Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: There are so many today endeavoring for the praises of man. Many spend their life seeking the praise and approval of others. Would it not be better to receive the praise of God instead of the praise of man? How does one receive the praise of God?

Praised by God

By Greg Johnson


God’s Word says (Romans 2:28-29 NIV) "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. {29} No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God."


Under the old covenant, the law was given to reveal sin. In Exodus chapter 20 we are told of how God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. This was the law given by God. The law did not give us power to overcome sin. The law was given to reveal to us that we are sinners and need a savior.

Let me give you an example. You are driving down the road in a 55 mph speed zone. There is no traffic. It’s a beautiful clear day. The road is flat and straight. You are late for a very important appointment. The state law dictates that you should go 55 mph. It is interesting that you are not tempted to go 50 mph. Instead you are tempted to go 60 mph. The law reveals that you are a law breaker when you go 60 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. The law has no power to help you go 55 mph. It only reveals that you are a law breaker when you go over it.

That’s how God’s law is. It has no power to help us not be sinners. It only reveals to us that we are sinners and that we are in desperate need of help.

Under the old covenant, God gave the law. Circumcision was an outward sign of God’s covenant people. Praise God that Jesus came to fulfill the law! Today we are living under a new covenant with God.


Under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit is given to change our hearts. God has given us His Word. We have the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God has also given us the Holy Spirit to circumcise our hearts. Circumcision of the heart is now the sign of God’s covenant people.

Circumcision of the heart is not by might nor by power; circumcision of the heart is by the Spirit. We can not change our sinful hearts. The law can not change our sinful hearts. The Law reveals our sinful hearts and the Holy Spirit changes our sinful hearts. This change begins the moment we believe in what Jesus did for us at the cross.

In John Chapter three, a religionist named Nichodemus comes to Jesus with questions in his mind concerning Jesus. (John 3:1-17 NIV) "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. {2} He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." {3} In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." {4} "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!" {5} Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. {6} Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. {7} You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You must be born again.’ {8} The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." {9} "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. {10} "You are Israel’s teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? {11} I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. {12} I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? {13} No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. {14} Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, {15} that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. {16} "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {17} For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

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