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Gospel Reminders and Warnings - 13

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2022 7:00 pm

Gospel Reminders and Warnings - 13

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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June 19, 2022 7:00 pm

Christians need regular clarification and warnings regarding gospel truth. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his exposition in the book of Philippians.

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Well, as we've already been reminded of this particular Lord's day is also designated as Father's Day in the United States of America and we are happy to focus upon fatherhood and two other fathers. Today, recognizing that fatherhood is an essential part of God's design for the human family and recognizing that many of the problems and deteriorating elements that we see in our society in America today can be traced to the absence of fathers into the sinful performance of so many fathers. We recognize that the revival of obedience to the word of God in the area fatherhood as well as in many other areas solve many of the societal problems that we are experiencing today. We also recognize that fatherhood is a challenging task. It's a difficult responsibility. Most of all because of our own sinful hearts.

We are not inclined toward doing right to, but doing wrong, we are not inclined toward ministering to others but being selfish and self-centered.

We are not inclined toward obedience to God in our dependence upon him that we are applying to independent thought and rebellious ways and therefore our greatest enemy against all that is good, including the proper role of fathers in the home is our own sinful hearts.

But in America today. We also have the second problem of the concentrated assault upon fatherhood that I think is relatively new. Didn't always used to be that way. I will not remember a time when in American society generally fatherhood and motherhood in intact families was the norm and was applauded and encouraged by society at large. Now all things of change.

There is a concentrated assault upon everything that God has written his word. Therefore dads who are trying to be good fathers are not only battling their own sin hearts but also the assaults of those who are outside outside of Christ outside of the church. Therefore, we need help his father's we need to pray for our fathers, we need to encourage a father's we need to help one another in this responsibility.

So today we look into God's word because that's where help can be found.

We haven't chosen a different text, but rather are continuing our series in the book of Philippians that will be looking at the next section which is verses one, two and three of chapter 3, but at the end will be making some applications that are particularly pertinent to fathers into the role, but today it Philippians 3133 where we find gospel reminders and warnings, and we shall see. Number one. The value of purposeful repetition. Number two the necessity of appropriate warnings and number three the nature of God honoring worship. Paul opens this chapter by telling us about the value of purposeful repetition. 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 for me to write the same things to you is not tedious but for you it is safe. Paul shows us the value purposeful repetition. First, by example and secondly by explanation. The example is that opening exhortation where he says finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord finally is a word that introduces a new section actually moving into the last half now of this epistle, it means the introduction of a new subject. This word means for the rest store now to go on it doesn't necessarily mean my last word so it is moving.

Of course toward the conclusion as Paul moves along, but he opens this new section by an exhortation to rejoice in the Lord the most of us know that the book of Philippians is the book of joy and the word joy or rejoice related work are found at least 17 times throughout this epistle very frequent. To the extent that some have considered that to be the main theme of this epistle. Whether that's true or not. It is obvious that joy and rejoicing is frequently mentioned and here Paul mentions it again then goes on to say that repetition is not a bad thing. Rejoice in the Lord always started out of these first mention of joy. In chapter 1 verse four we find that repeated all throughout this epistle, we find reference to rejoicing the activity of rejoicing because of our joy mentioned several times also beginning in chapter 1 verses 18 and 26 in chapter 2 verses 17 and 18 and that well-known verse that he hasn't gotten to yet in chapter 4, where he says in verse four rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. Here the repetition.

Paul is exemplifying first 20 secondly exhorts about purposeful repetition. It's not a bad thing.

Sue goes on to say that repetition is related to the preacher is as he puts it here not tedious and repetition as it relates to the listeners is safe to provide safety.

It provides a guard or those who are listening to the word of God for me to write the same thing to you is not tedious but for you it is safe. It's interesting that Paul's first comment about repetition focuses upon the preacher, the teacher, rather than upon the listener. If you say all I've heard that before focus.

