This week we looked at Philippians 3:1-11. Paul begins by instructing the Philippians to rejoice, continuing the theme of joy. The mood then swiftly changes as we hear Paul warning the church in strong almost abusive language against some Jewish Christians who are trying to replace the joy and freedom of a Christ centred life with a rule based religion. Even the Old Testament stated that circumcision was to be of the heart (see Deuteronomy 30:6 & Jeremiah 4:4).
These men are true conservatives wanting to integrate Christ into their traditional values rather than be born again. Christ has called Paul and us to a new and radical life based on God’s will and faith! We are radicals who live by faith and love, making all our choices not by rules but based on God’s love and our desire to please him.
Paul does a profit and loss assessment of his life. All the things the Jewish people in their conservative tradition would have counted as profit he counted as loss with his gain being Christ! He counts his heritage and genealogy as garbage (literally dung) as they do not take him close to Jesus and eternity!
Paul truly understood Mark 8:36 – “What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” My prayer is that God gives us a revelation of this truth so that we are set free from our past and societal materialistic view. With this comes a release of joy and a freedom to truly rejoice in the glory of God.