Summary: Paul was concerned about their spiritual safety. He wanted to protect their Christian life from certain dangers. That’s the reason for his repetition. What is it that he wanted to safeguard them from?
Spiritual Safeguard; Philippians 3:1-3
A preacher that came to the breakfast table with a cut on his cheek. His wife asked him what had happened. He told her that he was concentrating on his sermon while shaving and had cut himself. His wife said, “Maybe you should concentrate on your shaving and cut your sermon.”
Paul was a long-winded preacher - Acts 20:9, “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” Here Paul had been preaching to the Philippians for 2 chapters, then says in 3:1, “Finally my brethren,” and then preaches 2 more chapters.
Not only was he longwinded, he also didn’t hesitate to preach a sermon that he had preached before. He says in Vs.1, “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” He repeats what he has already said for their safety.
I’ve heard a few sermons that I wished I had never heard the first time, and I’ve also heard a few that I wanted and needed to hear again. Paul said, you need to hear this one again. (Preacher that preached same message every week – “Once you apply this one, I’ll preach another one”).
Paul was concerned about their spiritual safety. He wanted to protect their Christian life from certain dangers. That’s the reason for his repetition. What is it that he wanted to safeguard them from?
I. HE WANTED TO SAFEGUARD THEM FROM A COLD CHRISTIAN LIFE!
Vs.1, “rejoice in the Lord.” Don’t become cold in your heart. In Matthew 24:14 says, “…many are called and few are chosen.” One little boy in S.S. quoted it, “Many are cold and a few are frozen.”
Too many look like they have been sucking on lemons. God never meant for the Christian life to be a burden - but a blessing. We shouldn’t look miserable, but happy, we are to “Rejoice”. In the short book of Philippians, while in prison Paul spoke of joy or rejoicing about 15 times. Joy unspeakable…
A. This Rejoicing Is Commanded. “How can you command someone to be happy?” Notice, that this rejoicing is “in the Lord.” Don’t let anything come between you and Christ. (Psalm 1). Not in our circumstances, but relationship.
B. This Rejoicing Is Continual. The tense of the command is to keep on rejoicing in the Lord. Happiness should not be affected by our circumstances (hope). If the Lord is the source of your joy, it will be constant and continual.
II. HE WANTED TO SAFEGUARD THEM FROM A CORRUPT CHRISTIAN LIFE! Vs.2
False teachers were seeking to corrupt the people both doctrinally and spiritually. The Bible constantly warns us about false teachers. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4-5, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
In 2 Peter 2:1, Peter said, “But there were false prophets also ~ among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
These false teachers are everywhere – you’ll find them on the radio and TV (religious & non) They will come to your door with very persuasive words, but notice how Paul describes these false teachers.
A. They Are Devouring. Paul called them “dogs”, (Best friend). In those days they were vicious scavengers that ran the streets. They did nothing but devour and destroy. (Kuwait). I don’t know of a better description of false teachers and prophets than “dogs.” They are spiritual scavengers and predators that devour and destroy.
B. They Are Depraved. Paul also calls them “evil workers.” They are depraved. They may look nice and clean outwardly, but they are corrupt on the inside (Matt. 7:15, 23:27-28).
C. They Are Deceiving. Paul spoke of the “concision.” This word was a spin off of the word circumcision. There was a group called the Judaizers. They did not deny that faith was an essential part of salvation, but they added to it (works, circumcision, & other rituals).
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., was ill with a staff infection of the throat. A new medicine called sulpha-nil-amide was tried with amazing success. The publicity of the case caused the drug to be in great demand. A pharmaceutical company in Tennessee conceived the idea of preparing the drug in a liquid instead of a powder form. They dissolved it in diethylene glycol. It proved to a costly and fatal. 61 people died…. A harmless lifesaving drug in one form became a poison in another form. It was not something that was taken away that made the drug deadly, but something that was added.