Summary: This is a message showing what Paul discovered in Christ Jesus.
It’s Jesus Or Nothing
In this section Paul states his attainments.
1. He was so loyal a Jew that he had never lost the Hebrew speech.
2. He was not only a religious Jew, he was a member of their strictest and the most self-disciplined sect.
3. He had in his heart a burning zeal for what he had thought was the cause of God.
4. He had a record in Judaism in which no man could mark a fault.
All these things Paul might have claimed to set down on the credit side of the balance; but when he met Christ, he wrote them off as nothing more than bad debts.
I. WHAT PAUL REFUSED FOR CHRIST vv. 4-8
(This section contains notes borrowed from Lehman Strauss.)
A. He refused to trust in his ritual. (circumcised the eighth day) vv. 4-5
1. Every loyal Jew practiced the sacred rite of circumcision on the eighth day.
a. Zacharias and Elisabeth brought John the Baptist on the eighth day.
b. Mary brought the infant Jesus for circumcision on the eighth day according to the Mosaic law.
c. Paul testified the same.
d. The Ishmaelites were also circumcised, but when they were 13 years of age.
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." Phil. 3:7
B. He refused to trust in his relationship. (of the stock of Israel" v. 5
1. Paul could have taken pride in being a direct descendant of Jacob. It added dignity to his pedigree.
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." Phil 3:7
C. He refused to trust in his respectability. "of the tribe of Benjamin" v. 5
1. The tribe of Benjamin was known for its unwavering loyalty to the throne of David when the ten tribes separated to divide the kingdom.
2. Respectability is a notible trait in any family, but such an ancestral heritage will never put a sinner in good standings with God.
D. He refused to trust in his race. "an Hebrew of the Hebrews" v. 5
1. Paul traces his pedigree to the first Hebrew, Abraham. Though living at Tarsus and receiving his education there, he never departed from Hebrew tradition.
2. Never let your race become a barrier between Christ and yourself.
E. He refused to trust in his religion. "as touching the law, a Pharisee" v. 5
1. The Pharisee today is a personification of false pride, arrogance, and contempt , but the Pharisee of the oldest order in Israel stood for a morality of the highest and strictest kind.
Paul later admitted that he was sincere but wrong.
F. He refused to trust in his reputation. "concerning zeal, persecuting the church" v. 6
G. Luke described His zeal in this manner, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord." "zeal of God but
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss" Phil.3:7
H. He refused to trust in his righeousness. "touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." v. 6-8
II. WHAT PAUL RECEIVED IN CHRIST vv. 9-14