Summary: Ultimate joy is found in Jesus!
• Have you ever tried to do something that was literally impossible to do?
• For instance, when I was young, I was not the tallest person on the block.
• I wanted to do things that would make me taller, As you can see, it worked! :)
• There was really nothing I could do to make myself 6’3’’.
• Any efforts to make myself taller were futile.
• When we are in the midst of futility, we become frustrated and unhappy.
• When we try to do what cannot be done, we will give up, and when we give up, we are susceptible to doing things we should not do.
• In the text we will cover today, Paul begins this chapter with a warning against those who would try to turn Christians from God back to the old futile ways of the Law.
• Paul draws on his own life experience to try to help people realize that going back to the old ways would be a bad move.
• Why would Christians even consider abandoning salvation through faith in Jesus for a failed system of salvation?
• Sometimes I wonder if going back to the old way of life is so tempting, because it is so easy, even if that old life was miserable.
• It is actually easy to be miserable.
• For the readers of Paul’s letter, being a Christian was not easy, for many it cost them all they had, for Paul, as we will see in our text, the price was high.
• How was Paul, in the middle of all he lost to follow Jesus, able to stay joyful and happy?
• I see a great number of people who do not appear to be joyful and happy. Why is that happening?
• When we are in Christ, even when life is difficult, we are to find joy and happiness.
• What is it that we are allowing to steal that joy and happiness from us?
• How is it that a man in prison for his faith, a man who has lost his power, his prestige, and his position, able to maintain a sense of happiness and joy in his life?
• Maybe part of the problem is that we do not fully grasp that we cannot earn our salvation.
• Salvation is a gift from God to those who place their faith in Jesus, who allows that response to lead them to confessing Jesus as Lord, which leas one to repentance.
• Then we respond in faith tp being baptized into Christ where we rise as new creations in Christ Jesus!
• Maybe we are either neglecting our salvation or we are trying to earn a gift instead of receiving that gift?
• As we dig into our text today, I hope we can unwrap the answer for you!
• Let’s being by turning to Philippians 3:7-8.
Philippians 3:7–8 CSB
7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.
8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ
Happiness is found by...
I. Re-evaluating what is important in life.
• One of the things that can drain the life and joy out of a person is when we really have no clue what is important in life.
• I believe when we are chasing things in life that are not of great importance, we tend to lose our joy because down deep inside, we realize the pursuits we are chasing are void and empty.
• King Solomon faced this in his life.
• A man who had it all, yet down in the pits of his soul, he knew he had nothing.
• Before Paul became a Christian, he was one of the best Pharisee’s that existed.
• Paul put his confidence in being a Pharisee.
• Look at verses 4-6 with me.
Philippians 3:4–6 CSB
4 although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
5 circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee;
6 regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.
• Paul is stating that if ANYONE could have put his confidence in the flesh, he had the pedigree to do so.
• Putting your confidence in something implies that one has faith in said area.
• When our priorities are messed up, we end up putting our confidence in things of which we should not.