The Same Matters

Philippians 3:1-3 ESV

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh…

Not of Ourselves

God is not interested in religious performance. He is not impressed by religious rituals and ceremony. He does not want what WE are willing to sacrifice for him. He wants us wholly surrendered to him, with our all on his altar, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. THIS is our true worship of him! He wants us dead to sin and living to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

So many people want to pick and choose what they will give to or give up for God while they withhold their hearts from him. They have the appearance of godliness while they deny its power in their lives. For, they follow man-made religion rather than Jesus Christ. They still live by the flesh rather than walk by the Spirit. They may be “good deed doers,” but they are the ones calling all the shots, and making all the decisions, rather than them being yielded to the Lordship of Christ and allowing him to direct their paths.

Many of them are following these “dogs,” i.e. these false teachers of the faith who lead people to believe that we can create our own version of the Christian faith and practice, to please our own flesh, and that God will be pleased with us no matter what we do. These “dogs” can either be those who add on to God’s grace or they can be those who subtract from his grace, and who try to win God’s approval via self-made worship of God.

For, whether you are a legalist adding things on to the gospel, which God does not require or approve of, or you are a libertine who removes God’s requirements from the gospel, it is still man-made flesh-driven religion and NOT genuine heart transformation born-again faith at work in the lives of those who adhere to these human-based gospels.

For, true faith in Jesus Christ involves us dying with Christ to sin and self so that we might live with Christ to him and to his righteousness. Thus, we have nothing to boast about, because this does not come from ourselves but from the Lord who supplies all that we need to live godly and holy lives pleasing to him. So, all the glory belongs to God, and not to ourselves!

Philippians 3:7-11 ESV

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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 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— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Counted as Loss

Whatever we have in the flesh that we may try to glory in is worthless in God’s sight. It has no eternal value and it will all pass away. No human based religion, whether it is adding to grace or subtracting from grace, amounts for anything for our eternity. And, please note that if you take away from God’s grace, by removing the requirements of the gospel, that it is the same as adding externals to God’s grace. It is still works-based salvation because it is still of the flesh, and not of God; not of His Spirit.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by Jesus and the NT apostles, is death to sin and living to righteousness. If we walk according to the Spirit, and by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. BUT, if we walk (in daily practice) according to our flesh, to please our flesh, we do not have the hope of eternal life with God, but a fearful expectation of divine judgment and the fires of hell.

[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; 1 Pet. 2:24; etc.]

So, the gospel requires that we count our flesh, and the glory of our flesh as nothing compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ, our Lord, in all his fullness. Whatever we have gained in our flesh, we count as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus and walking by his grace, in his love. We need to have this attitude that we count everything of this world and of our flesh as rubbish in order that we may be found in Christ, not having self-righteousness, but having the righteousness of Jesus Christ being lived out through our daily lives, as we daily yield to Jesus Christ as our ONLY Lord.

Philippians 3:12-16 ESV

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

We Press On

When we trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, we are born again of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:17-24). We are forgiven our sins, delivered from the pit of hell, indwelt with the Spirit of God, given the hope of eternal life with God, and we begin our spiritual journey with Christ.

But, our salvation from sin is not a one-time event, then we live how we want, and one day we get to go to heaven. Our salvation becomes our new lifestyle. The old has gone. The new has come. Now we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, to please our flesh. Daily we die to sin and self, and daily we follow our Lord in obedience, and daily we put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. For, our salvation is a process of sanctification in our lives until our Lord Jesus returns to take us, his bride, to be with him for eternity.

Thus, we are always learning, always growing, continually maturing, and putting sin to death, by the Spirit. And, we are putting on Christ, becoming like him in his death, being willing to suffer for the sake of his name and for the sake of his gospel. But, we live in flesh bodies, and we are subject to weakness, so God takes us as clay in his hands and he is continually molding us into his likeness. Also, we won’t be complete until Jesus returns for us.

So, daily we forget our past failures which have been repented of, if they have been, and we move forward in our walks of faith with our Lord, trusting him with our lives, listening to what he teaches us, and doing what he says. If we fall, we pick ourselves back up via repentance and renewed faith and commitment, and we trust the Lord to help us to walk with him in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.

We don’t walk in failure, mind you, for we must be moving forward, and holding on to what we have attained, for the Christian life is a process of changing, growing, maturing, and being molded by God into his image.

Shine Jesus Shine
By Graham Kendrick

Lord the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth You now bring us

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire…

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross and being resurrected from the dead that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Thank you for your grace which gives us all that we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to You. Help us to remain faithful to You.

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