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Philippians #8

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Notes & Transcripts
This message is in many ways a Part B to what we studied last week. We looked at two men, Timothy and Epaphroditus who were men of honorable character.
Philippians was written by the apostle Paul from a Roman prison to a church in modern Greece called Philippi. Paul have visited the city three times and hoped to visit them again if he was not put to death.
You remember how each section of this book seems to be a little mini section that revolves around the central focus of the book 2:5-11, where Jesus is humbled to the point of death and then God highly exalts him.
Ch 3 also points us to that central poem but also links directly to the message from last week, where we learned to honor by imitating.
We looked at two men, Timothy and Epaphroditus who were men of honorable character.
We said that we honor people like these two men primarily by imitating them.
This week Paul will say (3:15, 17) to imitate him, but although he is referring in some ways to his life and character, his primary focus is a call to imitate his purpose for living the way he does.
He begins chapter three in a very shocking way that we’ll see in just a moment,
He explains the biggest thing that will keep you from God. Something more terrible and dangerous than unrighteousness itself. Something so deceptive that thousands of people who call themselves Christians may very well be on their way to eternal separation from God because of this one thing.
Before we look at it I want you to listen to something.
ADVERTISEMENT
I abbreviated Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus for you.
I hope you have a very unsettled, unfinished feeling. Especially the more musical of us in the room really want to hear that last note of the song. We want it to be complete, to feel resolved.
Today we’re going to talk this completion, and how we, like a peice of classical music need to have momentum moving us forward toward the resolution.
We Christians must Press On to Know Christ
or pressing forward for the purpose of a relationship with Christ.
Our lives are like an piece of music God is writing, and one day he will satisfy and finish and complete us. Until then, we need to be driving foward for the purpose of this resolution that Paul calls ‘the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ in v14.
We won’t have time to go through the entire passage verse by verse, so as I read this, I’ll be making short comments to explain some of the more confusing phrases.
This chapter is in two sections, Paul’s warning and his resume 3:1-11 and then an exhortation to us in 3:12-4:1
READ Phil 3:1-4:1
Finally, my brothers,1 krejoice in the Lord. lTo write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Finally, my brothers,1 krejoice in the Lord. lTo write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Finally, my brothers,1 krejoice in the Lord. lTo write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for mthe dogs, look out for nthe evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For owe are the circumcision, pwho worship qby the Spirit of God2 and rglory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— sthough 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: tcircumcised on the eighth day, uof the people of Israel, vof the tribe of Benjamin, ua Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, wa Pharisee; xas to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; zas to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. But awhatever gain I had, bI counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of cthe surpassing worth of dknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I ehave 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 fa righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but gthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 hthat I may know him and ithe power of his resurrection, and jmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may kattain the resurrection from the dead.
Look out for mthe dogs, look out for nthe evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For owe are the circumcision, pwho worship qby the Spirit of God2 and rglory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— sthough 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: tcircumcised on the eighth day, uof the people of Israel, vof the tribe of Benjamin, ua Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, wa Pharisee; xas to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; zas to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. But awhatever gain I had, bI counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of cthe surpassing worth of dknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I ehave 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 fa righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but gthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 hthat I may know him and ithe power of his resurrection, and jmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may kattain the resurrection from the dead.
Look out for mthe dogs, look out for nthe evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For owe are the circumcision, pwho worship qby the Spirit of God2 and rglory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— sthough 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: tcircumcised on the eighth day, uof the people of Israel, vof the tribe of Benjamin, ua Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, wa Pharisee; xas to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; zas to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. But awhatever gain I had, bI counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of cthe surpassing worth of dknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I ehave 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 fa righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but gthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 hthat I may know him and ithe power of his resurrection, and jmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may kattain the resurrection from the dead.
Straining Toward the Goal
Straining Toward the Goal
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already lobtained this or mam already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: nforgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for othe prize of the upward pcall of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are qmature think this way, and if in anything ryou think otherwise, sGod will reveal that also to you. 16 Only tlet us hold true to what we have attained.
