Sermon Follow Up - Week 15, 2022

Sermon Follow Up Generic

SERMON TEXT
“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, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11)

MAIN POINTS

In order to know Christ truly, we must trust him truly and join in imitating him truly. 

1. Self-righteousness: the chief barrier to truly knowing Jesus.
“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—  though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss….” (Philippians 3:1-8 ESV)

Paul saw one thing standing in his way of knowing Christ in a deeply experiencial and true way: his own resume of worthiness.... in other words, his righteousness. 

2 .Faith: truly depending on the righteousness that is from God.
“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…” (Philippians 3:8-10a ESV)

The righteousness from God depends on faith. In other words, we have no access to the very righteousness we need and is offered to Christ if we are hanging on to any shred of our own goodness and "rightness". Nonetheless, we are called to go on believing by continuing to count those achievements as loss and to continue casting ourselves on the righteousness of Christ by which we are fully accepted by God. 

  • "We compare faith to a kind of vessel; for unless we come empty and with the mouth of our soul open to seek Christ's grace, we are not capable of receiving Christ." John Calvin
  • Did we in our own strength confide
    Our striving would be losing;
    Were not the right Man on our side,
    The Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be
    Christ Jesus it is He…” (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God)

3. Truly knowing Jesus in power and suffering.  
“…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.” (Phil 3:10-11 ESV)

  • “Beloved believer! It is a deep mystery, this of the Cross of Christ. I fear there are many Christians who are content to look upon the Cross, with Christ on it dying for their sins, who have little heart for fellowship with the Crucified One. They hardly know He invites them to it…They have no conception of what it is to be crucified with Christ, that bearing the cross means likeness to Christ in the principles which animated Him in His path of obedience [including]…the losing and hating of one’s life, the giving up of self and its interests for the sake of others, —this is the disposition which marks him who has taken up Christ’s Cross, who seeks to say,“I am crucified with Christ; I abide in Christ, the Crucified One.” —Andrew Murray

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

  1. Are you someone who refuses to be wrong? Not on matters of information and facts but guilt and sin. Or perhaps someone who can't believe that they fail sometimes? How might you diagnose your relationship with your own righteousness? 
  2. Are you someone who suffers under a weight of condemnation? What does it mean to you that Christ is your righteousness? (see 1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV)
  3. How can you be more aware personally and how can we be more aware as a church of ways we might be putting additional requirements on unbelievers beyond the simple "repent and believe" of the gospel?

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Music - Psallos Recording - Philippians