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"The Main Thing" (W. 3) - Phil 3

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“Desiring Jesus Over All”

A couple of Sunday nights ago, I began a sermon series entitled “The Main Thing.”
This sermon series is going to examine the phrase “one thing” in the Bible. There are 4 instances where the Word says that phrase.
Once in John 9 , where the Lord taught us the value of making much of Jesus.
Once in Psalm 27 , where we will study tonight.
Once in Luke 10 , and finally in Philippians 3 (where we will close out the series in just a couple of weeks Lord willing.)
Let’s get back to THE MAIN THING by declaring Christ, displaying true Communion with the Father, and desiring Christ above all!
My prayer is that through this worldwide Pandemic, God would both restore people, revival people, and a big one refine His Church.
As we hope that we can all be revived during this time, and refined more into the image of God, quarantine life is beginning to end… And Lord willing, will soon! What are you most excited about? What do you want the most?
Some desire Sports
Some desire Food
Some desire a normal schedule
But let’s venture back to hear what another person, on house arrest, desired more than anything:
Join me in a small house where a body of believers are meeting to have church in Philippi. It’s a stuffy room, people are gathered with expectation because the man that planted the church is writing in to you. Epaphroditus, a man that we sent to minister to Paul shows up with a letter in his hand.
It’s from Paul. The man that led your dad, the Philippians jailer to Christ. The man that led your friend, Lydia, the wealthy clothing salewoman to the Lord.
You heard the news that he had been on house arrest, and you are anxious to hear what he had to say.
He writes, “have joy.” “have the mind of Christ…,”
And then Paul gets to the point in the letter where he’s sort of talking about his desires… Look what he said in Philippians 3:7
Philippians 3:7–14 KJV 1900
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s greatest desire wasn’t to get out of prison. His greatest desire wasn’t to join the Philippian church on an outing to the local sports venue…
Paul’s greatest desire was Jesus.
“Paul desired Christ.”
But why? Have you ever thought ‘why’ did Paul want Jesus more than anything? On a personal level, why should you desire Jesus more than anything?
That’s the question I seek to answer tonight and next week through these verses...
Why should I desire Jesus above all?

1. Consider the Gift of Salvation

Verses 7-11
Chapter 3 begins with a warning about the legalizers. These were people that preached in order to be saved you must be religious!
Their message was “do this” and you will “earn salvation.”
Paul gives a strict warning about that, because Christianity is not a “do this” religion. Christianity is a “it’s DONE” religion! We are saved based on what Jesus has already done!!!
So he tells the Philippians to stay away from those false teachers, and then begins to reflect.
Notice this:

a) Paul Considered His Past

look at verses 4-6
He goes on to say, “if anyone had a reason to be confident in religion, it was me.” Look what he says in verses 4-6.
“If that was what it took, I had it perfectly!”
Paul wasn’t trying to come across as cocky in chapter 3, but he was honest with the Philippians. He shared with them the reality of his past life. In Paul’s past, he was:
Person - Hebrew of Hebrews - he was a chosen seed of Israel
Passionate - Pharisee
Persecutor - I was so passionate about what I believed, I persecuted the church and was really the one responsible for the martyr of the first Christian!
Perfect - “touching the righteousness which is the law, blameless.”
Outside righteousness, I was good!
Picked -
In a book called, “The World of Jesus”
Back in these days, Jewish boys would study the Torah in their early ages. That’s the first 5 books of the Bible. They would study it and by 13, many of them had it memorized.
At 13, these Jewish boys would then move into manhood and would have to
they would go to a Rabbi and ask “can I follow you?”
The rabbi-pupil relationship usually lasted over a long period of time and was very intense. Ancient rabbis spent years with their disciples, teaching their way of life, their understanding of scripture, and how to teach it to others. He was picked, and ended up becoming a Pharisee
Paul studied under a guy named Gamalliel.

b) Paul Considered His Experience

All those things that I was, and that I had, fell way short of what happened to me when I met Jesus.
Acts 9 details Paul's experience of meeting Jesus.
Jesus encountered him on the road to Damascus, and he was temporarily blinded! The Lord saved him, and Paul was never the same.
Now, look at this wording in verse 7, “I counted loss for Christ...”
When Paul met Jesus, he knew right then that all the accomplishments he earned did not matter.
Those things did not compare!!!
Jesus was the Messiah he spent so much time studying.
Jesus was the One Paul persecuted so passionately...
Jesus was the One that was TRULY blameless in comparison to the law.
Jesus was the One that died and ROSE again
Jesus was the One that Created the Heavens and Earth.
Jesus was the One that could forgive Paul for killing Stephen and the rest of his sins.
Paul came to realize that the accomplishments of the resurrected Jesus trump all of Paul’s accomplishments.
Of all my accomplishments, is there really anything greater than Jesus
This is important, Paul counted all those things as loss when he met Jesus, but He continues to count them as loss as he lives now!
He counted the things he had when he met Jesus as loss.
But he continued to count them as loss as he lived his life.
Many Christians love to take you back to a past date. That’s not a bad thing, but when you base your entire walk with Jesus on the day you prayed a prayer, I have questions.
It’s like this: if you came up to me or called me after this service and asked how me and Hailey were doing,
Philippians 3:8 KJV 1900
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
The experience of meeting Jesus:
Cleanses us from our past sins
Gives us personal knowledge of Jesus
Remind us that all else is loss!
Paul considered his past, his experience, and now one last thing and we will close:

c) Paul Considered His Righteousness

I count it all loss that I may win Christ… and be found in him, not having my own righteousness
Warren Wiersbe says, “It’s one thing to be religious enough to get into the synagogue, and quite another to be righteous enough to get into heaven.”
Righteousness is being right before God.
I want to be found in Him.
I don’t see Paul, I see my Son.

Closing:

Have you truly been saved?
Maybe you’ve never really repented of your sins, and trusted Jesus. Text Pisgah to 31996
Maybe you’ve strayed in your walk, and right now you need to “reconsider” your experience with him.
Maybe you just need to rejoice in the fact that we are righteous when we are found in Jesus.

2. Pursue the Prize of Christ

So Paul, like many of you watching, has been saved. I’m praying that right now you are

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