12 Not that I have already lobtained this or mam already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: nforgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for othe prize of the upward pcall of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are qmature think this way, and if in anything ryou think otherwise, sGod will reveal that also to you. 16 Only tlet us hold true to what we have attained.
12 Not that I have already lobtained this or mam already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: nforgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for othe prize of the upward pcall of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are qmature think this way, and if in anything ryou think otherwise, sGod will reveal that also to you. 16 Only tlet us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, ujoin in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk vaccording to the example you have in us. 18 For wmany, of whom I have often told you and now tell you xeven with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 yTheir end is destruction, ztheir god is their belly, and athey glory in their shame, with bminds set on earthly things. 20 But cour citizenship is in heaven, and dfrom it we eawait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform four lowly body gto be like his glorious body, hby the power that enables him even ito subject all things to himself.
17 Brothers, ujoin in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk vaccording to the example you have in us. 18 For wmany, of whom I have often told you and now tell you xeven with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 yTheir end is destruction, ztheir god is their belly, and athey glory in their shame, with bminds set on earthly things. 20 But cour citizenship is in heaven, and dfrom it we eawait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform four lowly body gto be like his glorious body, hby the power that enables him even ito subject all things to himself.
17 Brothers, ujoin in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk vaccording to the example you have in us. 18 For wmany, of whom I have often told you and now tell you xeven with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 yTheir end is destruction, ztheir god is their belly, and athey glory in their shame, with bminds set on earthly things. 20 But cour citizenship is in heaven, and dfrom it we eawait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform four lowly body gto be like his glorious body, hby the power that enables him even ito subject all things to himself.
Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and jlong for, kmy joy and lcrown, mstand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and jlong for, kmy joy and lcrown, mstand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and jlong for, kmy joy and lcrown, mstand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17
k ch. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16
k ch. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16
k ch. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16
l [2 Pet. 1:12]
l [2 Pet. 1:12]
l [2 Pet. 1:12]
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
m Ps. 22:16, 20; Isa. 56:10, 11; Rev. 22:15; [Gal. 5:15]
m Ps. 22:16, 20; Isa. 56:10, 11; Rev. 22:15; [Gal. 5:15]
m Ps. 22:16, 20; Isa. 56:10, 11; Rev. 22:15; [Gal. 5:15]
n [2 Cor. 11:13]
n [2 Cor. 11:13]
n [2 Cor. 11:13]
o See Rom. 2:29
o See Rom. 2:29
o See Rom. 2:29
p [John 4:23]
p [John 4:23]
p [John 4:23]
q [Gal. 5:25; Jude 20]
q [Gal. 5:25; Jude 20]
q [Gal. 5:25; Jude 20]
v1 listen to what I’m about to say because I’m going to say some things you’ve heard before.
2 Some manuscripts God in spirit
2 Some manuscripts God in spirit
2 Some manuscripts God in spirit
r Rom. 15:17; [Gal. 6:14]
r Rom. 15:17; [Gal. 6:14]
r Rom. 15:17; [Gal. 6:14]
s 2 Cor. 11:18
s 2 Cor. 11:18
s 2 Cor. 11:18
t See Gen. 17:12
t See Gen. 17:12
t See Gen. 17:12
u 2 Cor. 11:22
u 2 Cor. 11:22
u 2 Cor. 11:22
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
v Rom. 11:1
v Rom. 11:1
v Rom. 11:1
u 2 Cor. 11:22
u 2 Cor. 11:22
u 2 Cor. 11:22
v2 Paul tells them to watch out for false teachers. He calls them dog’s, evil doers, mutilators of the flesh. Jews who looked down on Gentiles as unclean and worthless would often call them ‘dogs’, not in the cute labradoodle sense. Back then, dogs were not pets, but unclean animals roaming and scavaging for food.
w Acts 23:6; 26:5
w Acts 23:6; 26:5
w Acts 23:6; 26:5
x Acts 22:3, 4; Gal. 1:13, 14
x Acts 22:3, 4; Gal. 1:13, 14
x Acts 22:3, 4; Gal. 1:13, 14
y See Acts 8:3
y See Acts 8:3
y See Acts 8:3
Watch out for these people who claim that mutilating their flesh (circumcision) was the reason to have confidence in their relationship with Christ.
