This message focuses on Philippians 3:1-9. During Paul’s day, people were told that they needed to keep the Jewish law in addition to believing in Jesus. They placed the law above all else. Today, we still wrestle with the same issues. Whenever we say Jesus plus something else, the “something else” gets magnified. What we need to do is replace our confidence in the world with faith in Christ.
I. Consider as loss and rubbish what most people consider profit.
Most people consider the following profit, but Paul considered it loss after he put his faith in Jesus:
- Their people. Paul was born into the Jews, from the tribe of Benjamin (a descendant of Jacob’s favorite wife), and has the mark of circumcision.
- Their party. Paul was a Pharisee. In some ways we do this today: we are part of the right denomination, political party, hobby, interest.
- Their passion. Paul was so zealous that he persecuted the church. We can boast about our passion.
- Their performance. Paul said that he kept all of the laws faultlessly. We can declare and think we are alright because of what we do.
They points above are bad only when they become “the thing”: when we look for things to make us happy instead of God. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. In Philippians, Paul reveals that he had all of those things, but they failed to make him right; they didn’t give him peace or contentment inside. In fact, they were not assets, but liabilities, because he put too much confidence in them. When Jesus is on the assets side, he makes us priceless and erases all of our liabilities.
II. Replace the rubbish with Christ.
- Christ is better. He replaces the idols instead of just improving them. Jesus does not say he will make our system better, but says he wants to improve it. He offers us acceptance first and does not make us perform first. See Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-9.
- I become right by knowing Christ. Information is different from experience. It’s good to know facts, but when we know Christ through experience, He satisfies us and we have a sense of being right with God and with ourselves. Humility comes too and not self-righteousness.
- I know Christ by faith.
Make the exchange: confidence in the world for faith in Jesus.