PHILIPPIANS 3:3 January 8 , 2012 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI
“ Before I start talking...” (Yogi) Christmas verses: John 1:1,14 Revelation 12:1-5
John 1:1 1 “In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
14 “And the Word became flesh , and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“ And the Word became flesh ” = the Incarnation = what Christmas is all about !
Sometimes Scripture can have more that one application: *two schools of thought among Jewish rabbis during the time of Christ…
Rev 12:1-5 1 “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars
2 and she was with Child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her Child.
5 And she gave birth to a Son, a male Child , Who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her Child was caught up to God and to His throne.” Rev 12:1-5
Philippians 3:2 warns about false believers and then verse 3 addresses five qualities of true believers:
True believers : 1) rejoice in the Lord, 2)exercise discernment , 3) worship in the Spirit, 4) glory in Christ Jesus, and 5) no confidence in the flesh
Philippians 3:3 “ for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”
TRUE BELIEVERS WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT “ who worship in the Spirit of God ” Philippians 3:3 a
We can exclaim with the psalmists, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God" (Ps 42:1);
This " peace of God , which surpasses all comprehension" comes only to those who " seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matt 6:33).
True worship is in the power of the Spirit of God , because only He can produce the love, joy, and peace that characterize true worshipers Gal 5:22.
Those who worship in the flesh "draw near with their words and honor God with their lip service , but they remove their hearts far from Him, and their reverence for for Him consists of tradition learned by rote" (Isa 29:13).
True worshipers are devoted to God; He has no rival for our affection. We "worship the Lord our God, and serve Him only " (Matt 4:10),
holding nothing back, we "present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God , which is our spiritual service of worship" (Rom 12:1).
True Christians are not simply marked by attending church or performing religious duties, but by a worshiping heart . No one else can worship God quite like you can.
*You are unique! *No one else can worship God quite like you can.
Five qualities of true believers : 1)they rejoice in the Lord, 2)they exercise discernment , 3)they worship in the Spirit, 4) They glory in Christ Jesus
4)TRUE WORSHIPERS GLORY IN CHRIST JESUS “ and glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:3b
Kauchaomai ( glory ) describes boasting with exultant joy about what or Who a person is most proud of.
“ Glory ” is a favorite term of Paul's; thirty-five of its thirty-seven appearances in the New Testament are in his epistles.
The root word can be used in a negative sense to describe proud, inappropriate boasting .
Kauchaomai is also used, however, to describe believers' joyful exulting in Christ as it is used here in a positive way.
True Christians give the credit for all that they are and have to the Lord Jesus Christ.
With Paul they declare, "By the grace of God I am what I am" and …
"Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God" (Rom 15:17).
They obey the Biblical injunction: "Let him who boasts , boast in the Lord”.
In contrast, false believers " boast according to the flesh ", believing that their good works and religious activities earn them favor with God.
But salvation is "by grace . . . through faith; . . . it is the gift of God "; it is "not . . . a result of works, so that no one may boast “. Eph 2:8-9
It was the Biblical truth that sinful men can do nothing to merit salvation that led the Reformers to teach that salvation is sola fide (by faith alone) and sola gratia (by grace alone).
*Those who think they can earn God's grace by their own works give evidence that they lack saving faith.
Five qualities of true believers : 1)they rejoice in the Lord, 2)they exercise discernment , 3)they worship in the Spirit, 4)They glory in Christ Jesus
5)TRUE WORSHIPERS PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH “ and put no confidence in the flesh,” Philippians 3:3 c
The flesh represents man's fallen, unredeemed humanness; it pictures human ability apart from God .
Unlike the "many who boast according to the flesh" (2 Cor 11:18), true Christians put no confidence in the flesh .
They understand that "it is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh profits nothing " (John 6:63),
and they agree with Paul's declaration , "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh " (Rom 7:18).
Because it is fallen and unredeemed, the flesh cannot do anything to please God ; it serves only the law of sin (Romans 7:25).
Therefore, it is a distinguishing characteristic of the redeemed that they " do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (8:4), because
"the mind set on the flesh is death" (Romans 8:6 & 13) and " those who are in the flesh cannot please God " (Romans 8:8).