Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to move the hearers to LOOK-OUT for religious leaders (which are spiritually blind, greedy, and lazy) that will attempt to turn them against the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ through their WORDS AND ACTIONS.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris
Fort Stewart, Georgia
References: Acts 21:40 (ex. Of Paul’s ability to address folk in the Hebrew Tongue/Language); Ezekiel 33:2; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Chr. 12:32 (ex. Of the prophets understanding what Israel ought to do); Romans 8:26-27 (… the spirit enabling the Christians to serve God); John 4:23 (… the hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father …); Philippians 3:1-16; Isaiah 56: 10-11 (Watchmen are blind…)
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Philippians 3:1-3 (KJV)
II. THE LARGER CONTEXT:
Now, before we begin, allow me to share with you some HISTORICAL TRUES regarding THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS. For example, in the Book of Philippians, we find one of the Apostle Paul most cordial and affectionate letters addressed to the Christians at Philippi in Macedonia. For the Philippians formed the first congregation established through Paul on European soil (Acts 16:11-15). As a result, all years afterwards, Paul’s relations with the Philippianites seem to have been extraordinarily close and happy.
III. THE SMALLER CONTEXT:
Therefore, in our particular text, THIS Afternoon, we learn that Paul who was writing from prison was sending Epaphroditus (who had been originally been sent to VISIT HIM by the Philippian Church) back to Philippi with this letter in hand. In fact, this entire letter breathes Paul’s radiant joy and sere happiness in Christ, even while in prison, and in danger of death (Philippians 2:2; 3:8-14; 4:11-13). .
More specifically, …Paul took this opportunity to describe his own situation and state of mind to his Philippian brethren, and to thank them for their gift, WHILE simultaneously giving them certain needed instructions and WARNINGS.
IV. READ THE PERICOPE: PHILIPPIANS 3:1-3
V. READ THE TEXT: Philippians 3:2 (Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision).
VI. PURPOSE: To move the hearers to LOOK-OUT for religious leaders (which are spiritually blind,
greedy, and lazy) that will attempt to turn them against the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ through their WORDS AND ACTIONS.
VII. SERMONIC THEME: “Watch Them Dogs”
Throughout History, Religious and Spiritual Leaders have had a vital role in the caring for its NATION’S PEOPLE. In fact, in the Book of Isaiah – specifically - Chapter 56, we learn that UNDER THE PERSIAN REGIME, THE LEADER OF THE PEOPLE (subordinate to the Persian Officials) were PRIEST AND PROPHETS.
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Move I: Now, IF YOU’RE HEARING FOR THE FIRST TIME … that RELIGIOUS LEADERS
were DIRECTLY subordinate to the Persian Officials … IT MIGHT seem like a
a. (Ex. There aren’t many believers that would be oppose to President G.W. Bush appointing Billy Graham, and T.D. Jakes respectively …TO KEY CABINET POSITONS)….
b. Again, it might seem like a favorable situation …
c. UNTIL Isaiah 56 is read …. And we learn that their spiritual leaders were SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND FULL OF IDOLATRY.
d. So much so … that the entire nation was corrupt … and …THEIR WORSHIP OF GOD was also CORRUPT …
e. In fact, A CLOSER GLANCE of the scriptures TODAY… shows….Isaiah 56 …
f. ….identifing 4 QUALITIES THAT MAKE RELIGIOUS LEADERS UNFIT FOR RELIGIOUS DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES…(BIG-C: blindness, indolence – sleeping, lying down and loving to slumber- greediness, and cowardice ) …
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MOVE 2: As a result,… The Jewish People of Israel - would ULTIMATELY …..identified …these characteristics AS HEDONISTIC (where PLEASURE AND HAPPINESS IS THE
PRINCIPAL GOOD AND AIM OF ALL ACTIONS) …
a. AND THOSE THAT participated in such low-life type of actions were called …HEATHENS …pagans, irreligious, and uncivilized …
b. IN OTHER WORDS … THEY WERE … DOGS … WITH A MIGHTY APPETITE…FOR THE SCRIPTURE SAYS: (in ISAIAH 56:10-11) …
c. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they can not bark; sleeping,
lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they
are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from
his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill our selves with strong drink: and
to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
d. In other words …God is saying ….while the spiritual leaders sleep the hours away, gorging themselves with food, and intoxicating themselves with drink, …SAINTS DIE WITHOUT NOTICE …
e. Ultimately, … the use of DOG (in negative figurative language) became Language that warned
believers … to be watchful of those greedy religious leaders that are (seemily) incapable of
distinugishing between … that which is RIGHT … and that which is WRONG …
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MOVE 3: There is an AESOP’s Fable entile: “The dog and his reflection”…
a. It speaks about a dog who was feeling very proud of himself …