Faithlife Sermons

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I want you to go back in time to see little Billy.
Picture a summer day in the 90s.
Nickelodeon is blaring on the TV and Mom just said we are going to McDonalds.
Life is good.
You get to McDonalds, you get your happy meal and lo and behold there it is the coveted teenie beanie baby.
You remember those?
(Don’t act tough I know y’all had that princess Diane bear)
In my young mind I was holding an exceptionally rare collectable that was sure to be worth thousands some day.
The same mass produced toy that me and millions of other children got each day.
Today you can buy that same toy on ebay sealed for a crisp $4.
Isn’t it amazing the things we value?
Look I know collectibles can hold value.
But many of the things we cherish end up becoming junk.
We have a bag at home with broken laptops and chords because maybe just maybe it’ll be worth something.
Hannah hates it.
What do you treasure?
Is there anything of surpassing value?
Is there anything that deserves our life-long, passionate pursuit?
The answer is yes.
Paul describes it in verse 8:
Philippians 3:8 (ESV)
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Paul reminds us that nothing on earth compares to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
You will never regret pursuing Christ.
Here is the big idea today.
Big Idea: Jesus Over Everything!
That’s the point.
Nothing else saves.
Nothing else can hold a candle to christ.
Jesus over everything.
That’s what we will see this morning and it starts with a Threat.
See first The Threat
The Threat (v.1-3)
Philippians 3:1–3 (ESV)
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
Chapter 3 begins to take a swift turn.
The narrative is still rejoice.
But now Paul focuses on a threat from outside the church.
Much like the rest of the first century world church there is a sinister theology that is making its way to the ears of the Philippians and Paul is having none of it.
It’s the theology of Jesus plus something to save.
The was a group that taught you needed Jesus plus the mosaic law.
Specifically the sign of the old covenant, circumcision.
Paul had apparently told the Philippians to be on guard before but nonetheless he is ready to deal with it again and is seeking to safeguard their joy in Christ.
He says in verse 2 to look out for the dogs.
He isn’t talking about fido, he is talking about ravenous dogs that will bite.
The reference to dogs is striking because the Jews often called the Gentiles “dogs,” since they viewed them as unclean.
What is happening now is a dramatic reversal has taken place through the work of Christ.
Now it’s the Judaizers who must be regarded as dogs.
He also calls the Judaizers “evildoers” and “mutilators of the flesh".
They were evildoers because their mission was evil, not good.
Their mission wasn’t heroic, but hellish.
They were proclaiming a false gospel.
This idea is deadly.
That we could somehow add to Jesus’ works.
Paul actually says their call to circumcision isn’t a call to covenantal faithfulness, it’s mutilation.
He is having none of it.
They are not made holy by this act.
Here is what read in Romans 2:25-29
Romans 2:25–29 (ESV)
For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.
So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.
But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.
His praise is not from man but from God.
Paul is saying that what truly matters is a circumcision of the heart.
It’s the new heart given to us.
He goes on to say in verse 3
Philippians 3:3 (ESV)
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
Paul says they think they are honoring the covenant, nope they are mutilating the flesh and leading people astray.
It’s Christians who are the true believers.
He then gives us three marks of true believers
Worship God in the Spirit
Rejoice in Christ Jesus
Have no confidence in the flesh
He is saying It is not the external things that count, but what has happened and is happening inside.
There is a real threat that happens any time we seek to add to Jesus.
It derails us and places the focus off of Christ.
I remember when this passage came to life for me it changed everything.
You see I never had confidence in Christ throughout my younger years.
Even when I went to Bible College I constantly fought shame and the tension that something was missing.
I’ve told some of you this but I have been baptized 3 times.
I was so unsure and I thought a ritual would save me.
Paul sees that there is a young church that will be pressured into believing a false gospel of Jesus+circumcision and he will have none of it.
He calls the Philippians to see that what truly matters is Jesus.
Again it’s not our performance but Christ’s for us that matters.
But for you and me to understand this we have to understand what needs to be lost in order to gain.
That’s exactly where Paul heads next.
Look at verse 4 and let’s consider the loss.
The Loss (v4-6)
Philippians 3:4–6 (ESV)
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