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Philippians 3 Verses 1 to 11 Count It All Loss February 28, 2021

Philippians Pure Joy A Choice to Rejoice  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Philippians 3 Verses 1 to 11 Count It All Loss February 28, 2021
Class Presentation Notes A
Focal Passage: Philippians 3:1-11
Main Idea:
This lesson focuses on how a growing relationship with Christ changes a person’s values and ways of thinking.
Question to Explore:
Jim Elliot said this: “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” What does that mean to you?
Study Aim:
This lesson can help you value knowing Christ above all else and commit to pursue a way of thinking that contributes to spiritual growth.
Create Interest:
· When times are good, it is not always easy to distinguish between the happy person and the joyful person. When times are hard—when disappointments and trials and sufferings come—then it is extremely easy to distinguish between them. The person who was happy becomes sad—even despairing or angry. The person who was joyful remains joyful. Happiness flees in the hard times; joy endures.
· In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul repeatedly addressed the subject of joy. Many argue that the overarching theme of this epistle is joy. As Paul writes about joy, he is describing something that is far greater than happiness.
o Joy is a divine gift that transcends all that this world has to offer.
o Joy is the supernatural excitement we experience in God himself.
§ It involves gladness of heart in the things of God.
§ It results from taking greatest pleasure in Christ and his kingdom above all other things.
§ It is an exulting and an exhilaration in the soul, arising from a heart that is filled to overflowing with love for God and his Son, Jesus Christ. God's Word for You - Philippians
· Here is an important part of the life of every Christian: the call of the apostle to all believers to rejoice in the Lord.
· This passage is extremely important because it tells us what it means to know Jesus, what it means to find eternal salvation and ultimate satisfaction in life. Paul describes what a Christian is not, what a Christian is, and how one can become a Christian.
· This passage is also important because it reminds believers of their need to stay focused on the true gospel of Jesus.
· Salvation is not about knowing some things about Jesus. It is also not about doing religious things to earn acceptance before Jesus.
· This text really speaks against the problem of legalism, that is, the temptation to derive your justification before God, your acceptance by God, and your forgiveness of God from your own religious works.
· We are reminded here that you cannot earn salvation. It is a gift to be received.
o Even dedicated Christians tend to forget the gospel daily.
o They tend to revert to legalism, as the book of Galatians so powerfully points out (see Gal 3:1-9).
o Legalism is self-atonement. It is a self-salvation project that only leads to pride or despair. We must resist the gospel of human achievement[1]
Lesson in Historical Context:
· The Bible passages in this lesson contain Paul’s testimony about his old way of thinking and how his relationship with Christ had changed his outlook and mind-set.
o He warned about the danger from Judaizers and confessed that he had shared their basic outlook of self-righteous pride.
o At that time, he thought that persecuting the church was a sign of religious zeal.
o He did not recount here the events of his Damascus road encounter with Christ, but he described how knowing Christ had given him a new outlook on everything.
o His ultimate goal had not yet been attained but he was pressing on toward it.
o He listed some of the positive things in life and urged others to think on these things.
Bible Study:
Philippians 3:1 (NASB) 1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
· Paul is not indicating that he is finished with the letter. He is only halfway through it. He is picking up the theme of “rejoicing” (2:17-18) and carrying on the idea of emulation.
o He is providing an example that includes a passion to know Christ Jesus as Lord.
· Guard yourself by rejoicing in the Lord. A person who is always rejoicing in the Lord will not go astray. As the believer walks through life, two things are always confronting him: circumstances and false teaching. No matter where he goes, the trials of life, both minor and major, confront him.
· The believer is bombarded by both trials and false teachings every day of his life. He must, therefore, guard himself; and the first guard is to rejoice in the Lord. If he walks throughout the day rejoicing in the Lord, his mind is upon the Lord. He rejoices over what Christ has done for him.
