INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Php 3:8-11 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
Paul had no doubt in his mind that all his personal attributes and what he had previously accomplished (vs 5-6) were simply a detriment and obstruction to obtaining…
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
the highest possible achievement in life… to obtain a personal knowledge of Christ as Savior and Lord of his life.
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,
This same knowledge of Christ caused Paul to give up all his previous accolades and accomplishments; he was seeing them as simply refuse that is to be cast away.
Paul changed his attitudes and priorities of life so that…
that I may win Christ,
1. he might enter into a personal relationship with Christ and enjoy intimacy with Him.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
2. he might, through faith be the recipient of Christ’s righteousness. He needed the righteousness of Christ because, being a part of fallen mankind, he had no righteousness of his own.
Please note that Christ’s righteousness is described in two ways:
a. “through the faith of Christ” – this righteousness is received through faith that comes from, and is brought to completion by, Christ (Hebs 12:2).
b. “of God by faith” – this righteousness originates with God through an exercise of faith in Christ (Roms 3:22).
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Having an intimate relationship with Christ results in the Christian:
a. “may know Him” – a personal relationship with Christ
b. “may know the power of His resurrection” – the receipt of eternal life, and being dead to sin and alive to service of Christ.
c. “may know the fellowship of his sufferings” – suffering and self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ.
All of these make the Christian formed in the mold of Christ’s death. This causes the Christian to die to sin and be willing to live a life of sacrifice for Him (Roms 6:5-6; 2 Cor 4:11).
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives for Christ are indicators of a genuine salvation experience.
Both becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives do not merit the inclusion in the resurrection of the dead (which is obtained by grace through faith in Christ). On the contrary, these strongly validate the Christians’ belief that they will be a part of this glorious resurrection.
In our text for this morning, Paul presents to great truths that we find presented throughout God’s Word:
1. The receipt of Christ’s righteousness and the certainty of eternal life is not based upon human merit but faith in Christ which is a gracious gift from God.
Eph 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
2. The two distinguishing marks of a genuine salvation experience are being made dead to sin, and a willingness to live sacrificial lives for Christ…
Rom 6:10-14 – “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
May the Lord help us to always remember these two great truths and allow them to cultivate a greater love, appreciation and assurance of the wonderful salvation He has so graciously given to us!
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