Summary: What to watch out for if we are to continue to rejoice in the Lord
Text: Philippians 3:1-21
Title: Rejoice in the Lord.
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same thing to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” (v1)
Point to ponder: What is to be the believers safeguard in good times and bad? To always rejoice in the Lord!
Notice it was no trouble for Paul to rejoice in the Lord.If we are having trouble today rejoicing in the Lord Paul gives us several things to watch out for.
1. Watch out for opposition (v2-3)
“Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For 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.”
Explanation: Paul was opposed by those who believed you must be circumcised in order to be saved. Many of them were aggressive in their opposition. They ehaved like dogs. They did evil things to Paul. They ossiped about him. They persecuted him.
What was Paul’s response (v3) We worship by the Spirit of God, glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
Application: What are you going to do when opposition happens?
Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Rejoice and be glad because
A. You will be rewarded in heaven
B. You are identifying with Christ
C. It’s a sign that our faith is genuine
2. Watch out for pride (v4-11)
–If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh I have more: circumcised on the eight day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” “What 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 and 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. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
If the devil can’t get you to stop rejoicing in the Lord through opposition he will try to get you through pride.
Many Christians start out with confidence in the Lord and end up with confidence in the flesh! Early days you did not do anything with out praying about it.
Notice how many times Paul mentions Christ in verses 4-6? Who is Paul rejoicing in? His accomplishments! The secret is to always rejoice in Christ’s accomplishments.
JOY =Jesus- others- yourself
In our passage Paul begins by comparing himself with others. He kept a checklist.Circumcised or not circumcised. What nationality? What tribe? Pharisee or sinner? Paul won every time!
Then he goes and compares himself against Christ. Christ won!
Now those things that Paul once thought as so important now meant nothing to him.
1. if you lost everything tomorrow could you still rejoice in the Lord?
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
There is another way we watch out for pride. That is by living by faith. Faith and pride are opposites. Pride is all about things you can see. Faith is all about things you don’t see.
3. Watch out for going stale (v12-16)
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All 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. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.