· Now note: the great thing that rejoicing does is this: it places and keeps a person in the presence of Christ.
o No matter what confronts the believer—no matter how terrible the trial—he knows that he is being looked after by Christ Jesus his Lord
o He knows that nothing can separate him from the Lord and His love—that he shall never die, but rather live eternally.
o Therefore, he knows that whatever comes upon him can never conquer and overcome him.
o Christ will give him supernatural power and strength to overcome it and if he is called upon to lay down his body and move on to heaven:
§ He knows that he shall never taste or experience death.
§ He knows that Jesus Christ is going to escort him right on into God’s presence immediately.
§ The believer is forever secure in the keeping power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
§ Therefore, he walks rejoicing in the Lord: he rejoices no matter what confronts him.[2]
· Paul says that he has told the Philippian congregation the “same things” before. He’s probably referring to what he taught them in person.
o Previously, he taught them the gospel. Now he is still teaching them the gospel.
o Paul says it is no trouble for him to repeat these things, and it is safe for the congregation. In other words, the church will be protected from legalism and false gospels by studying the true gospel regularly.
Thoughts to Soak on before moving on:
· Rejoicing in the Lord is one of the absolute best ways to guard oneself against the trials of life and false teaching. When a person rejoices in the Lord, his mind is focused upon the Lord, upon what the Lord has done for him. And the mind cannot be two places at once. If it is upon the Lord and His glorious salvation, then it cannot be upon the trials and false teachings of this world.
· Every church should be a “same things church.” Yes, we must change some ministry methods, but the message must never change.
o The “same thing” has numerous implications, but we must be about the same things, namely the truths of the gospel.
o We must constantly remind one another of the gospel, rehearse the gospel, sing the gospel, and proclaim the gospel—not only for the good of the unbeliever but also for the building up of the believer.
· Repeating the gospel is an expression of love for other believers. If you are a teacher, do not grow cold to the gospel.
o Look at Paul’s example here. It does not trouble him to remind them of what it means to know Christ.
§ It is an expression of his love for the Philippian congregation, as it serves to protect them.[3]
o Romans 8:35-39 (NASB) 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
o Luke 10:20 (NASB) 20 "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
o John 15:11 (NASB) 11 "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
o 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NASB) 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
Philippians 3:2-6 (NASB) Marks of Those Who Know Christ 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the truecircumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation 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 the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
Let’s Explore Some Questions:
· What is the setting?
· Who were the dogs?
· What were the characteristics of Paul’s old mind-set?
· What were the characteristics of his Christian mind-set?
· Paul Letter to the Philippians has been called the joy letter because of his frequent use of the words joy and rejoice. However, Paul was disturbed by two dangers.
o One was a tendency toward those things that could lead to dissension.
o The other was the false teachers who sought to capture the minds and hearts of the believers.
§ Paul addressed this second danger in chapter 3.
· Vs. 2: Paul called these false teachers dogs. Paul was tolerant of those who preached the true gospel even for the wrong motives (see 1:12-18), but he had no patience with those who distorted the true gospel.
· For those of us who like dogs, we must realize that Paul lived in a different context. Dog does not refer to the house pet of today, but to the wild dogs that roamed in the forests by day and the city streets by night. They were scavengers and snarlers who could be very vicious and dangerous.
o The point is descriptive: there are some false teachers who are just like wild dogs.[4]
§ Matthew 7:6 (NASB) 6 "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
§ Psalm 22:16 (NASB) 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
o Nearly everyone believes that the group Paul labeled dogswere Judaizers. They were saying, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!” (Acts 15:1).But the leaders of the church, including Paul, Barnabas, James, and Peter, denied this claim and preserved the gospel of grace. Salvation comes through Christ and Christ alone, apart from works of the law.
