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October 7, 2020 1:00 am
Jesus's baptism. Jesus wants church membership Jesus plus tithing Jesus plus Sabbath worship Jesus plus pilgrimage, Jesus plus penance, Jesus plus prayers Jesus plus whatever then maybe if you have the class God is satisfied. False teachers simply add a plus sign manager in the name. The predominant way that people try to please God is by trying to earn God's favor. They think that doing the right things and doing enough of them will make God like that's not the gospel. And that's not how salvation works and that's our topic today. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi with this broadcast. Stephen begins a series from Philippians 3 called aiming higher.
God wants you to experience true joy as possible.
If you rest in God's true salvation here Stephen with today's lesson will begins his next comments in the book of Philippians and I invite your attention to his letter. We arrive in chapter 3 today. Evidently defensive strategies are on is mine.
Philippians chapter 3 you'll notice he opens. Finally, my brethren, I could not but chuckle first. Where the biggest pulse unlike so many preachers is finally and then he goes on for two more chapters with all that can use additives, to hear the story. The little boy whispered to his father in church on Sunday morning daddy what is the pastor mean when he says finally. Which his father responded absolutely nothing. Well, actually I am following an apostolic precedent myself when I say finally, I may have more to say I was a full head it's it's it's it's important to understand a word he uses isn't isn't that is run out of things to say the word actually means in the original language. Furthermore, or you can render it now then and what is signals is that is going to move on to other things.
But before he moves on. It's interesting he repeats himself.
Notice finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. Isaiah commanded that in chapter 1 or chapter 2 later on command that in a chapter 4. By the way he uses it again.
Here's a repeats himself as an imperative, which means you can take your pencil your pan and you can write after the word rejoice and exclamation point do it. It's a command rejoicing is a command interesting. That would imply then that expressing joy is not the result of an emotion because you can't command someone to feel a certain way is commanding here. Joy then isn't rejoicing some temperamental characteristic because you can't rewire someone just by commanding it. Joy isn't related. Evidently the circumstances are held or begging other in the house because you can't command that they change rejoicing as a command rejoicing in the Lord means that you're looking to him alone, as it were your depository for joy to rejoice in the Lord means that you find in him the source of joy.
He is the highest object of your joy. He is the treasurer of your joy, which he then commands us to find in Christ.
What we really seek because on the ad notice. I want to write the same things again and it's no trouble to me and it is a safeguard to you, and I was already committed to rejoice but but you rejoicing is literally your safeguard connectors to in your mind it it's it's a safety net. A joyful Christian actually has a defense system built around his mind. Then Hart thing about it to another, and provoking my thinking on this command believer simply can't be complaining about life at the same time, rejoicing in the Lord, you can do both at the same time it's impossible.
Another reason have a joyful spirit and in understanding the protection is because it's impossible to be pursuing joy in him, and at the same time pursuing joy in sin, you can do both at the same time, which means the pursuing joy in him protects you. Paul calls it a safeguard word he uses his word literally means it will keep you from stumbling to keep you from tripping up. Will keep you from losing stability. Imagine rejoicing in the Lord and do all that and more.
Matthew Henry, the Puritan expositor.
The 1600s comment on this text.
When he wrote this, the joy of the Lord is a divine armor against the assaults of our enemies.
It puts our miles out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks. I know it is a little tedious with his English, but follow this it it puts our miles out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.
The taste of joy in our malls makes the tempter's offerings blend by comparison. An interesting thought. Joy then is our protector rejoicing in the Lord pursuing in him our greatest satisfaction makes everything else seem bland in this he says is an activity we choose to do this is something we choose.
This is something more wired to do is be a lot easier to complain about life and rejoice in the Lord about life right so plus is that we repeat myself obey this command choose to rejoice in the Lord that Paul moves on to tell us what to avoid. He wants our defense radar systems and sort of pick up the signals and send out warning signs related to certain individuals. This is what we choose. Now this is who we avoid notice verse two beware of the dog's beware of the evil workers.
Beware of the false circumcision to notice three times Paul used the word beware.
Also an imperative meaning you can put in! After that, beware beware beware do it, do this to be alert and needs to watch out it means to continually be on the lookout just because you have the armor on your face the day. Focusing on that which you can rejoice in the Lord that all go to sleep. Stay alert, beware need to watch out. There are dangerous enemies in this context that can steal your joy. Who are the Paul describes them with three rather blunt insulting derisive terms fact, I encounter some who believe the polls well I'm here for Exxon kind of the was right on the money. Usual mess around when it comes to defense.
He wants us to know who they are, that we should avoid. In fact, to the Greek reader was a more significant because he uses alliteration. Each of these three begins with a K In the Greek language so he saying beware of Kuhn's beware of Kucera guitars. Beware of cut atonement so they would've caught that KK beware of these rapidfire blondes offensive terms for the enemies of joy isn't just slinging mud. By the way, are calling names. He's gravely concerned that he isn't gonna mince words seems to be the hobby of the church today and beat around the bush notices first description. Beware of the dogs unless it sounds a lot because were little different than for centuries. I was talking to your dog so not talk about mine. My daughter's dog we babysit off a logical pixie just to name what you know, there's nothing to beware of the net dog.
