Faithlife Sermons

Philippians 3 Chapel

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

The Priceless Value of Knowing Christ

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.

2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 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!

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.

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, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:1–11 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— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for 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; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
,
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.
Here Paul writes to his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ that whatever happens, whatever may come next in this life or for me, regardless, rejoice in the Lord, be glad, be delighted, give praise to the Lord, and Paul says he writes this to protect their faith, so it’s not inaccurate.
,
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
Here Paul introduces into this letter the Judaizers, not by name, but by description. These were Jews who were at best misguided Christians, and or not Christians who meant the Church harm.
This idea of circumcision, the cutting away of the flesh of the foreskin, has a couple of intentions in the N.T., but we will only talk about what is happening here. The Judaizers would argue that salvation is from the Jews, Jesus was Jewish, and is the promised Messiah to the Jews, therefore, if a Gentile, a non-Jew, is going to become a Christian he must first become a Jew, then he can become a follower of Jesus. The identifying mark of a Jew was circumcision, introduced to Abraham in the O.T.
,
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 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!
Now Paul talks about the true followers of Jesus, in contrast of the Judaizers . He says we who worship by the Spirit of God, not the traditions of men or the religious system that Jesus fulfilled, we are the ones who are truly the people of God because rather than our efforts we rely on what Jesus has done for us.
What has Jesus done? Lived the perfect life we couldn’t live and died the sinners death we deserved, all for us so we can be right, it’s not what must do to be right with God, but what Jesus has done to make us right by God’s grace and through faith. We don’t put confidence in human efforts because they all amount to nothing in the eyes of God.
In verse 4 Paul reminds the readers of who he was. Not only is he the super apostle Paul, this isn’t what he’s talking about. See, outside of the grace of God, opening Paul’s eyes to the truth, he would still be Saul, so who is Saul.
Starting in verse 5 Paul is going to list his pre-Christ resume and what would have been his reasons for self-righteousness.

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.

Circumcised on the 8th day, according to the law of God, from birth, righteous, even his parents strictly adhered.
Pure blooded citizen of Israel, the chosen people of God, nothing impure, from the tribe of Benjamin, a small but highly regarded tribe of Israel. In it is Jerusalem and the temple of God.
Hebrew of Hebrews, born, raised, from of old, a strict adherence even to the old culture.
These first 4 were given him by birth, not a reason to really brag on what he has done.
As to the law, a Pharisee, super strict devotion to the law, following it to a t. So religious and loyal, he will have nothing to do with any deviation from it, that is why he was the persecutor of the Christians.
Blameless in that as far as the law could provide right standing with God, he was without fault.
And yet he goes on to say in verses 7-11,

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, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Whatever he had, whatever he had achieved, he counts as loss, as a waste, worthless, as pointless for the sake of knowing Christ and what He has done. Pauls former life, his resume, all of it a waste. That knowing Jesus now is far greater than anything he could have gained or possessed in this world.
In fact he says, that for the sake of Jesus, he has suffered the loss of all things, that Jesus worth was far greater than all else, he was willing to lose all but gain Jesus.
How many of us can say this? Paul calls Jesus “Lord” master, he has ceased being his own master and now has surrendered control of his life to Jesus.
He now can look back on all he was and had and refer to it as trash, or actually the word he uses is “crap”, all he wants is Jesus.
By having Jesus, his words are in Him in verse 9, no longer trying to attain or present what he viewed as righteousness, but now knowing that he has true righteousness because of his placed faith in Jesus and what He accomplished through His life and death.
Now his desire is to know Jesus, experience the power of His resurrection, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power of the Holy Spirit, wow that sounds great and we might all say this, but what about what he says next,
share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, wow, Paul had tremendous perspective. In his 2nd letter to Timothy he wrote how if Jesus suffered, and Paul is suffering, then why would Timothy think suffering wouldn’t come to him?
Jesus even said such in John chapter 15, A servant is not greater than his master, if they persecuted me they will persecute you.
Paul got this, and what was of utmost importance to him, the resurrection from the dead, to life eternal with Jesus, thats all that mattered to Paul and it’s all that should matter to us.
Jesus said in , For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his sou? In essence what here on earth could possibly be worth eternity separated from God?
So why do we try so hard to gain temporal worldly things like positions, status, material possessions? Why are we not more mindful of the things of God, of knowing Jesus, and attaining the resurrection from the dead to eternity with Jesus?
Our God is a good God who loves His creation, who became a human to remedy our hopeless situation, who died for us and gives us the opportunity to know Him and receive life. Nothing in this world could possibly be worth more than that.
Related Media
Related Sermons