· Vs. 3: Paul used another way to distinguish Christians from these attackers. The Judaizers placed great emphasis on circumcision. Paul said they were not the circumcision but the concision (“mutilators of the flesh,” NIV). Paul used the word beware(blepete; “watch out for,” HCSB) three times in verse 2 to warn against these false teachers whom he labeled dogs . .. evil workers . .. the concision.
o In verse 3 Paul says “We are the circumcision” to speak not of a circumcision of the flesh, but that of a changed heart. At the end of his letter to the Galatians, he says it like this:
§ For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; what matters instead is a new creation. (Gal 6:15)
o While Paul was a circumcised Jew, most in the Philippian congregation were Gentiles. Paul is saying that those who trust in Christ are the true people of God; they are the true circumcision. Following this statement, he provides three distinguishing marks of a Christian, of the true people of God. The first two statements are positive and the third is negative.
o Believers in Christ, Paul stated, are the true circumcision. Paul gave three of their characteristics: They worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (“worship by the Spirit of God,” “glory in Christ Jesus,” and “put no confidence in the flesh,” NIV).
We Serve by the Spirit of God (3:3b)
· Paul tells the church that true believers “worship by the Spirit of God” (ESV). When Paul uses the word worship, he is not speaking simply of what we do in a Sunday morning gathering. He’s speaking of “service,” as the HCSB translates it. He’s talking about a life devoted to God in spiritual service (cf. Rom 12:1).
· True Christians possess the Spirit. Paul says to the Christians in Rome, “You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom 8:9). When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4, He said something similar: “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23).
o Does the Spirit of God dwell in you?
o Do you worship and serve God by the Spirit?
o On what are you basing your assurance of salvation?
§ Do not base it on attendance at meetings or on involvement in social work.
§ Rest and rejoice in the fact that the Spirit of God dwells in you, enabling you to worship and serve God for the praise of His glory.
We Boast in Christ Jesus (3:3c)
· Paul adds that the true people of God “glory in Christ Jesus.” Our glory is in Christ alone! Again, our minds are drawn to Galatians, particularly where Paul famously says it like this:
o But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14)
· We do not glory in our earthly status, in our achievements, or in our gifts.
o Personal boasting in salvation is excluded for the Christian, for salvation has come to us through the work of another, a gift of the sovereign and gracious God (Rom 3:27; Eph 2:8-9).
o We must then boast only in Christ. To the Corinthians Paul says, “The one who boasts must boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31).
· If you meet someone who claims to be a Christian but is not making much of Christ, then you have reason to be suspicious of their claim.
o The Christian life is a Christ-exalting life.
§ Do you boast in Christ around your friends?
§ Do you glory in Christ Jesus in your ministry publicly?
§ Do you use your platform to make much of Christ Jesus our Lord?
o Churches can be known for all sorts of things.
§ Let’s be known for boasting in Christ!
We Put No Confidence in the Flesh (3:3d-4)
· Vs. 4: Confidence in the flesh was a key part of the mind-set of the Judaizers.
o The third mark is related to the second. Paul says that the people of God “do not put confidence in the flesh.” This is simple enough. Everyone has their confidence somewhere, and the Christian’s confidence is in Christ, not his own effort or goodness. That is why the Christian boasts in Christ and rejoices in Christ. The human heart is prone to trust in other things, instead of Christ, for salvation.
o This important passage reminds us that our tribe does not provide us with any confidence of being able to stand before God’s awesome presence.
§ When it comes to being accepted before a holy God, your nationality does not matter, your rituals do not matter, your education does not matter. We can stand safely, securely, and confidently before God because of the sacrifice of Christ.
· Paul used his old mind-set to illustrate what he meant by confidence in the flesh. Paul knew all about this subject because before he came to know Christ, he thought the same way. He said that if his opponents wanted to get into a bragging match, he could win because no one had any more reasons for this attitude or mind-set.
o By their standards, no one had stronger claims to trust in the flesh than he. Keep in mind how Paul used the word flesh.
o Paul’s old life was not one of indulgence in sensual sins, but he still was living with trust in the flesh.
o His sins were sins of self-confidence based on his own ability to live a righteous life as a good Jew.
Thoughts to Soak on:
· Where is your confidence?
· What will enable you to stand before God and receive His grace instead of His judgment?