z [ver. 9]
z [ver. 9]
z [ver. 9]
3 Greek in the law
3 Greek in the law
3 Greek in the law
For we are the circumcision, (the chosen people of God)
a [Luke 14:33]
a [Luke 14:33]
a [Luke 14:33]
who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
b [Heb. 11:26]
b [Heb. 11:26]
b [Heb. 11:26]
v3 not because we do a ritual act, but we are God’s people through faith
Then he lists his resume, and in the Jewish world it is incredible.
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:
If you were looking for the most super spiritual person a Jew could dream of, it would be Paul.
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;
If you were looking for the most super spiritual person a Jew could dream of, it would be Paul.
v5
v5
born as a Jew, from the very beginning
born as a Jew, from the very beginning
c [2 Cor. 5:15]
c [2 Cor. 5:15]
c [2 Cor. 5:15]
of the elite groups of Israel
of the elite groups of Israel
in regard to his adherence to the ritual law of Moses, he had the highest training and greatest discipline
in regard to his adherence to the ritual law of Moses, he had the highest training and greatest discipline
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 Christand 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.
as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
his zeal drove him to arrest and persecute those who he thought distorted the worship of Yahweh
as to adherence to the law, he was above reproachas to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
v6
his zeal drove him to arrest and persecute those who he thought distorted the worship of Yahweh
as to adherence to the law, he was above reproach. He obeyed the very letter of the law.
v7 HERE’s the shocker
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Every gain toward righteousness in this life, every spiritual advantage, in relation to Christ it was worthless. It was loss.
The true reward and true value of Paul’s life was NOT that he did a lot of good things or didn’t do too many bad things, it was that he knew 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 Christand 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—
doing good things doesn’t make me a good person, only faith in Christ makes me right with God
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 Christand 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.
Here’s Paul’s purpose v10
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.
Straining Toward the Goal
d Isa. 53:11; Jer. 9:23, 24; John 17:3; 2 Pet. 1:3
d Isa. 53:11; Jer. 9:23, 24; John 17:3; 2 Pet. 1:3
d Isa. 53:11; Jer. 9:23, 24; John 17:3; 2 Pet. 1:3
e Luke 9:25 (Gk.)
e Luke 9:25 (Gk.)
e Luke 9:25 (Gk.)
f Rom. 10:5; [ver. 6]
f Rom. 10:5; [ver. 6]
f Rom. 10:5; [ver. 6]
g See Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 1:30
g See Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 1:30
g See Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 1:30
h [Eph. 4:13]
h [Eph. 4:13]
h [Eph. 4:13]
i [Rom. 1:4; 6:5]
i [Rom. 1:4; 6:5]
i [Rom. 1:4; 6:5]
j 1 Pet. 4:13; See 2 Cor. 1:5
j 1 Pet. 4:13; See 2 Cor. 1:5
j 1 Pet. 4:13; See 2 Cor. 1:5
k Acts 26:7
k Acts 26:7
k Acts 26:7
l [1 Tim. 6:12, 19]
l [1 Tim. 6:12, 19]
l [1 Tim. 6:12, 19]
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
m Heb. 11:40; 12:23; [Heb. 5:9]
m Heb. 11:40; 12:23; [Heb. 5:9]
m Heb. 11:40; 12:23; [Heb. 5:9]
n [Ps. 45:10; Luke 9:62; Heb. 6:1]
n [Ps. 45:10; Luke 9:62; Heb. 6:1]
n [Ps. 45:10; Luke 9:62; Heb. 6:1]
o 1 Cor. 9:24
o 1 Cor. 9:24
o 1 Cor. 9:24
p [Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 5:10]; See Rom. 8:28
p [Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 5:10]; See Rom. 8:28
p [Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 5:10]; See Rom. 8:28
q 1 Cor. 2:6; See Matt. 5:48
q 1 Cor. 2:6; See Matt. 5:48
q 1 Cor. 2:6; See Matt. 5:48
This is what he wants us to imitate
r [Gal. 5:10]
r [Gal. 5:10]
r [Gal. 5:10]
s [John 7:17]
s [John 7:17]
s [John 7:17]
t Gal. 6:16
t Gal. 6:16
t Gal. 6:16
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
True Christians will be pursuaded that this is true. They know this to be true.
