Summary: There are things that are more important to God, than what man thinks is important.
(Phil. 3:4-14) "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I MORE..."
Paul was a man of words. They said about him, "His letters are weighty..."
We understand now, that they were the very words of God. That Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
Unlike the uneducated fishermen that Jesus chose in His earthly ministry, Paul was an educated man.
He wrote in verse 4:
If any man has whereof to boast in the flesh, I HAVE MORE TO BOAST ABOUT:
If you think that fleshly works are what make a man great, then I am greater than all of you.
> I have a better education...
> A better pedigree...
> A better standing among my peers, than all of you combined.
But, those things are not what makes a man great...
> Knowing Jesus Christ makes a man great.
> I count all of those other things but DUNG!
> I want to know HIM; I want to all about HIM.
Notice the word "THINGS" in this passage:
> (v. 8) Yea doubtless, and I count all THINGS but loss.
> (v. 13) "forgetting those THINGS which are behind..."
> "And reaching forth unto those THINGS which are before..."
There are some THINGS that are to be left behind...
And, there are some THINGS that we are to reach for...
There are some THINGS that are but DUNG!
And, there are some THINGS worth giving up everything for!
The Most Important THINGS
I. Paul’s Credentials.
A. Peculiar Heritage - "circumcised the eighth day..."
1. He refused to trust in his ritual.
> Every loyal Jew practiced the sacred rite of circumcision on the eighth day.
2. Only a true Jew was circumcised on the eighth day.
> We might think, "So What!"
> But, every Jew that read this or heard this knew that it was a mark of their Peculiar Heritage!
B. Privileged Heritage - "the stock of Israel..."
1. Descended from the patriarch Jacob.
> His blood line was so pure he could trace it all the way back.
> Remember the importance of lineage to the Jew.
2. Being a direct descendant of Jacob added dignity to his pedigree.
> This was truly a bragging right.
C. Proud Heritage - "the tribe of Benjamin..."
1. The first king of Israel came from the tribe of Benjamin.
> This was the only tribe that did not revolt under Jeroboam.
> This showed that LOYALTY as well as ROYALTY was in his blood.
2. He refused to trust in his respectability.
> The tribe of Benjamin was known for its unwavering loyalty.
> When ten tribes separated to divide the kingdom, only the tribe of BENJAMIN remained loyal to the throne of David.
> The tribe of Benjamin stayed loyal to the tribe of Judah.
D. Pure Heritage - "an Hebrew of the Hebrews..."
1. He was so loyal a Jew that he had never lost the Hebrew speech.
> Most had learned to speak Aramaic during the Babylonian reign.
> Many had begun to speak Greek during the Grecian reign.
> Some were learning Latin now that the Romans reigned.
> But, Paul continued to use his Hebraic heritage tongue.
2. He refused to trust in his race.
> Paul traces his pedigree to the first Hebrew, Abraham.
> Though living and receiving his education at Tarsus, he never departed from Hebrew tradition.
E. Pious Heritage - "as touching the law, a Pharisee..."
1. He was not only a religious Jew, he was a member of their strictest and the most self-disciplined sect.
> The best of the best.
> The highest religious honor!
2. A Pharisee - One who meticulously observed the whole mosaic law.
F. Patriotic Heritage - "Concerning zeal, persecuting the church..."
1. He had a reputation for destroying that sect that was hurting the Jewish religion.
> He had a reputation for destroying the Church!.
2. He was Zealous.
> Think about a soldier coming home from Iraq...
> Before he stands, another tells us of his bravery and sacrifice for his country...
> Then this man gets up with a missing arm, and a disfigured face, and says...
> "I love America; I would gladly give all my limbs for her!"
3. We would stand and applaud such Patriotism.
> Tears would flow from our eyes.
> We would say, "What tremendous zeal and character..."
> And, he would deserve every bit of honor we bestow upon him.
4. This is exactly what Paul is saying...
> I have been zealous for my nation