· In what are you trusting?
o There’s only one place to look, according to Paul. So here are three marks of a Christian:
§ We serve by the Spirit of God.
§ We boast in Christ Jesus.
§ We put no confidence in the flesh.
§ If you are not a Christian, consider the testimony of Paul, as he details his former life before meeting the risen Christ. You, too, can turn from trusting in false saviors and place your faith in Christ alone for salvation. [5]
Vs 5: The Judaizers appealed to their impressive Jewish credentials, so Paul now flashes his own credentials, which were unparalleled. He effectively says, “If you want to brag, I can brag even more!” His point in doing this is to show the Philippians the emptiness of fleshly confidence. He will contrast this salvation by human achievement with a salvation by Christ’s achievement and call his former life of Judaism “filth.”
o Look at Paul’s achievements. He was circumcised the eighth day, as his people had done since the time of Abraham. He was of the stock (“nation,” HCSB) of Israel. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, the only tribe other than Judah to remain true to David’s descendants as kings. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Although he grew up in Tarsus, outside the holy land, his parents had maintained their Jewish identity and practices. Paul further communicated how seriously he took the law by pointing out that he was a Pharisee, known to all as obedient to the Mosaic law.
· Vs. 6: What were the results of Paul’s impressive resume of his Jewish heritage? Paul mentioned two results. The first referred to his zeal…the high-water mark was persecuting the church.
o At the time, this was considered among the best things he had done (Acts 7:58: 8:1-3; 9:1-2; 22:4-5).
o The moment of truth for Paul was when the voice from the blinding light said to him, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5, HCSB).
§ At that moment Saul of Tarsus knew that all he had done had been wrong.
§ There was probably a note of irony when Paul wrote of the time when he thought that persecuting the church was the supreme mark of his righteous zeal.
o The second part of verse 6 contains Paul’s claim that if his life was measured by obedience to the law, he was blameless.
§ In other words, he felt at the time that he was righteous because he had perfectly obeyed God’s law.
📷 As a Christian, he now knew how wrong he had been. In his letters Paul made clear that no one could be declared righteous based on a good life or keeping the law.
Thoughts to Soak on:
· Paul has given us in verses 4-6 a list of characteristics of his old mind-set.
o It was not the life of a man who was guilty of sexual immorality or drunkenness.
o It was the life of a man who thought he was righteous because of heritage, religious practice, and zeal, but who in his self-righteousness failed to see his sin of persecuting the church.
· Not all sinful people have a mind-set that includes the same sins as Paul’s, but if they are living only for self, they have a non-Christian mind-set.
o What can they do? The Greek word for repent is metanoeo, which means “change your mind.”
o When people are convicted of their sins, they should repent.
o The Hebrew word for repent is shub, which means “to turn.” When people repent, it affects how they think and what they do.
o Repenting goes with trusting Jesus as Savior.
§ Paul turned from his sins and lived by a new way of thinking and acting.
What are some lasting truths in Philippians 3:2-6?
· Beware false teachers.
· A non-Christian mind-set may be based on self-righteous pride and unrecognized sins.
· What we once took pride in, is seen for what it is when we meet Christ.
· Repentance involves a change in how we look at life and in how we live it.
Philippians 3:7-9 (NASB) Get to Know Jesus
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, …
· Let’s Explore some questions:
o What is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Him?
o How did Paul use accounting terms to communicate what he had lost and what he had gained?
o Was gaining Christ a future hope or a present reality?
o Was Paul’s goal of righteousness a hope or a reality?
· Philippians 3:7 marks the change in Paul’s outlook on life. Paul used the language of finance. He spoke of gain and loss.What he once counted as assets; he now saw as liabilities. He was like a man who realized after the fact that he had listed his debts in the asset column and his assets in the debt column.
· The key factor in Paul’s conversion was his encounter with Christ. That is what caused him to count all his former gains as losses and all his former losses as gains.
