Today’s passage is addressing a crucial area that as believer's need to have a firm understanding and comprehension of.
It is centered around our salvation and the Joy we find in it.
Paul’s words in these verses are given as “safeguards” to you and I… Today’s message is titled RUBBISH… JOY STEALERS
Often when we think of RUBBISH… the image of trash or garbage comes to mind, YET Paul’s tone and emphasis that he states these words gives us a much more intense picture of this word:
Something of worthless value
Desired no longer, even repugnant
Dung or waste matter (not just mere trash)
It is these things or areas of RUBBISH that Paul addresses that will steal our Joy of Salvation!
Follow along as Paul gives us his warning… Philippians 3:1-11
No Paul is not concluding his letter… we still have two chapters.
Paul begins this section building on what he has already stated
He begins letting us know the great emphasis of what he is about to express
… in other words, as you and I face life’s circumstances, trials , and hardships, and do so with the Mind of Christ… you and I are to REJOICE IN THE LORD!
Rejoice in the Lord!!!
This by the way… is an IMPERATIVE!
Paul is not merely summing up all he has said…
This is imperative for the believer… Rejoicing in Christ
So often (even for believers) it is tempting to find our joy in:
Circumstances good and happy
Achievements and success
Accolades of others words
A confidence when we look at ourselves in the mirror
Paul states here it is in the Lord Jesus Christ we are to find our joy… as we do so it serves as a “safeguard” against the legalistic joy stealers!!!
Consider how Paul addresses these folks who in their pious opinion of themselves rejoice in their own accomplishments and good deeds as it pertains to the law…
Dogs, Evil Workers, & Mutilators
Not cute puppies and adorable
Flee infested, sickness carrying, ravenous
Aggressive, thin, starved and pack mentality out for blood
They offer something plentiful while, sick, starved, and dying themselves
EVIL WORKERS (shame)
Promoting “good works” to attain God’s favor
These works as Isaiah 64:6 put it filthy rags (bloodied menstrual cloths)
Yet somehow these Evil workers push for these works for favor!!???
What can you and I do if even our own righteousness is stained this way with sin!?
MUTILATORS (not enough)
They declared that in order to be welcomed or accepted by God there had to be circumcision
Faith was needed, BUT it was not enough… you need to do more
Truth points to Christ… false teaching will always add to or detract from the work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary and His resurrection that Sunday morning!
Paul had something to say about the lies of these individuals… for he too used to be of their ranks…
For those stating the need for pedigree, achievements, and “good deeds”… Paul list his:
circumcised on the eighth day as a son of the covenant (3:5)
born into the nation of Israel, not a converted Gentile (3:5)
a member of the tribe of Benjamin, an honorable people (3:5)
a true Hebrew among Hebrews, the best of the best (3:5)
a Pharisee with respect to observance of the Law (3:5)
a zealous persecutor of the church in the name of the Law (3:6)
blameless with regard to external righteousness found in the Law (3:6)
This was impressive then and even now!
As a Jew you would be impressed as a gentile you would not come close… YET Paul understood that ALL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS was as filthy rags!
He counts these things AS LOSS
Those things held no value to him… he is emphatic about this!!!
My clothes soiled by explosive poop… I gladly count it as loss and have no desire for them.
Paul similarly was saying good riddance to the striving, working, earning of God’s love and favor… There was something far greater far surpassing!
SURPASSING VALUE OF JESUS CHRIST!!!
All Paul had strived for was RELIGION… a list of do’s and don’ts… check-boxes that needed filled or checked off.
As Paul would see a fault in himself he would strive all the more, never satisfied, never enough, never to the measure of God’s standard of perfection…
THEN… Paul was introduced to RELATIONSHIP
The surpassing value of knowing Christ!
ALL God’s favor, Grace, Mercy, Love, & Relationship… Ours as we enter into relationship with Christ Jesus!!!
Verse 9 is such a beautiful description of the Doctrine of Imputation… Where all our sin and guilt is placed on Jesus Christ, and His righteousness is credited us!!!
Let me read verses 8-11 again this time in the NLT Philippians 3:8-11
To go from RELIGION to RELATIONSHIP… WOW!!!
That is cause for rejoicing… rejoicing in the Lord!!!
What an amazing safeguard these words are as so many are drawn away to think they can earn something so great!
With that joy i mind I want us to come to our time of communion...
Rejoice In the Lord!
We don’t come today, pondering do we deserve His death, His atonement, His work at Calvary… the answer is NO WE DO NOT.
We come in remembrance… of the One who would love so deeply, so passionately, so powerful that He would take your sin and mine, and pay the price
His body broken… that we would be made whole
His Blood shed… to cover our sin so we may bear His righteousness!
As we remember today may we rejoice in the relationship He has called each of us to… and as it is with relationships, you and I have a choice!