your focus off of the Gospel of Jesus and onto your past. I’m so glad you made it to church today to hear the word of God for your life!! Keep pressing on. Keep Looking to Him!
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
Wanting the things of this world more than the things of the Kingdom. Not just food appetite, but also desiring the things of this culture. It grieved Paul. It is destroying our homes and our well-being.
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. (Going to spend quality time on this passage in another message. Possibly FWW in Aug.)