Text: Philippians 3:1-3
Your sin nature is defined as your flesh. God’s condemnation is on the works of the flesh. The flesh is the old man. Full remission of sins in Jesus Christ is the result of Jesus Christ providing a substitutionary body of flesh and blood that would be acceptable to the Father. We sing “There is Power in the Blood” and there is. The thing that makes the blood of Jesus Christ powerful is that it is accepted by God the Father.
This next section of Philippians deals with confidence in the spirit of God versus confidence in the flesh. Verse 3 Paul says we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit…and have no confidence in the flesh. Verses 4-8 Paul says if any man were to have confidence in the flesh it would be him. Verses 10-12 Paul says he wants to live this life as though he were already in his new body. Look at verses 17-21, again dealing with carnal goals while being enemies of the cross. Of course if you’re goals are carnal then the cross is your enemy. Then follows in verse 20 with the location of our conversation and the end of these vile bodies for the saved.
Opportunity to have no confidence in the flesh (vs 1)
- Paul keeps repeating himself about rejoicing in the Lord. He’s already said it seven times in 1:4, 18, 25, 26, 2:2, 17, 28 and now he’s saying it again. Now sometimes you get frustrated that you have to keep saying something over and over again. Why do I have to keep repeating myself? Paul says he’s repeating himself and it’s not that he’s frustrated. He says it’s safe.
- It’s safe because people have confidence in the flesh until they’re given a reason not to. Paul is giving the reasons not to over and over and from different angles.
- Rejoice in the Lord is what the spirit of God says, while the flesh hears rejoice in the Lord and thinks SNOOZEFEST! Why are we rejoicing in the Lord?
- In light of the theme of having no confidence in the flesh, the truth is the joy of the Lord is your strength…or it should be.
Those that put confidence in the flesh (vs 2)
- Dogs tear with their mouths and that’s the sense of this warning.
- Jeremiah 15:3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear…
- Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
- Galatians 5:15-16
- Dogs return to their vomit
- 2 Peter 2:18-22
- Evil workers
- Paul addressed this in Galatians. It was so bad that Peter and Barnabas fell for it.
- Galatians 3 he says foolish Christians. You say that’s not nice. If it’s not true it’s not nice to call names, but Paul is identifying people.
- Two extremes with this false doctrine.
- The first is religious. Someone believe on Christ as their savior then turns to doing good works to maintain that righteous standing before God.
- The other extreme is more common. Someone trusts Christ as their savior, then loses interest in the one who saved them and goes back to living for the flesh. The Holy Spirit says that is witchcraft.
- Look, you were once deceived into thinking that you could get to heaven without Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit went to work and convicted you and you realized you need Jesus Christ.
- Then after you got saved you were deceived into thinking you don’t need Jesus in the meantime. So the Holy Spirit goes right back to work trying to get you live according to faith in Christ.
- Attending church, but not practicing Christianity. I don’t understand someone going to a shooting range and not shooting a gun. Or going to a golf course and not playing golf. Or going to church and never participating.
- Familiar Corruption – Who?
- Paul says someone is responsible for this. Someone has an undue influence in your life greater than the Spirit of God you’ve claimed to follow in salvation.
- You will do whatever you spend the most time with. Life changing experience at camp? Then come back home to find that it wasn’t really life changing. You got right back under the same influences.
- Notice what Paul asks; who hath bewitched you? Who? Someone you’ve been spending time with moved you away from living by faith and now living by sight.
- Saved people who went through a crisis and came out the other side believing there was no one better than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who don’t put confidence in the flesh (vs 3)
- Romans 2:28-29
- National identity of Israel versus individual identity of God’s children
- The Jews had all their confidence in the flesh. “We be Abraham’s seed.”
- Worship God in spirit
- Psalms 51:15-17 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
- Hebrews 13:13-15 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
- Rejoice in Christ Jesus
- Have no confidence in the flesh