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Paul Changes Bookkeepers
v. 7 is the key verse. It's a new kind of accounting.
Ch. 1 was about having joy in spite of circumstances - the single mind. God works through it all for the furtherance of the gospel.
Ch. 2 was about having joy in spite of people - the submissive mind.
Ch. 3 is about having joy in spite of things - the spiritual mind.
vv. 7-8 'things' mentioned 3 times.
Our society is growing more and more materialistic, and the church is going along with it. We should not. We need a different bookkeeper. We need a better system of accounting!
v. 7, v. 8
Means to evaluate or assess.
Paul says, As I evaluate things I reassess them. Then I evaluate Christ and make an assessment about Him. And I have determined that my bookkeeping is all way off. I must have a spiritual mind to know what is truly important.
temporal vs. eternal
Doctrine comes first, then illustration.
v. 1 He says, 'Finally' as if he were about to close, but he's only 1/2 way through. And many of us preachers find great comfort in this because we like closing sermons so much we do it several times per message!
ill.--what does it mean when a preacher looks at his watch? Nothing!
v. 1 'rejoice' = this is about joy.
v. 1b This is a love letter between a pastor and his people. This is different than some of his letters. There's no doctrine to correct like in Galatia. There's no immorality to rebuke like in Corinth.
Here in Philippians 3 he says, It's not grievous to write to you...things are good.
But chapter 3 of Galatians begins, O foolish Galatians! He goes on to say, You are like animals that devour one another!
Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians says, I could not write to you as unto spiritual but carnal, babes in Christ!
v. 2 Now, in rapid fire succession, he gives a warning.
All are about the same group of people, who were peddling false things. In that day, it was Judaizers, who were mixing grace with the law.
'concision' = mutilation = referring to those who said you had to be circumcised to be saved.
Paul knew that his job was both to comfort the afflicted as well as to afflict the comfortable.
v. 3 True salvation is circumcision of the heart. It's a spiritual thing, not a fleshly thing. The spiritual mind views things differently. The arm of flesh will fail.
Now comes the example:
vv. 4 and following
"If anyone could ever have confidence in his own resume, it is me," says Paul.
Paul audits his own life like an accountant, and shows how it doesn't add up.
"circumcised" = I had the proper ritual.
And some think they are going to heaven because they have gone thru some ritual like baptism or confirmation, etc.
"of the stock of Israel" = the proper relationship.
It's great to come from a Godly heritage! If you didn't have it, make it for your kids and grandkids.
Some say, "I don't go to church because my parents made me." What a convenient excuse. They should admit that they just don't want to go.
ill.--this is why I don't bathe -- my parents made me as a child!
No...no one goes to heaven on a family plan. It has nothing to do with your heritage and everything to do with whether you made God your Father!
"of the tribe of Benjamin" = the proper respectability.
This was the first family of the 12 tribes. It was from Benjamin that Israel got her first king. They were faithful to King David even when everyone else rebelled. And Jerusalem was within the border of this tribe!
The Benjamites were the elite of the Israeli army.
Judges 20 talks about 700 left handed men who were sharpshooters - from Benjamin!
"a Hebrew of the Hebrews" = the proper race.
They considered themselves a superior race. We know that is not true, but even today racism flourishes.
"as touching the law, a Pharisee = the proper religion.
Pharisees were considered as high as you can go on the totem pole. There were only about 6,000 of these orthodox guys who supposedly obeyed God's laws and then added a bunch of man made laws atop those!
"concerning zeal, persecuting the church" = the proper role.
He was a persecutor of Christians. The other Pharisees were content to just run the Christians out of their borders. But not Paul. He wanted to kill them, and make it hurt, sending a message to all the others! He was there for their stonings.
"touching the righteousness of the law, blameless" = the proper righteousness.