There is, upon me and my thoughts and my reception in whether I like to hear things repeated or not, the Paul doesn't start there. He gets there, but he starts out interesting lead by saying that for the preacher himself to repeat things purposefully is not a bad thing. It's not tedious to the preacher purposeful repetition is not unfruitful.

It is fruitful. It is helpful in our walk with God now unprepared repetition is often unprofitable repetition that is present because the preacher does. Never anything new to say because he hasn't studied you one of those. Please pray for me. I haven't had time to prepare, but please pray for me while I preach type of servants will often contain a lot of of repetition that has not been purposefully thought through and designed the Paul is clearly talking about repetition.

That is, God directed God energized. That is purposeful that is intentional, that is fruitful. That is profitable, and he says even though other times I would prefer not to have to repeat.

Think about the preacher who was repeating things he said before when he rather go on to something new like the writer of Hebrews says I'd like to go on to other things but you not ready for them now so we go back to the basics back to the first things all over again. That wouldn't be says the writer of Hebrews my first choice, but it is what is most needful for you so here we are. The preacher finds that repetition is not tedious but as related to the believer.

He tells us, for you it is safer to safeguard you needed repetition is not or should not be tedious and boring. We should not regard it that way. It is a safeguard in our lives against error.

It is a safeguard against dangerous things because number one and we need to understand that we don't listen as well as we should.

Many times when we are hearing the truth of God presented our mind wanders distracting elements come in.

Were thinking about other things and were missing what is being said. So of course, repetition is very helpful in those situations to fill in the gaps of what has been said before but we missed it.

Repetition is valuable because we do not comprehend everything we hear the first time, you know that don't you think about the disciples and how many times Jesus Christ told them something and they missed it and told him again on the mist and he told him again and they missed it, I'm going to Jerusalem to die that after three days all rise again from the dead and a few days later he says I'm going to Jerusalem to die. Three days later all rise again from that what what you talking about, they missed it the first time they missed it the second time they missed it the third time repetition for them was necessary. It was a safeguard it's necessary because we do not remember as well as we wish even when we hear things and and do hear them. We don't necessarily retain that we don't always remember them, do we be honest we don't remember all that we have heard and therefore we need to hear things again and especially those things which are important and finally, repetition is important because we do not all learn at the same pace thinking now. Not about the individual here, but about the congregation. This is going out this letter is being read to the church at Philippi and there are some people there who learn quickly and remember admirably. And then there are other people who are a little bit slower. No more mindful of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We want every buddy to understand we want to bring everybody along and so please excuse the repetition. If it's something you already know, but it's needed by one or one or more of your brothers and sisters in Christ, so to say the same things again is not tedious for me and it's safe for you. Which leads me to conclude that novelty is an attraction to carnal minds, but is cell adult seldom beneficial to the truth. But people are always running after that new thing, something new, something exciting. Sometimes you see that the way people run from this church of that church to the other church to the other church something different over here something new over here something novel over here.

Well, if it is a solid Bible preaching church. Whatever elements are new and novel are very superficial and really are not the important thing.

What's important is the abiding eternal word of God which does not change. It has not changed. It is not novel its the truth of God that we need again and again and again and again. In fact, I think I would conclude the listeners who complain about repetition are often showing a mark of immaturity and pride they think they know more than they truly know that's bad it's it's bad enough not to know.

But it's worse to think you know not know is like.

