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IF GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED . . . (Part 5)

01 Aug

In our church we’ve been going through the fantastic epistle of Philippians.  Because I am a member of our preaching team, I was given an opportunity to share a kind of summary-message on the highlights from Philippians that stand out to me.

For the purpose of this blog, I’m approaching the highlights as conclusions to a proposition:

IF GOD’S WORD, SPECIFICALLY THIS BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS, CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN . . .

I.  My prayer life will be revolutionized (1:3-6).  I will learn to pray with JOY for others, pray for our partnerships in the gospel, and pray for God’s continuing & maturing work in the lives of others.

We next saw that IF God’s Word can be trusted, then

2.  My view of life and death will be revised (1:20-24).   There Paul says he wants to exalt Christ in his life or his death:  “for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

The third truth that leaps out at me from Philippians is this:

3. My perspective on suffering will be matured (1:29-30).  There we see that it is a GIFT to suffer for Him (a gift which property preachers don’t want to receive!).

The fourth truth which we saw in the book of Philippians relates to how I view myself.  IF the book of Philippians can be trusted, then . . .

4.  My self-image will be challenged (2:1-5).  There we learn that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but to put others’ needs before our own.

Let’s move on and notice the FIFTH TRUTH from Philippians — assuming it can be trusted!  That FIFTH TRUTH IS:

5.  MY SYSTEM OF VALUES WILL BE RECALIBRATED (3:1-9).  Those verses tell us:

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

We see from this text that, first of all, knowing Him might lead to the loss of everything else.  This could involve a literal loss of all things or a mental loss of all things.  The latter would be true when we count everything loss for the sake of knowing Christ.  [for an account of our losing everything in a house fire in 2003, see my book When Temptation Strikes].

We also see from this text that, second, a relationship with Jesus Christ is more important than anything else life offers!

Discussion Questions:  How have your VALUES been changed since coming to Christ?  What values do you presently hold that appear out of sync with Christian truth?

 

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