u [ch. 4:9]; See 1 Cor. 4:16
u [ch. 4:9]; See 1 Cor. 4:16
u [ch. 4:9]; See 1 Cor. 4:16
16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
v 1 Pet. 5:3
v 1 Pet. 5:3
v 1 Pet. 5:3
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
w See 2 Cor. 11:13
w See 2 Cor. 11:13
w See 2 Cor. 11:13
x [Acts 20:31]
x [Acts 20:31]
x [Acts 20:31]
y 2 Cor. 11:15; [2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:1, 3]
y 2 Cor. 11:15; [2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:1, 3]
y 2 Cor. 11:15; [2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:1, 3]
These people are those whose primary desire is not to be with God, but to satisfy themselves. An atheist, or someone who lives like an atheist is a perfect example of this kind of person. One who believes they are in control of their own destiny. They have the keys to their future. Life is only what they make it. They are consumed with the here and now and have little consideration for the life to come.
z See Rom. 16:18
z See Rom. 16:18
z See Rom. 16:18
a [Hos. 4:7; 2 Cor. 11:12; Gal. 6:13; Jude 13]
a [Hos. 4:7; 2 Cor. 11:12; Gal. 6:13; Jude 13]
a [Hos. 4:7; 2 Cor. 11:12; Gal. 6:13; Jude 13]
b Rom. 8:5; Col. 3:2
b Rom. 8:5; Col. 3:2
b Rom. 8:5; Col. 3:2
c See Eph. 2:19
c See Eph. 2:19
c See Eph. 2:19
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body,
d Acts 1:11
d Acts 1:11
d Acts 1:11
and this part is where he points back to the poem
e See 1 Cor. 1:7
e See 1 Cor. 1:7
e See 1 Cor. 1:7
by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
f [1 Cor. 15:43–53]
f [1 Cor. 15:43–53]
f [1 Cor. 15:43–53]
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
g [ver. 10; Col. 3:4]; See Rom. 8:29
g [ver. 10; Col. 3:4]; See Rom. 8:29
g [ver. 10; Col. 3:4]; See Rom. 8:29
h See Eph. 1:19
h See Eph. 1:19
h See Eph. 1:19
i 1 Cor. 15:28
i 1 Cor. 15:28
i 1 Cor. 15:28
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21
1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21
j See ch. 1:8
j See ch. 1:8
j See ch. 1:8
k ch. 1:4; 2:16; See 2 Cor. 1:14
k ch. 1:4; 2:16; See 2 Cor. 1:14
k ch. 1:4; 2:16; See 2 Cor. 1:14
l Prov. 16:31; 17:6
l Prov. 16:31; 17:6
l Prov. 16:31; 17:6
m ch. 1:27
m ch. 1:27
m ch. 1:27
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 3:1–4:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.v1 listen to what I’m about to say because I’m going to say some things you’ve heard before.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 3:1–4:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.v1 listen to what I’m about to say because I’m going to say some things you’ve heard before.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 3:1–4:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.v1 listen to what I’m about to say because I’m going to say some things you’ve heard before.
Watch out for these people who claim that mutilating their flesh (circumcision) was the reason to have confidence in their relationship with Christ.
As Christians, our forward momentum must be directed at knowing Christ and being found in him.
Then he lists his resume, and it is incredible.
v5
born as a Jew, from the very beginning
of the elite groups of Israel
in regard to his adherence to the ritual law of Moses, he had the highest training and greatest discipline
his zeal drove him to arrest and persecute those who he thought distorted the worship of Yahweh
as to adherence to the law, he was above reproach
v8 He counted all of his good works as rubbish, or dung, compared to the true goal: to gain Christ and v9 BE FOUND IN HIM
The true reward and true value of Paul’s life was NOT that he was a good person. It was not that he didn’t do too many bad things, it was that he know Christ.
v8 He counted all of that as rubbish, or dung, to gain Christ and v9 BE FOUND IN HIM
Paul finishes giving his very impressive resume, and then tosses it in the trash and says, you want to know what gives me value, that I know God and God knows me.
