There are many wonderful things in life, but knowing Christ is the greatest thing of all. Nothing can compare with knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And so, Paul lays out his case for us here in Philippians 3:1-11. Causing us to ask four important questions that answered correctly lead us to truly knowing God.
I) What in your life is drawing your attention away from Christ? (1-3)
Paul warns us to watch out for those who would draw your attention away from Christ.
A) Rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1)
The first step in keeping your attention on Christ is to rejoice in him. Begin every day with praise to God and Christ. Rejoice in your salvation! Rejoice in God’s love for you in Christ! Rejoice in his promise to be with you always, never to leave or forsake you. When you are rejoicing in Christ, it is hard for anyone to pull your attention away from Christ.
B) Be Aware of False Teachers (Philippians 3:2)
It is clear from the context that these were false teachers whose focus was on circumcision and the law rather than on Jesus Christ.
The words are laced with irony because Paul addresses these false teachers who were clinging to circumcision and the Jewish law as pagan Gentiles.
II) Hold on to Your True Identity in Christ (Philippians 3:3)
True circumcision isn’t circumcision of the flesh, but circumcision of the heart. Paul identifies the true people of God as:
1. We are those who worship by the Spirit of God.
True worship is not by ceremony or ritual but by the Holy Spirit. (John 4:23-24)
2. We are those who glory in Christ alone.
3. We put no confidence in the flesh.
There is a specific reference to circumcision here, but the phrase means much more than that. It means we don’t put our confidence in ourselves when it comes to our relationship with God, but once again in Christ alone.
III) In what are you placing your confidence, Christ, or self? (4-6)
Paul is going to “boast” about his credentials for a minute in order to show us all the things he used to put his confidence in before he came to Christ.
And you know what? They are the exact same kinds of things people continue to put their confidence in today instead of Christ.
A) Paul put confidence in his background (Philippians 3:5)
If anyone had reason to put confidence in his background it was Paul. His credentials were impeccable.
B) Paul put confidence in his achievements (Philippians 3:5b-6)
If anyone could have confidence before God, Paul’s the man. His background and record were flawless. He was the MVP in the game of righteousness.
C) Paul counted these them as loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3:7)
Paul counted all the good in his life and it came up to a lot. But when he met Christ, you know what he did? He took all those things he had been placing his confidence in, and he let go of them. Whatever was to his profit or gain, he now counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
We are left to answer one last question:
Do you want to know Christ more than anything else?
You see, it’s not enough just to count those things that were to your profit as loss.
Here is Paul’s testimony, and here is the model for us to follow. Paul says, “I want to know Christ.” Now Paul already knows Christ. He has known Christ for nearly thirty years when he writes these words. He knows him better now than he did the year before. But he wants to know Christ more. He wants to know him more fully and deeply with each passing day.
It is the same way for us. There is no greater thing than knowing Christ. Will you make knowing Christ the supreme desire of your life?
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