· Vs. 8: From one point of view, Paul gave up valuable assets.
o He gave up his status as a leading Pharisee, his reputation as a leader in the rabbinic movement, and his successes as a keeper of the laws and traditions of his people.
§ In exchange he joined a small band of followers of Jesus — people who were despised and persecuted.
o However, Paul did not see things from a negative point of view. Whatever difficulties he faced as a Christian were worth it.
o Paul had a continuous experience with Christ: he constantly counted all things as loss and as waste to win Christ. The word "count" is in the present tense; it is continuous action. When a person has made the decision to seek after Christ, he is to continueto seek after the knowledge of Christ—to learn all he can about the righteousness and perfection of Jesus Christ.
· Many people try to avoid or at least postpone a decision for Jesus Christ. Their fear in a fleshly mind-set is that Christ is a great kill-Joy who will end their joy of living.
o They need to read what Paul wrote and listen to the testimony of any true believer who will say that anything given up for Christ has been worth the loss.
o The Lord only calls for us to give up what is hurting us. He gives back far more than He takes.
· These are the words of a man who had dropped his fleshly mind-set and taken up a Spirit-led mind-set. He stated what he had gained in Christ — the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord (“I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,” HCSB). This knowledge was the main thing Paul had gained.
· There is a difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Him.
o Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, knew much concerning the believers’ story about Jesus.
o He heard Stephen preach, but he did not believe at that time. Instead, Paul tried to stamp out the faith.
o The knowledge he now had was the knowledge of the person of Christ.
§ You can know lots about people whom you do not know personally.
§ But you can come to personally know someone you meet and with whom you develop a personal relationship.
· Paul considered all the old things in which he trusted to be as dung (“filth,” HCSB; “rubbish,” NIV, NASB; “mere garbage,” GNB). He had been the beneficiary of this exchange of the new for the old.
· The words that I may gain Christare puzzling. Our question is, Had Paul not already won Christ, did he not already know Him? The answer is yes.
· This is typical of Paul’s practice of stating Christian experience as present reality and future hope. He already knew Christ, but he yearned to know him better — in this life and surely in the life to come.
· In verse 9 Paul spoke of his new attitude toward righteousness. Before he met Jesus, he defined righteousness in terms of the law; now the new Paul saw the righteousness which comes from God based on faith. His letters to Rome and to the Galatians are our best source of Paul’s understanding of righteousness.
o First, he denied that anyone has kept the law so perfectly (as he once believed he had) that he is declared righteous by God on that basis.
o Second, he insisted that through faith in Jesus, God justifies (declares righteous) sinners.
o Third, God expects righteousness and righteous living of those who have accepted Jesus.
o Fourth, only in the end times will believers be fully transformed into perfectly righteous persons.
Thoughts to Soak On:
· Ebenezer Scrooge was one of the many memorable characters Charles Dickens brought to life in his writings. Near the end of the book A Christmas Carol, shows him his own tombstone. Scrooge makes his earnest plea. The heart of his plea was “I’m not the man I was.”
· Indeed, Scrooge was not the man he had been. He had been selfish, insensitive, materialistic, and miserable. This was his old mind-set.
o He became compassionate, concerned, generous, and joyful. This was his new mind-set.
· In a sense, Paul was saying, “I’m not the man I was.” He had been confident he had kept the law and would be honored by God for his zeal in persecuting Christians. On the Damascus road, Paul realized that his entire life had been sinful in God’s eyes. Yet God saved him and used his testimony. He is an example of how God can give sinners a new mind-set that focuses on the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
What are some lasting truths in Philippians 3:7-9?
· When people come to know Christ, they gain far more than they give up.
· Knowing Christ is more than knowing about Him.
· The realities of what we have in Christ assure us of a full future fulfillment.
Philippians 3:10-11 (NASB) Pursue a Mature Way of Thinking 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Explore these Questions:
📷 How is resurrection past, present, and future?
📷 What did the cross and resurrection mean to Paul?
