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IT WASN’T ME – CHRIST DID IT! Philippians 3:1-11

July 9, 2017

 

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.

2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 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: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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 9 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— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

 

 

I have a gym membership. I have joined a particular gym in town for my ongoing health and well-being, I am growing a habit (slowly) of gym attendance.

 

And with my membership there are automatic benefits.

  • Access to all gym locations across the country

  • Workout 24 hours/7 days

  • 30-minute Express Circuit

  • Access to all Equipment

  • Free Fitness Orientation

 

In our passage today, Paul binds together all the truths that have come before as benefits of being IN CHRIST.

 

IN CHRIST, not in our own efforts, we have relationship, knowledge, a new perceptive, and ultimately our greatest need met, righteousness.

 

My gym membership gives me a relationship with the gym community. I have joined the gym community.

 

Paul tells us that IN CHRIST we are in community, in relationship with God.

 

Relationship IN CHRIST

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus - Philippians 3:3

 

IN CHRIST, we are… Set apart (Circumcised), in relationship with God.

 

In Jewish tradition, circumcision was the sign of being in covenant relationship with God. Paul is reminding us that a sign of being God’s people is true circumcision, spiritual circumcision. Being spiritually set apart for God. In covenant relationship with God.

 

IN CHRIST, we are set apart. In relationship with God.

 

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

 

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:11-14

 

One of the problems with my gym membership is that I am not in a contract. A problem because I can end it anytime.

 

But being in relationship/covenant with God, IN CHRIST, is an eternal contract/covenant relationship.

 

And this relationship sees us, IN CHRIST, able to…

  • Serve God, through the empowering and enabled of the Holy Spirit.

  • I am able to boldly share/boast that I am now IN CHRIST! This is my identify, this is who I am.

 

IN CHRIST, we are set apart. In relationship with God.

 

Are you in relationship with God?

 

With my gym membership, I receive a free one off fitness orientation. In 60 minutes they look to fill me with everything I needed to know about the facilities and how to make the most out of what is on offer at the gym.

 

Paul tells us that IN CHRIST we receive the knowledge of Christ.

 

Knowledge IN CHRIST

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord - Philippians 3:8

 

IN CHRIST, I know Christ Jesus my Lord.

 

This isn’t a 60-minute orientation.

 

This is a past, present and future focused knowledge.

  • I know what God has done in saving me in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

  • I know what He is seeking to do in and through me as he shapes me and transforms me into the likeness of Christ.

  • I know that ultimately, I will be with Him for an eternity.

All of this knowledge is found IN CHRIST.

 

In light of this knowledge, everything else is a loss. IN CHRIST, everything else is a loss.

Paul’s Jewish credentials and status… (vs. 4-6) meant nothing—if anything they blinded him to salvation IN CHRIST.

 

The letters after our names, the jobs we have, the status we have in society, the status we have in the church, the tax bracket we are in, the care we drive… all mean nothing, all are loss in light of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord of our lives.

 

What is of highest value, of surpassing worth, knowing Christ Jesus as Lord of our lives.

 

What is of highest value to you?

 

With my gym membership, I gain access. Access to facilities, equipment, expertise.

Paul tells us that IN CHRIST we gain access to a new identify and rightness before God.

 

We Gain IN CHRIST

…or whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 is through faith in Christ - Philippians 3:8-9

 

What does it mean to gain Christ?

 

To gain Christ means to be found IN CHRIST. It is my new identify.

 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

 

I am now a child of God.

 

Before I was lost, lost in sin, lost in my lack of knowledge. My identify was one who was lost.

Now IN CHRIST I am found. I am a child of God, set apart for relationship with God.

 

To gain Christ means to be right before God. Righteousness.

 

God is a Holy God and so cannot have sin in His presence. Therefore me, born a sinner, can’t stand before God and be accepted by God.

 

The only way this can happen is to be IN CHRIST.

I can only stand before God and be acceptable/right if I am IN CHRIST.

 

…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27

 

If I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ then I am acceptable/right/righteous before God.

 

Why, not because of anything I have done, not because of any righteous that comes form be doing right. But because I am IN CHRIST. It is his rightness, his righteousness that makes me right before God.

 

There is nothing you or I can do to be good enough, right enough before God.

 

It is only IN CHRIST that we are right before God.

 

So, when you stand before God in the final judgement, will you list all of your right/good achievements and ask to be accepted?

 

Or will you relay on what Jesus has done in his death, burial and resurrection and ask to be accepted?

 

Are you right with God?

 

What are you relying on to be right with God?

 

As a gym member, my part is turning up, putting the time and effort in.

 

To be IN CHRIST, my part is faith.

 

Faith IN CHRIST

...that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. - Philippians 3:9

 

Because Jesus provides all we need, relationship, knowledge, righteousness, there is absolutely nothing we can do to add to it.

 

As one writer put it, that would be like striking a match to help the sun shine.

 

Our part is to have faith. To have confidence in and receive what God provides IN CHRIST.

 

A confidence/faith/assurance that is grounded in the faithfulness of Christ.

 

Paul warns us though that there are those that would seek to distract us and lead us away from faith. He is brutal in describing them…

 

Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. Philippians 3:2

 

We are warned of these people who intrude where they are not wanted, who’s every effort is for an evil end, even though they may do it in the name of the Gospel, who put their confidence in human actions rather than in God’s gracious work through Jesus Christ.

 

We are called to have a confidence/faith/assurance that is grounded in the faithfulness of Christ.

 

What do you have faith in?

 

Is your faith IN CHRIST?

 

And the goal?

At the gym my goal is to be healthy.

Paul lets us know what our goal is IN CHRIST.

 

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11

 

To be IN CHRIST is to have our lives shaped by Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

 

Paul wanted to experience in his own life the power that had raised Christ from the dead. He wanted that kind of power to be at work in his life.

 

We are to want to experience in our own lives the power that has raised Christ from the dead. We are to want that kind of power to be at work in our lives.

 

Paul wanted to see sin die more and more in his life.

 

We are to desire to see sin die more and more in our lives.

 

Paul couldn’t wait for the day he would be with Jesus Christ again.

 

We too are to be expectant of the day we will be with Jesus Christ again.

 

To be IN CHRIST is to have our lives shaped by Christ’s death and resurrection.

 

 

IN CHRIST, not in our own efforts, we have relationship, knowledge, a new perceptive, and ultimately our greatest need met, righteousness.

 

For those of us IN CHRIST the response is simple.

 

Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! - Philippians 3:1

 

Rejoice in the Lord because you are IN CHRIST!

 

We can rejoice, no matter the circumstances because we are IN CHRIST!

 

Relationship IN CHRIST

Knowledge IN CHRIST

We gain IN CHRIST.

 

It is all IN CHRIST!

 

Are you IN CHRIST?

 

Are you experiencing the ongoing relationship, knowledge and gain of being IN CHRIST?

 

Pray

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