Redeemed for Relationship (Philippians 3:10-11)
First Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Matthew 22:34-40
Second Scripture Reading: Acts 9:1-31
Sermon Text: Philippians 3:10-11
In Philippians 3:1-9, the Apostle Paul describes the many reasons he had for confidence in his own works before he was regenerated by the Holy Spirit and trusted in Christ for his salvation. He gives seven reasons in a particular order to demonstrate that as confident as he was, he still fell short of what God required. The reasons he had for confidence in the flesh only served to condemn him before God. Upon conversion, he saw his works as filthy rags before a holy God, and realized that the only righteousness that can stand God’s judgment is the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed to believers. The Heidelberg Catechism, Q/A 60 wonderfully explains it:
How are you righteous before God?
Only by true faith in Jesus Christ; that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and am still prone always to all evil; yet God without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sin, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me; if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
1. For review, read Philippians 3:1-9. What kind of “loss” did Paul experience upon his conversion? What is the difference between the righteousness that comes from the law and the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ?
2. What does it mean to “know Christ” according to Philippians 3:10? Compare what Paul teaches here with Jeremiah 9:23-24 and 31:31-34. How does knowing Christ personally affect our worship and our obedience to his commands?
3. What does it mean to know the “power of his resurrection” according to Philippians 3:10? Why is the resurrection of Christ such an important event in world history? Read and consider Paul’s explanation in 1 Corinthians 15:1-23.
4. How do we as believers share in Christ’s sufferings and death according to Philippians 3:10? Compare this verse with Mark 8:34-38. How does this affect your view of our suffering in this life?
5. In Philippians 3:11, Paul refers to the physical resurrection in glory that believers will experience on the Last Day. What will the resurrection be like? Read and consider Westminster Confession of Faith chapter 32 (the state of people after death, and the resurrection of the dead).
6. In preparation for next week, read Philippians 3:12-21. How does Paul describe sanctification in verses 12-14? How does he describe glorification in verses 20-21?
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