November 07, 2021 | Jess Rainer
Passage: Philippians 3:1-11
Genuine joy comes from treasuring Christ above all else.
1) Joy comes from knowing the truth about Jesus. (vs. 1-6) The easiest way to distort the gospel is to add something to or subtract something from it.
- Jesus - Something = Nothing. This is called “Theological Liberalism”. I want to do what I want to do. “I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe this part of the Bible.” It’s pure selfishness
- Jesus + Something = Nothing. This is “Theological Legalism”. I want to tell other people what they should do. This is usually done by mandating secondary or tertiary theological concepts. It’s all about power.
- Jesus + Nothing = Everything! This is the right formula! That’s the gospel. It’s all about what Jesus did for us. Your faith is based on who you know not what you do. Christian growth is always about learning something new; it’s about making known truths richer.
2) Joy comes from personally knowing Jesus. (vs. 3-8) Paul was the false teacher of all false teachers. He was the top Judaizer. He had all the accomplishments. He had the pedigree. But look at what Paul said about all those things: All his previous religious activity was worthless. It’s all garbage! He added to the gospel, which created a spiritual deficit in his life. However, Paul came to know the truth. It’s all about what Jesus did for us. What He did on the cross! And then personally knowing that Jesus. Genuine joy – true joy – comes from knowing Christ Jesus. Know Jesus personally. Give Him your heart and let Him give you a new one.
3) Joy comes from Jesus knowing you. (vs. 9-11) Only righteous people go to heaven. We can’t gain righteousness by doing all extra things and following the law exactly. But here is the solution: we become righteous through our faith in Christ. When we are given the righteousness of Christ and Christ takes away our sin, then our position with God changes. We are no longer orphans, but we are adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven as children of God. We know God and God knows us! One of the most powerful feelings in the world is to be truly known by someone and be truly accepted by someone. It’s rare for a lot of reasons. But it’s the norm for Jesus. He knows you, inside and out. And He loves you so much.
Jesus is committed to knowing you and growing you. He doesn’t want you to stay where you are spiritually right now. Find joy in knowing that God is committed to your growth – as hard as it may be sometimes. “Once you become aware that the main business you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.” – J. I. Packer
This ten week series provides a survey of the book of Philippians. One of the key messages of Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi focuses on discovering a true joy in the Lord, because Jesus’s kingdom surpasses the circumstances of life.