Jesus said it's bad to be spiritually blind. But it's worse when you think you see a menu you you and you lead others into the same ditch that you're going into godly humility receives repetition with thankful appreciation and profit, but I think is also a word here for teachers and that is repetition is not carried out necessarily by repeating the same exact words over and over and over that could become vain repetition. Christ warns against it is the same true presented with different words from a new and fresh perspective that's actually the way the Bible is written there is a big book book of 66 books. As you know is a lot in their Old Testament and New Testament. A lot of things but if you really pay close attention, you'll realize an awful lot of what you got from Genesis to Revelation, are the same truths stated this way in this book and the same truths. Stated another way in another book the same truth that is presented in these words in this particular passage and then is illustrated perhaps in the entirely different way. Another passage but it's the same truth again and again and again and again, but not necessarily with the same words but often from a different fresh perspective and I think that's what Paul has in mind when he says for me to repeat the same things is not tedious in one reason it's not tedious is because sometimes I say it this way and sometimes I say it that way sometimes. I illustrated from this portion of the Old Testament. Sometimes I illustrated from something out of my life. In my experience, as he does here is the passage goes on talks about his being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and so forth and so on an illustration out of his own life, but he's simply illustrating the same truth that the works of the flesh, such as keeping the law, being circumcised, being a Pharisee, these things out of his own life are of no value word when it comes to salvation into things which are eternal and so stating it one way, as he does in our text this morning. He illustrates it another way out of his life in the verses to follow that he will say that yet other ways in other portions of Scripture.

In essence, repeating the same things again, but in a fresh and different way each time so for teachers of the word consider that as you consider the subject of repetition, but the point of all of this is that purposeful repetition is necessary to fasten God's truth into our mind's. It's not unfruitful.

It's not boring it's not tedious. It is necessary. Why do you say that because God says that it's necessary. He knows how it made knows our minds operate.

He tells us that it is necessary, but then we move in verse two into the necessity of appropriate warning's beloved not beloved. He says that in verse one my brethren, but verse two beware of dogs, beware of evil workers.

Beware of the mutilation, the necessity of appropriate warnings and this is certainly a strong warning isn't it. Beware beware beware beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. Beware of the mutilation.

Any on a study of the Scriptures will tell us that warnings like this are very common. New Testament practice in and actually of common Old Testament practices wealth is a great deal of what the prophets of the Old Testament Rd. were warning warnings about sin warnings about judgment to come study the words of Jesus, you'll find they are filled with warnings study the words of the apostles of the record in the Scripture to find their filled with warning study. The other New Testament writers who are not apostles but notice how many warnings they issue. Think about that little book of Jude one chapter, Jude was not an apostle, he was a half-brother of Jesus Christ to kindred to faith in Christ.

After Christ rose again from the dead, but became a leader in the church and wrote that little epistle of Jude and he said I really wanted to write about the common salvation, but there was something that was more important and he starts warning about false teachers and it's a strong strong book filled with warnings just like this when the Paul is presenting to us now.

But before we look at this warning, which is very strong, let me point out that this whole concept of warning people against false doctrine warning people against professing Christians who will lead others astray is a lost practice in many pulpits today is not touched on a number of years ago, the pastor of the largest church in America was interviewed on television and was asked by Larry King that so long ago that is, back when he was conducting his interview program and asked him about preaching about sin and this pastor said oh I never preach about sin that makes people uneasy. That makes him uncomfortable that they they don't they want to come to church to hear about sin, so I never preach about sin, and other was nothing negative, nothing would make people uncomfortable.

No warnings, just positive positive positive positive encouragement. That's what people need. They they fight the world and difficulty all week long. When they come to church. They need to hear encouragement a number one when we come to church. We need to hear the truth whether it encourages or not. That's what we need to hear the truth but number two. I have found almost to my surprise the many times when I preach messages that I thought had a fair amount of of warning and and exposure of sin and people of come to me afterwards and said thank you for that. That was so encouraging and what I would. I would not of classified that particular message as being an encouraging message, but it is because truth received and applied into the hearts of believers is always encourage where we get the idea that talking about sailing warning against judgment is not encouraging. It is encouraging to people who believe the Paul tells us here that he is warning them again for me to write the same things to you is not tedious but for you it is safe. Specifically, beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. Beware of the mutilation. Paul is describing his warning declarations in terms of repetitions now the question is, what did he do this before. What is he repeating as you look back in the book. You won't find anything that resembles what he is saying here in chapter 3 in verse two, so this repetition apparently doesn't have to do something he said before in the Philippian epistle, so there are two possibilities number one, it may indicate a previous epistle. The Paul wrote to Phillippi that is unknown to us very distinct possibility or number two, they do not, or could be, or, or it could be and number two it could refer to verbal warnings that Paul gave when he was in Phillippi, so he may be saying I wrote these things to you before, but we don't have that epistle, he may be saying I said these things to you before when I was with you but I say them again here we go. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. Beware of the circumcision relation so appropriate warnings is a common New Testament practice, but I would secondly say that appropriate warnings require delicate spiritual maturity is not easy for us to get the right balance. In other words, just as surely as there are those who completely ignore the whole subject of warnings and anything negative altogether. There are other people that that's all they do, that's all they know, that's all they think that's their whole mission in life is to criticism and criticize and find fault in nitpick and and constantly be talking up against anything and everything that they don't think is exactly right. And that's not the way to approach it either.