Our world runs on resume system doesn’t it?
Anytime you want something that you’re outside of there is some sort of credential check.
A job, the most obvious, requires you to be qualified for that job.
A club, you have to meet the criteria for members.
Even friendship, you get sized up all the time. We look at others and ask, are they attractive enough, are they smart enough, do they have the right interests, do they make me feel good.
And even the way we look at ourselves often comes directly from a list of how we are living up to the standard we have set for ourself.
So we find ourselves constantly running around trying to prove to people that we worthy of getting in or blow them off because we don’t feel like the effort is worth it.
Think about on FB, instagram, twitter. Isn’t it our temptation to make our life look amazing? To have our kids and our family look amazing? Even our food looks amazing on FB.
Or maybe even to look so awful that we get pity from people.
Think about some of the things we share, about how bad it is somewhere out there. About how much evil other people have. With a subtle commentary that, “I’m so glad I’m not like THEM.”
How much of who we really are is truly represented online?
We are all constantly working on our ‘resume’.
And we take this philosophy and go to God, and we say, see, look at all the good things I do, and notice all the bad things I don’t do. Certainly you will let me into heaven.
And the Bible says that there is only one way, and that you have to throw your resume of good works in the trash and go to God with empty hands relying on Jesus alone to get to God.
Remeber I said at the beginning that there was one thing that was more decietful and dangerous than our sin. Something that will damn us faster than sin itself. And it is our righteousness.
We cannot come to God saying, I’m so sorry for my sin, but I’m really not that bad of a person.
In fact, we may go so far to say that the greatest enemy of your soul is not your sin, for that is easy to recognize, but rather it is your own righteousness.
You see there are two things you need to repent of to become a Christian:
You see there are two things you need to repent of to become a Christian:
Your Sin
Your own righteousness
We cannot come to God saying, I’m so sorry for my sin, but I’m really not that bad of a person, I do a lot of really good things for you.
To be a Christian you have to repent of your sin and your own righteousness
God doesn’t need to see your resume to accept you. He only accepts those who come humbly through the substitute, Jesus Christ, who took the punishment we deserve so that we can be clean and get to a holy God.
Another way to think about this, is that in all of us resides a little legalist.
One that whispers to us that we are not good enough. That God won’t love us when we’ve done *such and such* or that we haven’t done *such and such*
This voice in us whispers that what gives us value is how we measure the standard that others have set for us and that we’ve set for ourself.
We either are proud of meeting our own standard of righteousness or we feel guilty for not meeting our own standard.
A legalist is someone who things that God saves them because they are a good person. That God accepts them because they come to church, and put something in the offering, and don’t beat their kids, and are nice to their neighbors, and pay their taxes.
and this secret voice makes us feel all good about ourselves, and this voice is sending us strait to hell.
Being a Christian is all about motivation. You know people who don’t follow Jesus Christ and are just as moral and nice people as any Christian you meet. And you’re tempted to think that that person may be a Christian because they are nice. Or we think that because we are nice people and we do good things that we are Christians. What makes a person a Christian is not all the good things they do. You can even be a ‘religious’ person and not know God.
They are a Christian because they know God. The desire to follow God. The press forward to the ultimate completion where they will be with God forever.
Christians press on not to impress God, but to know God.
Christians press on not to impress God, but to know God.
We even start to value how nice people are over their faith. We start to elevate their personal standards above what the Bible says. We start to think that God owes us for being so good.
Well, so and so is cheating on his wife, but he is such a nice guy. I can’t judge him.
If
That person is practicing homosexuality, but they are so nice and seem to really love God, it must be ok.
That person is such a good husband and father, I know he cheats on his taxes and gets sinfully angry sometimes, but that’s not really that bad.
