Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
The everyday person on the street would give every answer in the book as to what a true Christian is. Even here in this area we’d be surprised how many are mixed up. The term “denomination” simply means believers who share a core belief but differ in minor viewpoints. The primary beliefs are the same and that keeps mainline denominations together. We are Free Will Baptists and believe a little differently than other Baptists but the core foundation is the same. We are now seeing “denominations” come out that are not Christian at all. God doesn’t work through that.
Today’s Sunday school lesson illustrated that. God laid it upon King Cyrus to let the people of Israel return to Jerusalem. He wrote the decree. When others came stating they had decrees from other kings the leaders refused to partner with them. God had not done it that way. Upon refusal, the true colors of the other group came out. We must beware of those whose trust is not in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 tells us For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. That’s how we were saved. We know we’re saved. Jesus Christ is the person. It’s not faith in Bob Surber. We must turn to Jesus accepting the sacrifice he made on Calvary. Grace is the way. Jesus is the person. The means is faith. It’s not turning over a new leaf. It’s a new birth, not by confirmation but by conversion. Jesus converts us from the binding of sin bringing us into adoption as children of God. The true Christian leans on Jesus Christ.
It can be rough going at times. We fail and come short of what God expects of us but we have the ability to continue in the faith. Jesus started a good work in us and he will finish it. Our happiness isn’t found in sin or doesn’t come from the sin (s) we commit. It’s not in meditating problems away. When these people lay down at night there is still a worry in their heart about meeting God. Our joy is in the Lord, not by being pain free or kicking up our heels. We can simply rejoice in the Lord. Focus on Jesus Christ. If that doesn’t make your joy juice squirt, maybe you’re drinking from the wrong well.
Paul was writing the same/similar things to them again but he said it wasn’t grievous to him to do so. How many times have I preached from Philippians? I have no idea but lots. We can stuff ourselves on what Jesus has to say. He shouldn’t have to turn us upside down to get us excited. Just hold fast to the hope. We’re the only ones who have this hope. Those who put Jesus secondary don’t have it. Jesus is Christianity and Christianity is Jesus. Christ in you, the hope of glory. The foundation of Christianity stands sure. He is total Savior and Lord. How in the world could you not be happy? Jesus is real. Let’s get real with him!
Verse 2 tells us to beware of dogs. Keep yourself in the faith of Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The wicked are like dogs who want to tear you apart. You have to watch for the deceiver. Be on your guard. We’re pilgrims and strangers in this world. Don’t give in to the philosophies of the world. Beware of evil workers or they’ll work on you. It’s time to work for Jesus and not let the concision tear us apart. That’s what it means–to tear apart.
We are not under the law of Moses but of Christ. He has sliced us from the old life. Live like it. We are under the law of Christ Jesus. We worship in spirit with confidence in Jesus. How deadset are you to see it through? When life is about gone, something will live on. We can die with confidence in the Lord. Has he ever failed? No! Has the foundation broken down? No! He’s the Rock. Let the rains comes and he will stand.