How do I know that because of the examples we've already seen this epistle. How did Paul deal with preachers who had impure motives in chapter 1 verse 15 and following.

He said some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife and some from goodwill.

The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my trains verse 18.

What then only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and in this ice cold in this Expos in this I denounce in this. I wore no in this I rejoice yes and will rejoice. He says something similar in chapter 2 that I will take the time to read nine verses 20 and 21 as other times when Paul recognizes a problem something that's not right and he touches upon it enough so the people can see the warning and apply to their lives. But there's no denunciation here. In fact, he actually praises the Lord in this case that the gospel is being preached, even when it's being preached by those who don't have pure motives, so how does Paul know what is what. Which is which one is with how does Paul know when to denounce strongly and when to touch upon lightly without any word of denunciation and I can answer that question in every detail, but in this particular case I think it's clear when the gospel itself is being attacked when the gospel itself is being distorted when the gospel itself is being change that needs to be denounced openly, publicly and strong because a false gospel will lead people to hell preachers who are preaching the true gospel with the wrong motives can be dealt with by the Lord of the judgment seat of Christ.

But the message there, preaching God will still used to save sinners, but those who are preaching a false gospel are going to lead people straight to hell, and so one requires a light touch should delicate up requires a bombastic approach and we need the wisdom to understand when to do which and so appropriate warnings on the one hand, are delicate spiritual endeavors not always easy to get the right balance but there are times, as in this text when it involves a bold confrontational undertaking. Beware of dogs. Dogs in the first century were not cuddly little pets that people kept in their houses and petted and cuddled and coddled and tied them up so they couldn't do the things that otherwise they would do because they got to always be looking after after Fido.

Another subject for another day. But in the first century dogs were not pets. They were nasty scavengers that rummage through the garbage that got people's way and even in many cases carry diseases.

So to call someone a dog is a strong term of contempt. We know the Jews use that for the Gentiles, they consider them dogs. That means they consider them unclean, both morally and ceremonially they were right in most cases.

But Paul turns the tables and here he is labeling. What we realize as the passage goes on he is labeling Jews to be dogs. Jews called the Gentiles, dogs. Paul is calling a certain category of Jews dogs.

You are unclean you are diseased you are scavengers you are on healthy because you are preaching the wrong gospel.

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. These ones these Judaizers as we call them today consider themselves to be workers of righteousness. They considered that what they were doing was adding an important element of the truth of the gospel and summer leaving out, namely that the exception be circumcised after the law of Moses you can in no wise be safe.

Paul said that is a false gospel and those who preach that, whether they realize what they're doing or not.

Those who preach that are evil workers.

You are working iniquity. You are not workers of righteousness, beware of the mutilators. My version says that of course refers to Jewish circumcision.

They write the symbol given by God as a sign of the covenant, the old covenant to his Old Testament people.

It was from the very beginning to be understood as a symbol of clenched hearts rather than removed removed skin. Deuteronomy 30 verse six and the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendents, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, that you may live circumcision was just a right, it was assembled appointed to a spiritual reality. The need for our hearts to be cleansed, our hearts to be circumcised.

