Summary: Part 7 in a series on Philippians focusing on the key to making Jesus a priority

The Joy of Priority

I. Introduction

A. Wrecked Priorities

1. Young investment banker was driving his new BMW on a snow covered mountain road.

a) He lost control of his car and was headed for a steep cliff.

b) At the last moment, he jumped from the car.

c) The car plummeted to the bottom of the cliff and burst into flames.

2. Escaped and Injured.

a) Though the man had missed death, he was severely injured.

b) His arm had been caught in the seat belt and was torn off at the shoulder.

3. A Good Samaritan

a) A trucker saw the accident and stopped to render aide.

b) The young man was staring into the ravine and saying, “My BMW, my new BMW.”

c) The trucker said, “You’ve got bigger problems than that car. We’ve got to find your arm and get you to a hospital.”

d) Noticing that his arm was missing the banker paused and then groaned, “My Rolex, my brand new Rolex.”

B. The book of Philippians is all about joy.

1. Thus far we have examined…

a) The Joy of Community (1:1-11)

b) The Joy of Suffering (1:12-18)

c) The Joy of Purpose (1:19-30)

d) The Joy of Unity (2:1-4)

e) The Joy of Obedience (2:5-18)

f) The Joy of Influence (2:19-30).

2. Today, we look at the Joy of Priority (3:1-11).

a) Four keys to the joy of Priority.

b) That we might have our priorities right.

II. The Joy of Priority

A. Exercise Caution (1-3)

1. Be safe (1)

a) Paul indicated that his writing the Philippians was for their safety (1)

b) God’s inspired word provides safety for those that hear it.

c) God’s word keeps us from sin – Psalm 119:11

d) God’s word protects us from drifting – Hebrews 2:1-4

e) God’s word warns us of danger.

2. Be sober and watchful (2)

a) The Lord has enemies – John 15:18-25, 1 Peter 5:8

b) Dogs – False teaching Judaizers that were carriers of dangerous infections – Matthew 7:6

c) Evil workers – Those that placed salvation on the basis of meritorious works – Ephesians 2:5-9

d) The mutilation – Those that would bind where God did not (such as the issue of circumcision).

3. Be sanctified (3a)

a) True circumcision is of the heart and not the flesh – Colossians 2:11

b) True circumcision seeks to worship God properly – John 4:24

B. Examine Your Credentials (3b-6)

1. Paul’s Warning – Take no confidence in the flesh.

a) The flesh – Man’s nature exempt of God’s wisdom.

b) The ego – Man’s desire to do it on his own.

2. Paul’s Credentials

a) His National heritage (5a) – Israelite in every sense of the word. One of God’s chosen people.

b) His Familial heritage (5b) – Benjamin known for fierceness – Genesis 49:27

c) His Spiritual heritage (5c) – A Pharisee, trained by a Pharisee (Acts 22:3), the strictest sect of the Jews (Luke 18:11-12)

d) His Service record (6a) – Zealous in persecution (Acts 8:1-3, 9:26) – Conviction in action

e) His knowledge (6b) – Full knowledge of the Law of Moses (Blameless as in maturity or completeness and meeting its requirements).

C. Estimate Your Costs (7-9)

1. Identifying Losses

a) Paul had a great reputation as a scholar – Acts 26:24

b) Paul had established himself as a religious leader – Acts 9:1-2

c) Paul had a reputation for being zealous – Acts 22:4-5

d) Paul has a clear conscience – Acts 23:1

e) Paul was comfortable in his religion – Acts 26:4-5

2. Identifying Gains

a) Knowledge of Jesus - More than just information.

b) Righteousness of Jesus – Not self-righteous as before but true righteousness – Romans 3:10, 10:3

c) From spiritual bankruptcy to eternal riches – Romans 4:1-8, Ephesians 1:18

D. Emulate Christ (10-11)

1. Knowledge of Christ

a) To know Him is to keep His commandments – 1 John 2:3-4

b) To know Him is to have His mind – Philippians 2:5

c) To know Him is to be consumed by Him – Galatians 2:20

d) To know Him is to live for Him – Philippians 1:21

2. Power from Christ

a) I can all things – Philippians 4:13

b) His resurrection from the dead – Ephesians 1:19-21

c) Our resurrection from the penalty of sin – Romans 6:5

3. Suffering with Christ

a) From persecutor to persecuted – Acts 26:9, 26:29

b) Bearing the mark of the Master – Galatians 6:17

c) Because of godly living – 2 Timothy 3:12

4. Conformity to Christ

a) Letting go of self and surrendering to God – John 3:30, Luke 9:23

b) Letting go of the world and being transformed by God – Romans 12:1-2

c) Letting go of the past and pressing toward the goal – Philippians 3:12-14

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