So what are the righteousnesses you need to repent of?
As I prepare for this message, I realizing how for me it may be that being a pastor can become my ‘rightousness’.
Being a father of good kids, and if they are not good, getting sinfully angry not because I want them to be sanctified, but because I want to control the picture of what my rightousness looks like. And if I can be a good dad then I’ll live up to my own standard.
What is it for you?
job?
kids?
grandkids?
your role here in the church? - committee member, SS teacher, help with the service, help people cross the street
political stance?
Do you need some help finding the legalist in you? Find the things you tend to notice that others are doing and shouldn’t be, or aren’t doing.
If you tend to notice how poorly other parents raise their children, it’s a good sign its one of your own righteousnesses.
If you look at other people at work and think about how hard you work compared to them, and how you should be getting more credit than you are, it may be a sign that you’re considering your good work ethic as righteousness that deserves something from God.
If you tend to look at other people’s church attendance and think, well I would never miss church that much.
Or if you look at people who are always in church and you tend to miss a lot and think, what are they trying to prove? They need to reevaluate their priorities.
We talked about complaining earlier in the series. The things you complain about are good cues about where your earthly treasure is. The things you value.
Self-righteousness displays itself in you thinking that others are not righteous enough AND when you think others are too self-righteous and pharisaical.
OBVIOUSLY many of these things are good and we should do them, but we cannot look to them as the standard of whether we accept ourselves and whether God accepts us.
v9 - being found in him
You are beautiful as a Christian, not becuase of all the good things you’ve done, but because of the beautiful thing Jesus did.
So rather than doing good things to feel better about yourself, do good things in faith, as you talk to Jesus throughout your day, so that your micromoments are saturated with wanting to be close to Jesus.
Let’s stop ourselves from thinking about our life as a big scale where we can be a little selfish because we’ve done so many other things. We can choose to sin because we’re generally a good person.
Release, young mom, the opinion of your failures and use Christ’s standard to evaluate you, that you are gorgeously acceptable to him.
Release, men, the selfishness control to find your identity in your job and family, and know that you are a child of the king, and he names you as valuable and important to his kingdom work.
Christians, let us press on, living not as citizens of this earth where we treasure most the stuff and the fun we have, but let us press on to the final note of our lives, where we are completed and dwell with God forever.
Stand firm in the faith. Don’t listen to the legalists around you and within you.
Your life is a beautiful piece of music that you and God are writing. So write, not for the high notes, but for the resolution, where we live with God forever.
Two weeks ago I read the poem, a Debter to Mercy Alone, by Austus Toplady. Another hymn he wrote that you may be familiar with:
ROCK OF AGES
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure.
2 Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law's demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.
Let’s come to God with empty hands this morning.
Striving for the faith.
Let’s do it together.
Remember our working theme from the book?
How should our church live as citizens worthy of the Gospel?
In one mind and in one Spirit, partner side by side for the faith of the gospel.
_________________
opponents are NOT the same as in ch 1
A resume is intended to get into something you’re outside…all of our society is structured this way
jobs
friendships
even as we look at ourselves
sin is not the main thing that people aren’t christians
not your attitude to your sins, but our attitude toward our righteousness
people are irreligious and religious for the same reason - to be in control of your own lives and save themselves
you feel like God owes you
what makes you a christian is to repent of your own righteousness
If your a legalist your either proud of your accomplishemtns that are meeting your righteous standards, or you feel guilty for not meeting your own standards
Until you’ve repented of both you’re not a christian
you’re beautiful in Christ - found in him by God
What is your righteousness?
kids job church
If you hadn’t done that very bad thing, would God find you more appealing
If jesus is only your model, only your hero, you’re not a christan
__
my christianity is private - it assumes christianity is a piece of your life rather than it being the driving force, the singular purpose of your life
It’s so intense
Someone is after me
its not an addition of knowledge or applying it
the people ‘better’ than you you are intimidated by or envy
the people ‘inferior’ to you you despise
To know God- thats what jesus did it all for, why would we settle for anything less
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