Summary: Part four of the series living for Christ and the confidence we should have as believers in Christ
Confidence in Christ
Philippians chapter 3:1-3:11
Turn to Philippians chapter 3:1-3:11
The series “Living for Christ” That has been our focus for the last several weeks.
Built up in Christ
Christ dwelling in us.
Christ empowering us for service.
Today, putting our confidence in Christ.
If you haven’t noticed, we have been working our way through the book of Philippians as we are looking at series.
There been several Scriptures worth memorizing and remembering.
“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
“Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel.”
Christ changed Paul’s life from self-centered to Christ-centered.
He took an interest in God’s people and how he lived his life.
Philippians chapter 3:1-3:11
I want you to keep in mind a few things as we hear the words of the apostle Paul.
(1) His transition to faith, the difference between true and false confidence.
(2) His Jewish pedigree and what he thought of it.
(3) The value he placed on knowing Christ.
Now remember what Paul was up against, and remember that he has settled his faith issues and remember he has a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Apostle Paul was not always the Apostle Paul.
Before his conversion to Christ, he was a Pharisee (Saul) and a persecutor of the church and God’s people.
He killed Christians believing that God was pleased by his actions.
He describes that as false confidence, false teachings, and a false way of pleasing God.
Some of you who are old enough to remember Paul Harvey
He was known for “telling the rest of the story.”
He would take popular topics and dig into the truth.
He was not happy until he had uncovered the facts.
That is what Paul was doing for the church. He was telling the rest of the story so they could get all the facts.
Chapter 3:1- He says “Finally my brothers” then speaks for another 2 ½ chapters.
Remind you of anyone? Maybe someone that says they are going to close and then go’s and speaks for 10 more minutes.
I. His warning to believers
Like I said, Paul was not always the faithful apostle Paul.
He was transformed by an encounter with Christ on Damascus Road.
He transitioned to faith by grasping God’s truth and applying it to his life.
He tells us that there are some real joy suckers out there.
They will rob you of every ounce of joy if you let them.
Your joy is not based upon life’s situations and circumstances but on the risen savior Jesus.
(2) “Watch out for those dogs”
Other versions say Beware of the dogs, consider the dogs, and take notice of those dogs.
By definition, dogs to the Jews were opponents of the faith.
The lowest people of all, the Gentiles.
To Paul dogs were opponents of the gospel.
Dogs in ancient cites at the time were anything but man’s best friend. They were unclean scavengers that prowled the streets begging for food, feeding on filth and garbage. They were not pets. It was a negative term to describe the lowest of the lowest.
(2) “Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.”
Paul is painting a picture of those false teachers
Those polluters of the gospel that were making it hard for Gentiles to come to faith.
Those evil doers (those enemies of the faith)
He is showing opposition for those aggressive against the gospel and their serious error and the destruction they were creating.
Those that were telling new converts that they had to be circumcised like the Jews.
That the false teachers had distorted the truth so bad that it had become nothing more than the useless cutting of the body.
They were putting their confidence in the flesh. Putting trust in their actions rather than in Christ.
The false teachers were pulling them away from Christ and looking at what they did instead of what Christ did for us.
Paul doesn’t call them believers, he calls them mutilators.
We have to be careful that we do not let false teachings pull us away from Christ, and our confidence is not in our actions but on Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, we will answer for our actions and our beliefs, but they were putting their confidence in themselves and not in the faith and strength of Christ.
He counteracts the opposition- (v3) “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.”
He warns it is not those who mutilate their bodies, but those who worship God in Spirit and who are circumcised by the Spirit of God in our hearts.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:18