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Phil 3:1-8

Philippians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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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
1. Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
The Letter to the Philippians A. Boasting in Privileges (3:1–6)

In his cultural context, his repeated appeals to rejoice emphatically demonstrate his friendship love: a friend is one who shares in another’s joys and sorrows. Paul expands the meaning and experience of joy by adding in the Lord. The Lord is the source, object, and sphere of joy. This theologically motivated joy in the Lord realistically faces and transcends all the sorrows and sufferings caused by living for Christ in a Roman prison and a Roman colony. Yet, this theological orientation of joy does not minimize the social dimension of this joy. Joy in the Lord is a corporate experience, a community celebration. Paul has just informed the Philippians that he is sending Epaphroditus back home so that when they see him they may rejoice (2:28), and he has implored them to welcome him in the Lord with great joy (2:29). Now he repeats this command: Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord (3:1). Joy in the Lord holds the community together.

It is good to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and to remind our selves of all that God has given us. When we are down and out about things in our life, we can do our best to not fall into despondancy by seeing all that we have been given.
any thoughts or comments.
What are some things we can do to stay positive? what are some ways we can remind ourselves of God’s goodness?
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
The Letter to the Philippians A. Boasting in Privileges (3:1–6)

The derogatory names given to these adversaries mask and, at the same time, reveal their true identity. Although Paul puts dog masks on them, the terms clearly point to their Jewish identity. Paul’s contrast between mutilation and the true circumcision and his boasting of his own Jewish privileges indicate that these people evidently exalted the importance of circumcision and boasted of their Jewish credentials. Although they were posing as Christian teachers, they placed their emphasis on belonging to the Jewish people. They heaped scorn upon those outside the Jewish family by calling them by traditional Jewish names for outsiders: dogs and evildoers. Now Paul turns the tables on them and calls them by the same derisive names that they have used for those whom they have excluded. In this satirical twist, Paul gives them a bitter taste of their own poisonous prejudice

The idea was that you needed to be a jew culturally to be part of God’s people. that has since changed. Faith in the Lord Jesus is was makes you part of god’s people.

Through the OT, circumcision marked inclusion in the covenant people (Gen 17:23–27; 21:4; 34:15–24; Exod 4:25; 12:44–48; Josh 5:2–8; cf. Jdt 14:10). Levitical law confirmed its importance, with each male child circumcised on the eighth day (Lev 12:3). In the Maccabean period, circumcision was controversial (1 Macc. 1:60–61; 2:46; 2 Macc. 6:10; 4 Macc. 4:25). The notion of circumcision of the heart, which suggests repentance and living obediently from the heart, is found in Deut 10:16; Jer 4:4; 9:24. For the Jew, the title “the circumcision” is essentially a term of self-designation (cf. Rom 3:30; 4:9, 12; 15:8; Gal 2:7–9, 12; Hansen, 220).

In the NT, John the Baptist (Luke 1:59) and Jesus himself were circumcised according to Jewish custom (Luke 2:21). As the gospel spread through the Roman world among Gentiles, the church ruled that circumcision was not required of new converts (Acts 10:45; 11:2; 15:1–21). While Paul did not approve of Gentile circumcision, he had Timothy circumcised to ensure that he could enter the synagogue, being of Jewish ancestry on his mother’s side (Acts 16:3). Titus, however, he did not have circumcised, he being a full Greek (Gal 2:3). In his letters, Paul picks up the notion of circumcision of the heart from Deuteronomy and Jeremiah, rejecting circumcision and law for salvation and as a marker of the people of God, in favor of faith (cf. Rom 2:25–29; 3:30; 1 Cor 7:19; Col 2:11;

By calling Christians, including converted and uncircumcised Gentiles, “the circumcision” Paul is nicknaming them in contrast to the “uncircumcision,” Israel (apart from faith). This cuts against the central tenet of Judaism that the pathway into the covenant people is circumcision.372 Paul is thus stating, “we Christians, Jew and Gentile alike, who believe in Jesus, physically circumcised or uncircumcised, are now the saved, the covenant people of God by faith, those circumcised of the heart, the true circumcision, the people of God in continuity with Israel before Christ by faith and heart-circumcision.

It is easy for us to make our nationality or our country and confuse it for the gospel. It is easy to think that we are the best based on our heritage. It happens throughout history. We are first are foremost loyal to the Lord and we allow that light to shine in our communities.
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When I was in Africa, I taught at a Masai tribal village. Topless woman and kids would come up drink of the woman. In America we would think this is horrendous, over there essential.
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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
The Letter to the Philippians A. Boasting in Privileges (3:1–6)

The seven features of Paul’s self-portrait of his Jewish perfections give an impressive display of his privileges by birth and his personal accomplishments. The first perfection in the list is the fact that he was circumcised on the eighth day. By placing his circumcision on the eighth day as the first item in this list, Paul emphasizes that he had a “first class” circumcision in a Jewish family that fulfilled the requirement of the law (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3) to circumcise their newborn son on the eighth day. His circumcision on the eighth day was superior to the circumcision of a Gentile proselyte at the time of conversion to Judaism. Even if the Gentile believers in Christ decided to reach for perfection within Judaism by getting circumcised, they would not be able to attain the perfection of a circumcision on the eighth day. They would have a second-rate circumcision compared to Paul’s eighth-day circumcision.

As a second reason for confidence in the flesh, Paul presents his pure pedigree: he is of the people of Israel. This phrase means that he was of the “race of Israel.” The translation of genos as people does not adequately express the significance of this Greek word genos. The term denotes “ancestral stock, common ancestry, nationality.” Paul is claiming genealogical purity; his blood is untainted by any Gentile blood. The name Israel is the main self-designation of the Jewish people and conveys a religious message: we, the descendants of the patriarch Israel, are God’s chosen people.

The Letter to the Philippians B. Losing All to Know Christ (3:7–11)

Paul draws striking parallels between his transformation (3:5–11, 21) and Christ’s incarnation-crucifixion-exaltation (2:5–11) to reveal how his personal experience conforms to the narrative of Christ. (1) When Paul considers the privileges of his previous, superior position to be a loss (3:7, 8), he is like Christ, who did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage (2:6). (2) Paul gives up everything valuable so that he will be found in Christ (3:8–9), just as Christ made himself nothing so that he would be found in appearance as a human being (2:8). (3) Paul’s desire to be conformed to Christ in his death (3:10) reflects Christ’s decision to take the form of a servant and become obedient unto death (2:7–8). (4) Paul’s longing to know Christ Jesus his Lord (3:8) anticipates the day when all will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (2:11). (5) Paul’s reenactment of the narrative of Christ also includes his expectation that he will know the power of his resurrection, attain to the resurrection from the dead (3:10), and ultimately be transformed by Christ so that his lowly body will be like his Christ’s glorious body (3:21). Paul carefully crafts the story of his transformation to convince his readers that his choice to renounce his confidence in the flesh is the choice they too must make in order to know Christ and be conformed to Christ in his humiliation and exaltation.

All of Paul’s achievements at a Jew, meant nothing in surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus.
Sometimes we hold onto things very tightly. We need to learn to let go of them and give them to God. What matters is our connection and spiritual transformation towards God.
What are somethings in our life that you had to let go of, and then you saw God move.
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