Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:1-11
1. The book of Philippians is a favorite book to many.
2. Verses of encouragement are found throughout the book:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21)
“Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” (2:6)
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (3:7)
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (3:14)
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (4:4)
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding...” (4:7)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (4:13)
3. Christ is exalted in these verses and especially in 3:7-11.
4. Here we see Paul’s attitude in his pursuit of the resurrection, “If by any means.” (vs. 11)
I. The Way Things Were: Confidence in the Flesh (3-6)
A. Some taught the need to live under the old law.
B. Paul could boast more than anyone about confidence in the flesh.
1. Circumcised the eighth day. (Genesis 17:12)
2. Of the stock of Israel. (Able to defend his position, 2 Corinthians 11:22)
3. Of the tribe of Benjamin. (Ancestry can be proven)
4. Hebrew of Hebrews. (No one is more of a Hebrew)
5. A Pharisee. (Educated in best schools)
6. Persecuted the Church (More zeal than others)
7. Blameless in the Law. (Morally upright)
C. Paul’s “GAIN” was tremendous.
1. He has spent his life preparing for future success.
2. He was on his way to the Sanhedrin Council and possibly even High Priest.
II. The Way Things Are: Confidence in Christ (7-9)
A. Things suddenly changed and Paul literally and spiritually saw the light.
1. On the Damascus Road, Paul encountered Jesus. (Acts 9:1-9)
2. Being a Hebrew of Hebrews is no longer considered “GAIN.”
3. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (2:21)
B. Paul reveals his attitude about what he lost for Christ. (7-8)
1. There is such a contrast that he describes all of his great accomplishments as garbage or rubbish in comparison to Christ.
2. What he lost was replaced by something much better.
C. Make no mistake about it; nothing compares to Christ. (8)
1. “Yea doubtless,” “Indeed,” “most certainly”
2. Paul has absolutely no misgivings about his decision. This is a “no brainer.”
3. Ever been dissatisfied with a purchase?
4. The excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
a. The value of knowing Christ and his teaching has no equal.
b. Paul calls him “Christ Jesus my Lord.”
c. Ten times in these five verses he uses the word Christ or a pronoun for Christ.
D. Righteousness through faith in Christ (9)
1. Our righteousness is like “filthy rags,” Isaiah 54:6
2. He has suffered the loss of all things in order to win Christ and to be found in Him.
3. “Found in Him” is about where we will be on Judgment Day, and Paul does not want to be there standing on his own righteousness. None of us want that.
4. He wants to be clothed with the righteousness of God which is through faith in Christ. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed.” Romans 1:17
III. The Way I Want Things To Be: By Any Means (10-11)
A. Paul speaks of his desire to attain the resurrection from the dead. (11)
1. There is the resurrection when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth. (John 5:28-29).
2. Paul is here talking about that better resurrection mentioned in Hebrews 11:35.
3. Jesus told Martha in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life…”
B. This is what Paul wants.
1. More knowledge of Christ.
2. More knowledge of the power associated with the resurrection.
3. Suffering and even death will be accepted to attain the resurrection from the dead.
4. The resurrection from the dead is why I have given up everything.
5. I’m not there yet.
Paul’s life forever changed after his conversion to Christianity. He became willing to give up everything and to pursue any means necessary to have the resurrection from the dead. Has Jesus affected your life this way?