Summary: Sometimes we can be Christians for so long that it is possible we might lose our passion for God. We need to get a fresh passion every day.
Phil 3:1-16 says:
Philippians 3:1 - 16 (NIV) 1Finally, 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. 2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For 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— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised 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; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What 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 9and 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. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not 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. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All 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. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
1. Brief intro into the Judaizers.
We see here in this text that the church in Philippi was having a problem. There were some people who were going around confessing Christ but at the same trying to get people the keep the law. In this case particularly it was circumcision. These people were simply called the Judaizers. They were saying that salvation does not come just through faith in Jesus Christ but at the same time you must keep the customs and traditions of the law. They were saying that Salvation doesn’t come from faith alone in Christ alone, but It comes from faith in Christ plus. These people are called the Judaizers. Paul here is dealing with this issue as he writes to the church in Philippi.
He actually calls these people dogs. Now it’s important to note the impact of this term “dog would have” The term dog was used by the Jews when they would reference gentiles. You see to the Jews the gentiles were not under the covenant with God and were therefore worthless and sub human if you will so they called them dogs. It is interesting to see here how now Paul used this same term for the Jews because they now are not part of God’s covenant but the gentiles are because of their faith in Christ. You see we who put our faith in Christ worship Him in Spirit not in the religious customs set forth by the law. We don’t put confidence in such things as these because we know that the only true way to a relationship with God is to renounce these works of the flesh and accept his free gift of salvation and although it is free it cost him everything.
2. I want to focus in a certain verse 8 and 10
8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death
The word picture here in the Greek screams out of a continually deep intimate fellowship. When Paul says “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” He is saying getting to know Christ through experience. Not head knowledge, but to have a personal acquaintance or experience with Him.
When I read this portion of scripture all I can do is imagine and envy this immense hunger Paul had in his heart to get to know God. Here is a man who gave up everything he had for Christ. He walked away from his whole life. When we read about Paul on his way to kill some more Christians in Damascus being confronted with the words from Jesus “Paul Paul why do you persecute me? We see Paul become so hungry for Christ that everything he ever counted as important in his life he now counts as loss.