Philippians 3 is where Paul gets down to the bare bones of what he wants to say. Don’t get me wrong, I love Philippians 1, and my post from last week Philippians 2. But here, is where he drops some major truth.
The entire reason we were created, was to know God and make him known. Our job here on earth is to worship him, by being the person we were created to be and that is the point of Philippians 3.
I know some of you read the word worship and instantly thought of a church service. You couldn’t be more wrong. I go into detail on what worship really is here, but I’ll still give you a brief synopsis.
Worship is using the skills and abilities that God has given you, to bring him glory.
If God made you a great writer, write stories that honor and please him. If God made you an athlete, go as far as you can. Hopefully, you’ll win gold at the Olympics someday.
When you give your all, that is true worship, singing and what we do in Church is part of it, but not the entire thing. I believe there’s beauty in corporate worship, but I also think God has more in store for us than that.
Why would the God of the universe create such beauty, send his son to die, only to entrap us in a room singing for eternity?
Philippians 3 The Priceless Value of Knowing Christ
3 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
Knowing Christ Is Everything
Philippians 3 is about knowing God, and wherever you are in life, God will still accept you.
Whenever I meet someone who’s walked away from Jesus, I find myself trying to find out what happened. Most of the time the man/woman can’t tell me one particular decision, but after speaking with them for a little bit it all becomes apparent.
If Christ isn’t everything, he isn’t anything. Philippians 3, is telling us that Christ is everything.
To every Christian, Jesus needs to be everything, because you were everything to him. He came and died for us, and we get frustrated when the Holy Spirit asks us to speak with him before we go to sleep.
We hear that still small voice at night talking to us. The Holy Spirit wants to spend time with us, but we are tired and go to sleep. Promising that we’ll talk to him in the morning. However, we wake up late and rush to work and that time never comes. The voice of God gets quieter and smaller the more we ignore him.
That is how people fall away when that voice gets too quiet. The voices of the world overpower it, and then you’ve backslidden. but Philippians 3 is about giving your all to Christ. He needs to be your everything.
Make Jesus Everything
If Jesus is everything you won’t be led astray because you’ll know the lies of the enemy. In Philippians 3 Paul is confronting people who are distorting the truth of the Gospel. The people were taught by Paul, and yet they were falling away listening to these false teachers.
This is why reading your bible and understanding it is so important. Philippians 3 and the entire book are great tools to help you understand what we believe, and why.
In Philippians 3 Paul states what is valuable, and what should be important, don’t exchange that for anything.
***Note: Idols don’t have to necessarily be bad, it’s how much desire you have for these things that makes them bad. Your focus needs to be on Jesus first.
Philippians 3:7-11: Forsaking All To Chase The Cross
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Philippians 3: Gaining Christ Is Letting Go Of Everything Else
One of the reasons so many people have issues with pursuing Jesus, is they see the physical world and lack the eyes to see the spiritual one.
People don’t understand our world is all smoke and mirrors, it’s a broken place that needs repair. In addition to that, has anyone ever seen the Kingdom of God?
Being here physically puts a major damper on looking at the spiritual world. However, it can and should be done by every Christian. How else are you going to believe what is taught you, when you’ve never seen it for yourself?
If you’ve given your life to Christ, there’s a time to dig in, and that time is now. Read your Bible, Pray, find a good Church, and join their community. However, I’ll add one other thing.
If you really want to see the spiritual world, you’re gonna need to fast. Jesus said in Matthew 17:21 “this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Sometimes to see the spiritual world, you’re going to need more of a kick, and fasting is that kick. I’m not sure why I got onto this thread, but fasting helps silence the flesh and gives strength to the spirit.
The spirit of course is what God has placed within you, and it increases your ability to hear God, and connect with him.
If you’re looking to jump-start your Christian walk, I’d recommend doing a fast, so long as you can do one medically.
Philippians 3 Pressing toward the Goal
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Philippians 3: Jesus is The Goal, But We Need To Let Go Of The Past
I love Philippians 3, the entire chapter is exactly what I love hearing about. Except there’s one part that is daunting to me and everyone eventually.
We have to let go of the past, in fact, Paul says we must forget it.
When we don’t forget the past, it becomes our God and leads us to destruction. It changes our appetite from the things of God to the things of the flesh.
The sins become chains around our ankles, and blinders upon our eyes. Before we know it, we’ve fallen into deep sin.
For many Christians, our enemy isn’t so much Satan, as it is our past. Satan uses our past to make us fail in the present. He likes to ruin our futures that way.
However, we need to remember that God has forgiven us while we remember what we did. He chooses to forget the sin.
We are citizens of the Kingdom of God, covered in the blood of Jesus, and God has given us the authority to thrive.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.