The hardness of our heart to be removed, but over the years it had morphed into an empty ritual that turned into serious deception. If you don't have this particular right.

This particular ceremony. This particular circumcision than you have something significantly lacking in your relationship with God. You've got to add this to Christ.

Christ is not enough in the Judaizers, who were Jews who said they believe in Christ were going around preaching the necessity of circumcision and the Mosaic dietary laws and other elements of the law of Moses were imposing these things upon Gentile believers.

Circumcision was never given to Gentiles, of any kind was a particularly Jewish requirement and in doing this they were seriously distorting the gospel.

So Paul says, beware of these people there like dogs. They are evil workers.

They are not performing a God honoring right they are mutilators of the flesh. I can't think of a stronger denunciation of these false teachers and what Paul gives us here, then in verse three he moves on to what is true God honoring worship that he says for we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, the nature of God honoring worship and he tells us first of all the people of true worship and secondly the marks of true worship and who are the people of true worship. Paul says we himself by nature a Jew who had been circumcised in the Philippian believers, most of whom were Gentiles, and who would not been circumcised, but Paul says we Jew and Gentile, who believe in Christ are they circumcision. Let that sink in. Because through faith in Christ. We who have believed in Christ have circumcised hearts. Colossians 211 says in him you also were circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ is writing to Gentile believers. There your faith in Christ has made you circumcised in the circumcision that really matters. That has nothing to do with the surgical operation. Yes, we, says Paul R. The circumcised we who by faith in Christ are participants in the new covenant, not the old covenant of which the sign was circumcision but the new covenant we who trust in Christ are the circumcision, we who trust in Christ are listen to me now the true Israel of God we have the circumcision here.

So Paul puts it in Romans 228 and 29 for he is not a Jew who was one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit not of the letter is praise is not from men. Let that sink, we who are believers in Jesus Christ. We who have been born again of the true Israel of God.

We are the true circumcision and we and we alone worship God aright for the only ones who are able to worship God is a lot of implications here. I don't really have time to get into the much a lot of debate back and forth battling back and forth in this understanding back and forth between dispensationalism. On the one hand, and those who embrace a more covenant theology of the other hand, and dispensational lists think that those who believe that the church those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have become the Israel of God are ignoring Scripture discordant distorting trick Scripture denying Scripture and that's what I used to think until I kept reading Scripture and studying Scripture and finding verses like this in there among many others, and this is telling us that those who trust in Jesus Christ are the circumcision, that's pretty plain that's pretty clear is not been a change.

There's been a change and he goes on to tell us what the marks of true worship are those who trust in Christ are the true worshipers of God because number one they worship God in the spirit that is by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. According to the truth revealed by the spirit. Number two, they rejoice in Christ Jesus, that is, they glory in Christ, they boast in Christ and Christ alone. They find all of their joy and fulfillment in Christ, and number three have no confidence in the flesh in ceremonies and rituals like circumcision and others no confidence in human merit whatsoever they trust only the merits of Christ. They recognize that if we are depending upon our merits. Whether it's baptism withered circumcision. Whether it's communion whether it's church membership, whether it's the golden rule whether it's keeping the 10 Commandments before trusting in any of that for salvation.

We are going to hell because try as you might in all of this you can't do it perfectly. And God demands a perfect righteousness that leaves us all out because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God the perfect righteousness which God demands God has supplied the person of his son the Lord Jesus Christ who came to die on the cross he lived the perfect life he lived. He's the only one who lived the perfect life of righteousness.

And he died on the cross as a substitute in the place of those who trust in him. So God demands a perfect righteousness and those who trust in Christ have a perfect righteousness.

It has been imputed to us through faith. The perfect righteousness of Christ. So we don't trust in any of these ceremonies.

We have no confidence in the flesh. It's not that we abandon works. We place no confidence in them. It's not that we deny works. We don't become antinomian's but it is that we perform good works out of love and gratitude to Christ and recognizing me even there we fall short, but recognizing that the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. The covers all of that.

