Dec. 27, 2020. Philippians 3:7-11

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FROM GARBAGE TO GLORY.   Philippians 3:7-11.  12/27/2020.  #14.

Philippians 3:7-11 [New King James Version]

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

  • Paul’s worldly wealth
    • Paul had listed his worldly credentials
      • A Jew of the tribe of Benjamin
      • A Pharisee among Pharisees
      • Trained under the famed teacher, Gamaliel
      • Perfect in following the requirements of the Law
      • Zealous for persecuting Christians, who he considered to be heretics
    • Paul believed that he held the highest status in the Jewish
    • faith & commanded the greatest esteem among the right men
      • Matthew 4 a devilish deception if measuring your worth by man’s scales (power, possessions, prestige, wealth, acclaim, & influence)
      • Worldly value is very temporary (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8)
  • Paul cashes in with a far better deal
    • Paul states that all he had previously valued in life, he now
    • counted as rubbish (lit., dung) for the cause of Christ
      • His Jewish heritage carried no weight with God
      • Being a Pharisee had no lasting value, especially when there was much error in his understanding
      • His lauded training was inadequate
      • His keeping of the Law was superficial
      • Persecuting Christians was opposing God
    • Paul counted all his achievements & status as worthless
      • This doesn’t mean he found no value in his study
      • So much of what Paul learned was wrong (Paul learned Jewish legalism & exclusivism)
    • Paul rejected his training to receive & learn of Christ
      • Nothing in Paul’s past had any value before God
      • I Corinthians 4:7 anything of worth is given be God for his glory alone (talents, accomplishments, acclaim…)
    • Paul did not consider that he had lost anything of value
      • He did not grieve over no longer being a Pharisee
      • His only grief was persecuting saints (I Timothy 1:15) 
      • Paul didn’t consider correction of his doctrines, beliefs, training, & teaching as an insult or rebuke
        • He didn’t pridefully hold onto error
        • Paul was teachable
    • Paul didn’t wallow in his past, but moved on with Christ
      • Those who are stuck in the past repeat its sins
      • Paul shed his past errors in order to gain Christ
    • Paul’s new direction completely changed him
      • Instead of the Law, Paul studied Christ
      • Paul was self-righteous; now righteous in Christ
      • Paul lived by legalism; now he lived by faith
      • He was strong in Law; now he sought the power that came in Christ’s resurrection
      • Paul reveled in authority; now he fellowshipped with Christ through sharing in his suffering
      • Paul was a servant of the Law; & now he sought to follow Christ unto death to attain resurrection
  • Without complete change there is no change
    • Paul did not mix old life with new = a complete change
    • Paul was only successful as an apostle as he gave all to
    • Christ without reservation & held onto to nothing from past
    • Jam. 1 a double-minded man has not given all to Christ
      • He wants to serve Christ & please the flesh also
      • He wants to be blessed, but hold onto the past
      • He wants to receive rewards, but wants his own way
      • He wants to live by faith, but is full of doubts

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8

1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the [a]difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them”:

2 While the sun and the light,

The moon and the stars,

Are not darkened,

And the clouds do not return after the rain;

3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,

And the strong men bow down;

When the grinders cease because they are few,

And those that look through the windows grow dim;

4 When the doors are shut in the streets,

And the sound of grinding is low;

When one rises up at the sound of a bird,

And all the daughters of music are brought low.

5 Also they are afraid of height,

And of terrors in the way;

When the almond tree blossoms,

The grasshopper is a burden,

And desire fails.

For man goes to his eternal home,

And the mourners go about the streets.

6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [b]loosed,

Or the golden bowl is broken,

Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,

Or the wheel broken at the well.

7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,

And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,

“All is vanity.”