Do you delight in knowing Christ? That is the theme of Philippians 3, which Pastor Troy Murphy unpacked during his message on Sunday, November 10 at Community Church. Here are key points from Troy’s message:
*We tend to build thrones around the things in which we feel confident and secure, such as our talents, accomplishments, bank accounts, etc. That security is often based on a strategy we employ trying to avoid the things we hate to feel the most.
Troy gave a personal example of how he hates to feel invisible or not needed, so he has a tendency to build a throne, or put himself in positions where he feels valued and important.
The problem with this is that we will protect our “thrones” and place our worth in those temporal things.
*Paul writes to the Philippians and emphasizes putting confidence in Christ, and not our self-built thrones. He puts his confidence in knowing Christ, which is counter to how we are wired as humans.
*Paul talks about circumcision and how some Jews mistakenly bought into the idea that in order to be part of God’s family you must be circumcised. It was a false theology that essentially said you must put your trust in Jesus, plus do certain things as well.
*The reason we should attend church, and be part of a family of believers, should not or done out of obligation or tradition. It should be done out of a heart that rejoices with fellow believers in the Lord and finding delight in that.
*Paul warns to “watch out for those dogs,” who are the evildoers that were distorting the message of Christ. The false teachers said you must perform certain things to find favor with God. Paul said the only favor we can find with God is through Christ. Paul is saying that Christ is enough. Jesus has made you right with God, not anything you have done. A Christ follower’s confidence is in Christ alone.
*Paul pointed to his religious background and that by those standards he could boast of his accomplishments. And yet he says all of those religious accolades mean nothing compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
*Knowing about Christ is much different than “knowing Christ.” The difference is that there is a relational component to knowing Christ.
*Paul says our accomplishments are nothing compared to the delight in knowing Christ. This confidence Paul talks about is not about anything he did or achieved in his life.
*Paul tells the the Philippians to “press on,” meaning he wants them to continually be transformed. None of us has arrived. We are flawed and sinful and yet in our brokenness we keep moving forward in faithfulness to God.
*Paul says we should live up to what we have already attained, meaning Jesus has already done the work of reconciliation on the cross. We can rest in Christ and not attempt to do things to merit God’s favor. We already have God’s favor through Jesus.
*Our joy is to live as Christ followers eagerly awaiting going home.
*The calling ahead of you is greater than the offense or accomplishment behind you. No matter what you’ve done or what has been done to you, what should propel you is the mission and calling of Christ.
*What is fueling you to live the Christian life? Those who God uses to do great good are fueled by a sense of mission, not offense or accomplishment.