It it takes all of that into account and that even in our failures and not performing the works of his workmanship perfectly. Nevertheless before the judgment bar of God we have a perfect righteousness. We have been justified.

We are as righteous as Jesus Christ himself can't get any better than that. Now, quickly how does this apply to fathers and Father's Day will have some advice for you fathers. It is first of all, fathers.

You need to emphasize the true gospel with your family.

You need to become a spiritual leader in your home, you need to lead your family into worship. You need to emphasize the true gospel which is attacked openly on the one hand, and undermine subtly on the other hand all around us and how do you do that, read the Scriptures. What else explain the Scriptures you don't have to be a theologian to do this, do it on a simple level but do it. How else sing songs with your family with your children that have sound doctrine not nonsense songs that climb, climb up sunshine mountain sing songs that have good doctors that teach the truth of the gospel in them and don't be afraid of repetition.

You can understand with your children, how important that is how dads can you do that, surely you can feel endeavor to ask God to help you dads are you doing that but if you're not get busy. You Make up for what you haven't done but you can start today and you can teach the true gospel in your home to your family over and over and over again they needed they needed as an anchor for their soul. They needed as a defense against the false gospels that are in the world today.

Number two fathers worn your family, spiritual dangers there off false teachers all around to distort the gospel. They will hear them on the radio.

They will see them on television. They have friends who attend churches where these false teachers are are at work, their friends will invite them to church because they got a cool youth group that sings sings the Christian rock and has a raucous good time and better guard to defend your family against false teachers, you better know what's going on. False teachers who distort the gospel week teachers who neglect the gospel cool teachers who deflect the gospel. Everybody wants to be cool.

I'd rather be saved and cool. I'd rather be righteous and cool. I'd rather be going to heaven than to be cool.

Cool. Go to hell. And finally, fathers avoid what I will call will meaning Christian moralizing what you mean by that. Well if were not careful in training our children to do right to live right. If were not very careful how we present this we can leave them with the impression we don't intend to.

But we can leave with them with the impression this is the way you become a Christian by doing all these things. That's what Christians do. That's what Christians are so it's easy for them to get the wrong impression.

This is how I become a Christian and there you are.

You have become a Judaizers teaching them a false gospel. The gospel of works instead of the gospel of grace, so be very careful in how you present these things you need to emphasize human sinfulness and inability world is emphasizing the opposite. Everybody's basically good. Everybody you can be whatever you want to be if you ever heard anything that was more nonsensical than that.

You can't be whatever you want to be. You can you can achieve. You can reach goals. You can have high goals but let's be honest there some things that you can't do there some things that you will. I can not be and never could be a concert pianist. I don't care how hard I try and I did try it took a lot of lessons waste a lot of my parents money on piano lesson and it really wasn't a waste. It was good for me to learn music but there was no way under God's heaven that I could ever become a concert pianist. You can't be whatever you want to be can be the best that God has created you to be that God has gifted you to be the God has enabled you to be so emphasize human sinfulness and human inability we can't do anything without Christ, not anything that's important emphasize our total dependence upon Christ and teach the good works flow from love and gratitude to Christ not performed out of fear God's gonna get you if you do that there's an area there's a time for those kinds of warnings but be careful or out of self-righteousness.

If you do this God will love you more if you do this, God will will love save you know if you acknowledge that you can't do it that you have no ability to do good that you are a depraved center hopeless. Apart from Jesus Christ and you renounce all human effort and depend upon Christ and Christ alone and then out of love for him and gratitude for him teach that your children see what God made you don't have to be. I'm so glad for this closing words you don't have to be a perfect father to see God use these efforts to his glory and the lives of your children. You don't have to be a perfect mother obviously because there aren't any.

How don't want anywhere identical do things God's way.

It's amazing how God will take and use those so roll up your sleeves fathers and get to work and take your role got assigned role and do it to the best of your ability depend on God to make it profitable, shall we pray father again.

We pray that you will teach us your ways and show us your paths in Christ name, amen

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