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Philippians pt 6

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  • 1. Ode to JoyA Study in the Epistle to the Philippians Part 6 Phil 3:1-21 By Samuel E. Ward 1
  • 2. IntroductionIf you were in jail, what sort of letter would you write to your Christian friends? Would it focus on the difficulties--the poor food, cramped quarters and lonely isolation?Pauls letter to the Philippians, written from prison, has no hint of self-pity. The letter radiates joy--joy that Christ was proclaimed, joy in fellowship with the Philippian Christians and, above all, joy in Jesus himself. – J. Alec Motyer 2
  • 3. Our own outline of Philippians to this point reflects the truth of Motyer’s assessment of the book’s message.I. This Letter Is an Expression of Paul’s Joy in the Philippians, Phil 1:1-11.II. This Letter Is an Explanation of Paul’s Joy in Suffering for the Gospel He Gave Them, Phil 1:12-30. 3
  • 4. III. This Letter Is an Exhortation to the Philippians to Complete Paul’s Joy in Them, Phil 2:1-18.IV. This Letter Is Evidence of Paul’s Commitment to See Their Joy in Christ Continue, Phil 2:10-30.We find, also, that . . . 4
  • 5. V. This Letter Is an Expose’ of ThoseWho Threaten the Joy and Freedom They Have in Christ, Phil 3:1-21.A. Paul’s Priority Was to Safeguard the Joy of the Church, Phil 3:1.(Phil 3:1 NIV) Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 5
  • 6. B. Paul’s Warning Was to Be on the Alert Against Those Who Threaten Their Joy, Phil 3:2.(Phil 3:2 NIV) Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 6
  • 7. C. Paul’s Experience in Christ Brought a New Perspective to the Source of True Joy, Phil 3:3-101. The Old Testament circumcision connected people to the Old Testament Covenant through a physical rite—it was temporary and applied only to Israel.2. The New Testament circumcision connects people to the New Covenant in Christ by identification with Christ by faith in His atoning death—it is eternal and applies to all who believe in Christ. 7
  • 8. (Phil 3:3 NIV) For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-- 8
  • 9. 3. Paul offers an explanation of the difference between relying on self and relying on Christ in finding God’s grace and salvation.a. If personal pedigree and devotion to the law could gain God’s favor, Paul was more than qualified, Phil 3:4-6. 9
  • 10. (Phil 3:4b-6 NIV) If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put 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; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; {6} as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 10
  • 11. He was confirmed as Israelite at the earliestpossible time.He was a member of the tribe that producedIsrael’s first king and the only tribe thatallied itself with Judah when the kingdomsplit.He was a model Hebrew—not influenced byassimilating with other cultures whetherGreek or Roman. 11
  • 12. He was ultra-conservative in regard to theinterpretation of the Law as a Pharisee.He was zealous in seeking to stamp outChristianity, viewing it as a false cult.He was blameless in His personal adherenceto the Law. 12
  • 13. b. But personal pedigree and devotion to the Law does not save, Rom 3:19-23.(Rom 3:19-23 NIV) Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. {20} Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 13
  • 14. {21} But now a righteousness fromGod, apart from law, has been madeknown, to which the Law and the Prophetstestify. {22} This righteousness from Godcomes through faith in Jesus Christ to allwho believe. There is no difference, {23} forall have sinned and fall short of the glory ofGod, 14
  • 15. That is why Paul is willing to throw away any claim to personal righteousness and worthiness before God based on status or position, and simply accept Christ’s. He was willing to be a “nobody” for Christ—a servant to a benevolent, merciful, and gracious Master, Phil 3:7-9. 15
  • 16. (Phil 3:7-9 NIV) But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. {8} What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ {9} and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 16
  • 17. c. The real gain Paul sought was not to be found in earthly pursuits, but in experiencing a life that so empowered by Christ that it was worth following Him even in suffering and death, Phil 3:10-11.(Phil 3:10-11 NIV) I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, {11} and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 17
  • 18. (Mat 16:26 NIV) What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?(Rom 8:17-18 NIV) Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. {18} I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 18
  • 19. d. To Paul, life was all about experiencing the full extent of the Lord’s purposes for his life, Phil 3:12-16.From the beginning, Paul’s mission was about being God’s witness to the world of what Paul had heard from Christ 19
  • 20. (Acts 22:12-15 NIV) "A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. {13} He stood beside me and said, Brother Saul, receive your sight! And at that very moment I was able to see him. {14} Then he said: The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. {15} You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” 20
  • 21. It was in the carrying out of his mission to be a witness for Christ that Paul would grow toward perfection, press for the prize waiting for him in heaven, and be willing to serve and suffer whatever would come his way in that pursuit, Phil 3:12-14.(Phil 3:12-14 NIV) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 21
  • 22. {13} Brothers, I do not consider myself yet tohave taken hold of it. But one thing I do:Forgetting what is behind and strainingtoward what is ahead, {14} I press on towardthe goal to win the prize for which God hascalled me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 22
  • 23. 3. Paul explains that his attitude toward service to Christ is the model for all Christians(Phil 3:15-17 NIV) All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. {16} Only let us live up to what we have already attained. {17} Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 23
  • 24. This attitude of always pressing for the best that Christ has for us even in the face of suffering on the way to receiving the heavenly prize is . . .a. a mature attitude—for grown-up Christians .b. a developing attitude—for growing (maturing) Christians.c. an active attitude—for being involved in growing (nurturing) others to become Christians or edifying those who are. 24
  • 25. 4. Paul contrasts the enemies of Christ with that of believers, Phil 3:18-4:1.(Phil 3:18-21 NIV) For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. {19} Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 25
  • 26. {20} But our citizenship is in heaven. And weeagerly await a Savior from there, the LordJesus Christ, {21} who, by the power thatenables him to bring everything under hiscontrol, will transform our lowly bodies sothat they will be like his glorious body. 26
  • 27. a. The enemies of Christ Their destiny is destruction Their god is their stomach Their glory is their shame Their mind is on earthly things 27
  • 28. b. The believers in Christ Their citizenship is in heaven. Their hope is in Christ’s return from heaven. Their destiny is to have glorious bodies like Christ’s after He takes control of everything. 28
  • 29. It is little wonder, then, that Paul was willing to commit himself to Christ even in the face of mortal danger. This is why he could write with conviction . . .(Phil 3:14 NIV) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 29
  • 30. What I call a good patient is one who, having found a good physician, sticks to him till he dies. -- Oliver Wendell HolmesPaul had found the Great Physician and was going to stick to him until he died and beyond. 30