Summary: Jesus Christ has already, and willingly, given His life up for us. Therefore, we should not desire anything above living and sacrificing FOR Him because He is worthy! If He is truly our Lord, everything we have must belong to Him.
"To Live is to Die (Part 2)"
Philippians Sermon Series, Part 12
- Phil 3:1-6
- Last time, we set the stage for what it means to live completely for the Lord
- Notice Paul’s word use here, it is very specific and very clear:
-- Beware; in the Greek it means, “Have your eye on; be advised and on alert”
-- But look how Paul addresses those to be aware of: “the dogs”
- They are dogs, for their malice against faithful professors of the gospel of Christ
-- They are called dogs due to their actions: rebellion, barking, biting them
-- They urged human works in opposition to the faith of Christ
- He commands us to “serve God in the Spirit”
-- Earlier manuscripts read: “worship by the Spirit of God”
- Legal worship was outward:
-- It consisted of outward acts, restricted to certain times and places
- Christian worship is spiritual:
-- It flows from the workings of the Holy Spirit
-- It is NOT related to certain isolated acts, but embracing the whole life
- Why would we want to live like this? Because it is WORTH IT!
- Read Philippians 3:7-11
∆ Point 1 – Christ is Worth It (7-8)
- I would like to expound just a bit on v7-8 just to provide added thoughts
- Why would Paul say these losses not worth their weight?
-- What can compare to that which is gained in Christ?
-- Christians are called to be obedient; but to know that the reward is NOT here
- It’s important to note here, our best life is NOT now
-- Let’s put this to rest …
-- If it was, how could we possibly tell others about something greater?
-- Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Paul demonstrates for us in his testimony which has more value
- (v7-8) Paraphrase: “Whatever I may have gained because of my resume …”
-- This would include all possible advantages of outward status
-- Let’s be honest, he enjoyed some serious status during the first century
- Of all the things he enjoyed, he counted it a loss compared to Jesus
-- Note how Paul says it in verse 7: I consider loss (singular – lumped together)
-- All of these things I have gained are one big loss (not worth anything)
-- Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
- HUGE: All I have gained, life is STILL not about me or even “what I’ve done”
- Remember: Think for a moment of your most favorite possession
-- We all have things we enjoy, things that matter (truthful), so focus on that
-- If that were taken away for the sake of the Gospel, would you be OK with it?
- TRANS: This is where Paul’s heart and focus is, and leads us into next section
∆ Point 2 – Why is Christ Better? (9)
- v9, he asks an implied question: “Who would you rather be living within you?”
-- Mark 8:36, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
- Paul then gives us two “why’s” living with Christ is better … watch this carefully
- 1) Righteousness from the Law is no longer required
-- IMP: We need not live with our checklist of things to do to earn God’s love
-- Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
-- God is not keeping score … because love does not act this way
-- 1 Corinthians 13:5, “It (love) does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
- IMP: However, God is not turning a blind eye to what we do: Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
- 2) Because of the cross, we can obtain the righteousness of God
-- Galatians 6:14, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
- It is not about what we have done, we have offered God nothing in return
-- APP: God is not playing humanity like a fantasy football team …
-- There is rejoicing because a soul comes home; but none are more important
-- This is why Paul says (v9), “… the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith …”