Contagious Joy - Week 5
The Book of Philippians
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Knowing Jesus keeps us from putting our confidence in the wrong place
v.1 - “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is
no trouble to me and is safe for you.”
I. The Threat (v.2,3)
“Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who
mutilate the flesh.”
These are the Judiazers who are preaching that the Gentiles must be
“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in
Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh…”
Those who have put their faith in Christ have been circumcised in the heart.
II. The Problem (4-7)
“…though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else
thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
Status: Paul’s Personal Spiritual Pedigree
circumcised on the eighth day,
Circumcision was important for the Jewish people. Paul is saying I was born in a
Jewish home and was circumcised on the 8 th day as was custom.
of the people of Israel,
The Judaizers hope to achieve through Gentile circumcision is to bring them into
the privileges of belonging to God’s ancient people – Israel. Paul is saying I was
of the tribe of Benjamin,
This was the favored tribe of Israel. Saul, Israel’s first king came from it, Moses
blessed this tribe “as the beloved of the Lord.” They alone joined Judah in loyalty
to the Davidic covenant.
a Hebrew of Hebrews;
A Hebrew born of pure Hebrew stock!
as to the law, a Pharisee;
Paul was a Pharisee, he had studied and advanced in Judaism far beyond his
contemporaries. He was extremely jealous for the traditions of his ancestors.
as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;
Paul surpassed even the Judaizers when it came to zeal through persecuting the
as to righteousness, under the law blameless.
Paul is saying that he kept everything when it came to observable conduct
relating to the Torah. He kept Sabbath, Food and Ceremonial rituals.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Everything that Paul had put in the “gain column” he now puts in the “loss
column” in comparing it to Christ.
III. The Solution (v.8-11)
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and
count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not
having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes
through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…”
“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his
sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may
attain the resurrection from the dead.”
The threat of self-righteousness is always with us. The threat of performance is
always with us.
The only solution to these threats is the gospel of Jesus. We must rest in our
relationship with God in the righteousness of Christ!