Summary: This sermon deals with the need for Christians to make their relationship with God and their service to God the main priority in life.
Everything Else Is Garbage
Philippians 3:8-14, 2 Tim 4:7 - 8
June 26, 2004
I. Two weeks ago I started talking about the third chapter of Philippians, in verse one Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord.
A. We are to rejoice in the Lord because we know that He loves us, we know that He has provided us with salvation, we know that He knows our problems and cares more about what we are dealing with than even we do.
B. As I said then, Paul is trying to get a point across in this chapter, and the point is that we are to put no confidence in the flesh.
C. The bible uses the word flesh to describe the basic weaknesses of the human nature. The word flesh is used to describe human beings tendency toward self-centeredness, and weakness, and sin.
1. The spirit of God lives in us when we’re Christians, but there is a sinful nature that is apart of being human, and the bible talks about that in terms of the flesh or our human weaknesses to decide, that what we want is best, or what looks easiest is best, or what we think will bring the most pleasure to us is the best way, and that is a lie.
2. Romans chapter 8 verse 5 gives us a good description of that. (Rom 8:5 NIV) Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
D. What he is saying is we are not to trust our own human desires as gauge for what is right, because our human desires are many times in conflict with the leadership of the Spirit.
E. Paul moves on to more specific things about not putting confidence in the flesh in verses two through ten.
(Phil 3:1 - 10 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. Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 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-- though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 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; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 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. 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,
F. Every time that I am not very tactful I let myself off the hook by remembering that Paul was a preacher too.
G. Paul was not a very tactful person. He starts this passage by calling those who were telling people that you had to be circumcised to be a Christian, dogs.
H. In the Jewish community a dog was the most lowly and despised creature around.
I. To call someone a dog was to show utter contempt for them.
(Exo 22:31 NIV) "You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
J. Queen Jezebel in the Old Testament was one of the most wicked people we read about, and as God described the terrible things that would happen to her to let the people know how much he detested her actions, He said that dogs would eat her.
(2 Ki 9:10 NIV) As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’"
1. And by the way, if God says it take it to the bank.
(2 Ki 9:31-37 NIV) As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, "Have you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?" He looked up at the window and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?" Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. "Throw her down!" Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot. Jehu went in and ate and drank. "Take care of that cursed woman," he said, "and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter." But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. Jezebel’s body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ’This is Jezebel.’"