Philippians, lesson 8.

Lesson 8

Philippians 3: 1-11

V 1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

Paul implored the Philippians Christians (and us) to rejoice in Christ. Repetition was not tedious for Paul but necessary for their (and our) benefit.

V 2, Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!

Paul addressed the Judaisers as dogs, evildoers, and mutilators. Greek for dog is “kuon”, which means a mongrel dog, and not a pet dog. Judaisers were Jews who insisted that Gentiles Christians undergo circumcision as a prerequisite to salvation. They insisted that salvation is faith in Christ plus circumcision, ritual observances, temple sacrifices, religiosity, legalism, and law-keeping.

VV 3-4, 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:

Christians worship God in the Spirit and rejoice in Christ. A true Jew is a person whose heart is transformed spiritually by the Holy Spirit to conform with the will of God. True circumcision is spiritual, not physical, an inward attitude of the heart, not outward mutilation of the flesh. True circumcision is a spiritual heart transplant. Romans 2:28-29, NLT, “For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people”.

VV 5- 7, 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

Paul was a Jew, a Benjaminite, circumcised in the flesh on the 8th day of his life, a legalistic, zealous, law-keeping, and self-righteous Pharisee. Paul considered all these things as of no spiritual value in the kingdom of Christ.

VV 8-11, 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

The Greek word for rubbish is “skubalon”, which means dung or human excrement. Paul considered all his Jewish roots, circumcision, ritual observances, temple worship, law-keeping, religiosity, and legalism as of no spiritual value as far as righteousness is concerned. What is of spiritual value is the imputed righteousness of Christ, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, and the promise of the resurrection of the dead in Christ.

Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Isreal

Philippians, lesson 7.

Lesson 7

Philippians 2: 19-30

VV 19-24, 19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.

Paul planned to send Timothy, his son in the faith, to minister to the Philippians Church, 1 Timothy 1:2, “To Timothy my true son in the faith”. Timothy was recruited by into his missionary team in Lystra. Paul and Timothy had the same Christ-centred and others-centred mindset. Timothy had a proven character, capability, and track record. Paul hoped to be released from prison to visit the Philippians Christians in person. Do you have a Timothy to mentor? Do you have a Paul to mentor you? If you are a mature Christian, find someone whom you can mentor. If you are young in the faith, find someone to be your mentor.

VV 25-27, 25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Paul planned to send Epaphroditus back to his mother church in Philippi. Paul addressed Epaphroditus as a brother, a fellow worker, a fellow soldier, and a minister of Christ. The Philippians Church sent Ephaphroditus to Rome to take of Paul, but he fell sick to the point of near death, but God miraculously healed him. After this, he was very home sick and worried about his mother church.

VV 28-30, 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

With joy in his heart, Paul urged the Philippians Christians to receive Epaphroditus with joy, gladness, honour, and high esteem. Epaphroditus ministered to Paul faithfully and selflessly as a servant of Christ, even though he ill to the point of near death. The church today need more Paul, Timothy and more Epaphroditus. These were three great man of the faith that you can imitate and emulate.

Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel