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Philippians 3:1-11

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One bright morning as the Fox was following his sharp nose through the wood in search of a bite to eat, he saw a Crow on the limb of a tree overhead. This was by no means the first Crow the Fox had ever seen. What caught his attention this time and made him stop for a second look, was that the lucky Crow held a bit of cheese in her beak.
"No need to search any farther," thought sly Master Fox. "Here is a dainty bite for my breakfast."
Up he trotted to the foot of the tree in which the Crow was sitting, and looking up admiringly, he cried, "Good-morning, beautiful creature!"
The Crow, her head cocked on one side, watched the Fox suspiciously. But she kept her beak tightly closed on the cheese and did not return his greeting.
"What a charming creature she is!" said the Fox. "How her feathers shine! What a beautiful form and what splendid wings! Such a wonderful Bird should have a very lovely voice, since everything else about her is so perfect. Could she sing just one song, I know I should hail her Queen of Birds."
Listening to these flattering words, the Crow forgot all her suspicion, and also her breakfast. She wanted very much to be called Queen of Birds. So she opened her beak wide to utter her loudest caw, and down fell the cheese straight into the Fox's open mouth.
"Thank you," said Master Fox sweetly, as he walked off. "Though it is cracked, you have a voice sure enough. But where are your wits?"
The flatterer lives at the expense of those who will listen to him.
If the crow could talk it might be saying things like: “I can’t believe I was tricked!! Why did I listen to that stupid fox. I am better than this. I worked so hard for that piece of cheese.”
When I listen to the book of Philippians, I hear Paul laboring and pouring out his life for the joy of the Philippians. This joy is not gained through getting one’s way. This joy is not dependent on circumstances. This joy is found as each one chooses to put others interests above their own.
The past few weeks we have seen Paul give examples of the character and results of those who consider others more important than themselves. We saw that the examples were relationally committed and unreserved in serving others in a “100” small ways. In 3:17 he will tell them to copy these kind of example.
As Paul continues the letter, we still see him writing with joy and for their joy. He now warns them against those who would rob them of genuine joy. They seem to make an impression. They seem to have the decoration without substance. The seem to build one up only to leave him staggering about as to who they really are.

How is one guarded against such flattery and self-deception? How does one not settle for cheap joys?

Philippians 3:1 NKJV
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

Don’t get weary of receiving warnings

There will always be temporary things that will promise lasting happiness
Paul is not writing out of a burden
He is not apologizing for saying some of the same things
Warning is safe for you
Philippians 3:2–3 NKJV
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

Don’t put confidence in the flesh

The greatest identities and accomplishments of the false leaders are the actual indicators that they do not have part in God’s people.
One serves only by means of God’s Spirit. One cannot put sin to death apart from him. True worshipers worship God in Spirit and in truth.
One’s confidence is in Christ’s work and therefore that is what He rejoices in.
Illustration of trusting in soft mattress and plopping on the mattress in delight.
Philippians 3:4–6 NKJV
though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Confidence in the flesh has a small horizon (boat that floats in a bath tub)
Worth is found only in comparison to someone else
Worth is found in something that is totally out of one’s control
His circumcision was an 8 day circumcision. It was done precisely on the 8th day after his birth. This was exactly according to the law. he was not like a proselyte who converted to Judaism and was circumcised later in life.
This distinguished him from the paganHe was a pure-blood Jew. Both of His parents were Jews. (2 Cor. 11:22) shows that his lineage can be traced back to Abraham.
This distinguished him from the proselyte.He was from an important tribe in Israel. I don't know all of the significance of being in this tribe. Positively, this is the tribe from which Israel's first king came, this is the tribe that did not forsake David when the kingdom split, this is tribe to which the city of Jerusalem was portioned in the days of the judges. Mac Arthur notes:
He was a Hebrew who did not forsake the tradition of the Hebrews even in the surrounding Greek culture. He was born in Tarsus, but he went down and studied in Jerusalem under one of the finest teachers- Gamaliel. He could speak the Hebrew language. He was widely known among the Jews for excellence.
Worth is found in something that someone does (Illustration of wining arm-wrestling with 2 year old)

Consider your accomplishments as loss

Philippians 3:7–8 NKJV
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
These were not bad things, but they were liabilities to keep him from Christ.
Point out the 4 considerations. Point out Christ’s thinking
Point out the progression of the all
Point out the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and gaining Christ. God’s gifts do not have human limits. Example of peace.
Paul is leaving no lack of clarity. Former life is all loss; life in Christ is all gain. (Mt. 13:44-46 portrays this picture)
There is never real joy if confidence is not transferred to Christ.

Rely on your union with Christ

Philippians 3:9–11 NKJV
and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Mention “being found”
Righteousness is a gift from God that one boasts in
Go over statuses given by God
Share in the work of Christ
Share in the glory with Christ.
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