Philippians: Finding Joy in Uncertainty – Chapter 3, Part 1

Today, we are continuing in Philippians. In fact, we are opening today in chapter 3.

Remember Paul is writing the Philippians from prison. This is first of four Prison Epistles. {Eph. Col, Philemon}

My big Idea for today is “that we should be liberated by truth. In the Gospel, in Christ, and in our reality. My prayer today is that by hearing this message together we would loosen our grip on the things of this world so we can grab ahold of the reality we have in Christ Jesus. If you have your Bibles today you can join me in Philippians chapter 3, verse 1.

Further, my brothers and sisters, 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. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have 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 righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:1-11

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points.

Put No Confidence In The Flesh

Further, my brothers and sisters, 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. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

Philippians 3:1-3

He starts off with great advice! Rejoice in the Lord…

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

It’s the will of God for our lives in Christ. And just like me I’m happy to keep reminding you of these key ideas of our faith because its important and it safeguards you in your faith.

Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.

Philippians 3:2

My wife and all you animal lovers out there are not going to like Paul’s perspective, but here goes. They are like dogs, Paul says, because they intrude where they are not wanted. Paul’s adversaries have inserted themselves into Paul’s churches to disrupt and create chaos.

We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Galatians 2:5

They do evil, unlike Paul and his missionaries who are faithful to the Gospel.

For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:13

They are mutilators of the flesh, because they insist that physical circumcision is required as in a works-based salvation.

A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Romans 2:28-29

Their confidence is in the presentation of their flesh.

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Galatians 5:12

Rather than receiving salvation as an act of God’s grace that comes through faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Romans 7:18

The sneakiest thing the devil ever did was to convince you and me that we are basically good at heart.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

It is evil and unpredictable. In fact, the only thing that you can count regarding our hearts, is that you can’t count on it. We say, “oh the heart wants what the heart wants.” The major issue is that if we believe that we are good or that somehow we have earned our salvation/good standing with God, then what need to we have for a savior?

though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have 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 righteousness based on the law, faultless.

Philippians 3:4-6

I’ll move on to my next point.

Know The Cost Of Knowing Christ

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Philippians 3:7-9

Of all of Paul’s accomplishments in life they are all like garbage compared to the joy and privilege Paul enjoys in being in a personal relationship with Christ. He has peace in Knowing Christ. And nothing in or on this planet even comes close to comparing to the glory of Christ Jesus. Next to Jesus everything else is trash.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Philippians 3:7-9

Remember in chapter 1 Paul said that weather by life or by death Christ would be exalted and for him it was to live is Christ and to die was gain. Here’s the lynch pin.

Philippians 3:10-11

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

Apart from Christ, our sin has earned us death, but Jesus’ died in our place, so you see, it would be impossible for you or me to earn salvation without faith because Jesus has paid the cost of our sin. But if we ask Jesus to come into our lives.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

In a little while many of us will go to witness a baptism. The demonstration of that same faith. That representation of Heidi’s participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. ,In obedience to the Great commission Heidi will bring her life into submission to Christ and His command for each of us. Here is the question…

Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace.

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today?

Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here.

Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26