· Verse 10 is closely related to earlier verses in chapter 3, especially to the theme of knowing Christ.
o Through faith Paul already knew Christ.
o He was growing in his knowledge of the Lord.
o He had the confident hope that he would know Him best of all in the future.
o Knowing Jesus involved not only believing in His death and resurrection but living like Christ in His suffering and in His resurrection power.
§ Paul preached the cross and resurrection as the door to salvation from sin and death.
§ He also believed that the cross and resurrection were the way of the Christian life.
§ Jesus spoke of taking up the cross daily (Luke 9:23). Paul wrote of being crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20) and of being raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).
· Paul’s point in Philippians 3:10-11 regarding resurrection is this:
o He was striving to know more completely the power of the resurrected Lord in his life here and now.
o “I do not think, however, that Paul is here thinking so much of the power displayed in the resurrection, as of the power which comes out of it, which may most properly be called, ‘the power of his resurrection.’ This the apostle desired to apprehend and to know.”
§ The power of His resurrection is an evidencing power. It is the evidence and seal that everything Jesus did and said was true.
§ The power of His resurrection is a justifying power. It is the receipt and proof that the sacrifice of the cross was accepted as payment in full.
§ The power of His resurrection is a life-giving power. It means that those who are connected with Jesus Christ receive the same resurrection life.
§ The power of His resurrection is a consoling and comforting power. It promises that our friends and loved ones who are dead in Christ live with Him.
The Enduring Word Bible Commentary - Philippians.
o The future resurrection was his sure hope and ultimate goal.
o He was not simply waiting for the resurrection; he was pressing on in the resurrection life.
· Paul sought an eternal experience with Christ: he sought to be resurrected from the dead (v. 11). Paul sought to use all means—to commit himself totally—for this one great purpose.
· The words “if by any means” are not expressing doubt and uncertainty.
o Paul was not questioning the resurrection nor if he would be resurrected.
o Paul was simply saying what he had already stated (vv. 7–11). He uses all he is and has—all the means at his disposal—for this one great purpose: to attain to the resurrection from the dead. He is totally committed to that glorious day of redemption. He lives for that day and for that day alone.
· What is so significant about the resurrection of the dead? What is to be so different about that day?
o At death, we go to be with the Lord. Quicker than the eye can blink, when our time comes, we shall stand face to face with Christ.
o What is the difference between meeting Christ then and the resurrection? Why did Paul long for the resurrection over and above his meeting the Lord at death?
o There are at least two significant reasons why the resurrection, the glorious day of redemption, takes precedence over our meeting the Lord at death.[6]
§ The glorious day of resurrection will be the day when believers will have earthly bodies transformed and recreated into perfect eternal bodies.
§ At death when we go to be with the Lord, we do not receive our perfect eternal body.
📷 We will either be given temporary spiritual bodies or live with Christ as disembodied spirits.
📷 But as stated, at the resurrection the elements of our present bodies will be called forth by God from all over the world, and the elements shall be transformed into perfect and eternal bodies.
📷 And we shall live with and for God forever.
§ John 6:40 (NASB) 40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
§ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NASB) 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Thoughts to Soak on:
· Remember that Paul wrote this having experienced more suffering than we will ever experience, and he wrote it from the custody of Roman soldiers. This was not merely theological theory and ideas, but a lived-out connection with God.
· To know Christ is not to be skilled in any theoretical or theological knowledge; it is to know him with such intimacy that in the end we are as united with him as we are with those whom we love on earth and that, as we share their experiences, so we also share his.[7]
📷 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NASB) 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
📷 1 Corinthians 15:49-54 (NASB) 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.
