Summary: In this book, Paul is sharing from his own experience what Jesus means to him. This morning we looked at the way he shared his own personal testimony. How that Jesus changed his life and made him a new man.
This matter of things.
Philippians 3:1 -- 11. 09/26/04
This is our forth sermon on how to have joy in our Christian journey here on earth. We have talked about the way to spell joy is Jesus first; others second, and yourself last.
In this book, Paul is sharing from his own experience what Jesus means to him. This morning we looked at the way he shared his own personal testimony. How that Jesus changed his life and made him a new man.
In the first chapter, Paul talked about several joy robbers. He talked about his circumstances and how that often times circumstances can rob us of our joy. Yet in spite of his circumstances, Paul’s joy he had in the Lord just spills out onto the pages. His mind was focused on Jesus.
When we moved to chapter 2, Paul talked of something else that can rob us of our joy and that is other people. When people don’t act, as we would like for them to, they can rob us of our joy.
But also in this chapter, Paul tells us he has learned the way to have joy is to live your life serving other people.
When we come to the third chapter, he talks about something else that can rob us of our joy and that is things. He talks about the matter of things.
In verse seven, he says “but what things.” Again in verse 8 he says, “I count all things.” Things can rob you of your joy. Now there is nothing wrong with things, the Lord knows we have need of things. The warning is when things own you. So, in chapter 3, Paul talks about the whole issue of things. Let’s follow Paul as he talks about the issue of things and learn from them.
He talks first of all about HIS RESPECT. I want you to look in verse 4. Also we want to look in verse 7. “But what things were gain to me.” Then he gives a list of things that were true about his life. He talks about his religious pedigree. If ever there were a man that could go to heaven on his works, it would have been Paul. He was a very religious man. He had gone through all the rituals of a religious man. At one time he actually thought he would go to heaven because of the things he had done, the things he had accomplished. He thought he had a religious advantage because of what he had accomplished.
There are those who believe they have an advantage maybe in the family they were born. Once a man said I will go to heaven because my daddy keeps the books and my brother is a preacher. It is wonderful if you were born in the family that knows the Lord. It means you were probably raised in church and heard the gospel. But all people are saved the same way, by faith in Jesus and trust him as their personal savior. Being born in America, or a religious family doesn’t matter in that respect, you have to choose.
We see not only his respect but also HIS RATING. Look again at verse 7. “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” On the road to Damascus he had met the Lord Jesus. On the one hand, there is all that he counted as gain and on the other, there is his relationship. With his relationship with Jesus, all the things he counted as an advantage just fade in comparison. He sees himself as bankrupt. All the things that he had counted on to get him to heaven were nothing but junk.
Finally we want to look at HIS RETURN. Paul was it worth losing your religious reputation? Paul was it worth losing your wealth? It was believed that Paul was a wealthy man before his conversion. It is believed when Paul trusted Jesus; his family had a funeral for him and never spoke his name again.
Let’s look at what Paul got in return when he trusted Jesus. When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he asked two questions. Who is it Lord? What will you have me to do? He spent the rest of his life answering these two questions of who Jesus is and what Jesus would have him to do.
Paul did not change religions. He exchanged a dead religion for a living relationship with Jesus.
Is Christianity a religion? Technically it is not. Religion is man’s attempt to reach God. Religion is man’s effort to work his way to heaven. Christianity is what God has done in the person of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
One time I was reading the names of the richest men in the world. I read name after name and I was sort of disappointed; my name wasn’t listed. I am a billionaire. Not as the world sees it, but my father owns it all. To know Jesus is a life of joy. Do you know Jesus?