· “They tell me he is a refiner, that he cleanses from spots; he has washed me in his precious blood, and to that extent I know him. They tell me that he clothes the naked; he hath covered me with a garment of righteousness, and to that extent I know him. They tell me that he is a breaker, and that he breaks fetters, he has set my soul at liberty, and therefore I know him. They tell me that he is a king and that he reigns over sin; he hath subdued my enemies beneath his feet, and I know him in that character. They tell me he is a shepherd: I know him for I am his sheep. They say he is a door: I have entered in through him, and I know him as a door. They say he is food: my spirit feeds on him as on the bread of heaven, and, therefore, I know him as such.” (Spurgeon)
· So, will you look to Christ as your righteousness? Do not trust in your own goodness. Many people think they are somewhere between Mother Theresa and Ted Bundy, assuming that God somehow grades on a curve. Consider Paul: he said as to righteousness under the law, he was blameless, yet he discovered that he was under the judgment of God and needed Christ’s righteousness. We need this righteousness also. If you are a Christian, then remind yourself of this good news daily by reading the Bible, meeting with other Christians, meditating on good books, and singing gospel-saturated songs. Isaac Watts wrote “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” a beautiful hymn that calls this passage to mind:
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
I think the apostle Paul would have enjoyed this song! I pray you can sing it as well.
Thoughts to Soak on:
· After receiving from Christ the fulfilment of his greatest longing—the longing for righteousness—Paul found himself with a new longing, namely, the longing to know this Christ in an intimate way. Paul wanted to know in particular the power of Christ’s resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings (v. 10). He wanted to experience in his own life the power that had raised Christ from the dead. He wanted that kind of power to be at work in his life. He even wanted to share Christ’s crucifixion. Christ was crucified as a sacrifice for sin. Paul’s desire to share in Christ’s crucifixion must mean, therefore, that he yearned to see sin die more and more in his life.
o This desire makes perfect sense because sin hinders us from growing in the knowledge of God.[8]
· Paul is showing us in this passage that there is an ocean of glory in Christ Jesus for us to know and experience.
o He never grew stagnant or bored with knowing Christ. Instead, he wanted to know Him better and better.
o He traded his self-righteousness for God’s perfect righteousness through faith in Christ.
o He possessed Christ’s resurrection power.
o He knew Christ better and better by suffering for Christ, and he thus rejoiced in suffering.
o He anticipated a glorious resurrection that would enable him to know his Savior even more.
· Let us not be content with putting a toe in the water. Let us pursue a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and let us long for the day in which we see Him, the One with scars on His hands, who defeated death through His resurrection.
· Nothing on earth compares to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reflect and Discuss!
· Consider the things that people treasure. Why do they treasure these things?
· Why is it important to resist legalism and false gospels?
· How can your church be protected from legalism and false gospels?
· According to 3:3, what are the three distinguishing marks of a genuine Christian?
· On what are you basing your assurance of salvation?
· Consider the seven sources of false confidence (ritual, ethnicity, rank, tradition, rule keeping, zeal, and obedience to the law). Which source is most enticing for you? Why?
· Why do you need Christ’s righteousness?
· Believers have resurrection power. What is this power within you working to bring about?
· How does suffering for Christ enable us to know Christ more?
· How does the hope of your resurrection encourage you in the Christian life?[9]
[1]Merida, T., Chan, F., Platt, D., Akin, D. L., & Merida, T. (2016). Exalting Jesus in Philippians. Nashville, TN: Holman Reference. [2]Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (1996). Galatians–Colossians(p. 291). Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide. [3]Merida, T., Chan, F., Platt, D., Akin, D. L., & Merida, T. (2016). Exalting Jesus in Philippians. Nashville, TN: Holman Reference. [4]Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (1996). Galatians–Colossians(p. 292). Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide. [5]Merida, T., Chan, F., Platt, D., Akin, D. L., & Merida, T. (2016). Exalting jesus in philippians. Nashville, TN: Holman Reference. [6]Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (1996). Galatians–Colossians(p. 300). Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide. [7]Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (electronic ed., pp. 64–65). Philadelphia: The Westminster John Knox Press. [8]Ellsworth, R. (2004). Opening up Philippians (p. 62). Leominster: Day One Publications. [9]Merida, T., Chan, F., Platt, D., Akin, D. L., & Merida, T. (2016). Exalting jesus in philippians. Nashville, TN: Holman Reference.
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