She howls a lot winds an awful lot. I was then converted when they we kept her in the backyard arrow. She spent a couple hours you whining and howling and a neighbor come over actually complain that our dog wasn't happy.
He said you need to do something because your dog is very happy will get right on that. I did back there and had a conversation with her to get happy when Paul writes, beware of the dogs. The person who didn't have pet dogs didn't have pets in a pet dogs in the less deserving creatures for parents. Some come to mind.
But I digress. And in Paul's day, dogs were like coyotes you need to think of them in your mind like these scavenging coyotes with mother on the rise in cities and spotted even in this county. They were scavengers who roam impacts. They prowled around feeding on refuse it would run the streets at night. They were a danger vicious interesting that in the Old Testament the term dog refers to that versions of these evil wicked. Exodus 22 in first Kings 14 affect the term dog would be used as a derogatory term for someone to be alert to and avoid like Isaiah 56 verse 10 Isaiah the prophet uses the phrase he calls false prophets greedy unsatisfied dogs there evil that you go all the way to the end of the New Testament. The last chapter, and you find the term there again dog it's used as a general term for the unrepentant obstinate evil unbeliever who refuses to repent of his sin, unable to enter the kingdom of heaven. Revelation 2215. These Jewish false teachers that that Paul is referring to were fond of calling Gentiles. What dogs in other words there evil. There they are there unqualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. So you all reverses the innuendo so that it is the Jewish false teachers who are the dogs, they are the evil ones.
They are the ones unable to enter the kingdom.
Paul's dictionary of dog that would be someone who will harm you spiritually. There prowling around their looking for their next victim use you to continue to feed their own unsatisfied greed and ambition and desire and evil intent. Watch out for the dogs and only are there those who will spiritually harm you. There are those who spiritually mislead you notice he calls the next year. Verse two evil workers. This would have been terribly offensive to these Jewish leaders because they prided themselves and doing righteous deeds doing evil deeds doing good deeds.
By the time of Paul UNIDO dissemination was sort of in the spiritual grip of leaders among them leaders called Pharisees. They were meticulous in their observance of the law. The only problem is they'd codify the law by the time Paul included 365 negative commands that are on top of the law and 250 positive commands six, 700 additional commands. The problem is loan never produces righteousness law simply reveals how unrighteous we are right. Even today, we have thousands upon thousands of laws simply because people avoid keeping 10 Commandments is the heart of man parts of the Galatian believer that the law is actually intended by God as a tutor and educator who leads you to understand your total inability to work your way into heaven in your total need for salvation in Christ alone. Galatians 324 25 so these false teachers are diminishing, even denying the sufficiency of Christ's cross work elevating human piety elevating human effort, pointing with pride themselves, which led to evil pride not good Jesus himself minced no words at all.
When he dealt with this group of men. Matthew 23 he says what you scribes and Pharisees because you travel around on the sea and land to make one convert and when he becomes your convert, you have made him twice as much a son of hell as you are well. Why, because instead of leading people closer to God and trusting the work of God. Their leading people trust in themselves which takes them to hell. So they are workers of righteousness. They are workers of evil, and although they do steal your joy, because they just add more more more more more more the you gotta do in order to appease God and you can never do enough for one, where's the right of a woman was arguing with her pastor about the matter. Faith and works. Certainly both exist but one follows the other correct. She was saying that they're both equally important, she said to him, I think the getting to heaven is like rowing a boat one or is faith and the other or is your works and if you use both you get into heaven if you use only one or you only go around in circles.
Pastor wisely responded is one major problem with your illustration. Nobody is going to heaven in a rowboat. Yes the believer does good things, not so he can go to heaven but in evidence that he is on his way there because he was to glorify his father, whose good works. Matthew chapter 5 verse 16. But let's not redefine the salvation.
This is what these usually were doing the redefining entrance into heaven. Beware Paul says that anyone misleading you into believing that the gospel of grace is actually a gospel of work. If it is a becomes a gospel and to this day. It would be a gospel that would include well witnessing longer sinning, less often, praying more often doing better working harder, more and more and more, and then maybe you will please God and he'll love you and he'll accept you. Can I tell you something, beloved God cannot love you more than he loves you right now there isn't anything you can do or go see what I does I really love you now or will that does it.
I don't love you anymore than we humans do that those who trusted in Christ alone in his perfection and found acceptance in the beloved. Ephesians one it is impossible for God to love you anymore than he loves you. Now the where the dogs they will spiritually harm you. Beware of the evil workers they will spiritually mislead you one more.
Paul writes in verse two beware of the false circumcision that only adhere that Paul, Paul isn't talking about three different groups of people. He is simply describing in three ways the same group of people. These false teachers and in this last description by calling them the false circumcision. Paul is literally destroying the very core of their pride in their own belief in the relationship with God. He tracked back to the Old Testament circumcision was the essential mark of the Jewish people beginning with Abraham, it was the distinguishing mark of God's covenant with them. Over time the Jews would refer to one another simply as the circumcised or the circumcision every Jewish boy would be circumcised on the eighth day. The problem is they forgot the meaning behind the mark. Circumcision was intended by God to graphically illustrate man's depravity for man passes along his fallen sinful nature. Similarly, through the act of procreation.
He passes along the fallen nature of man through to the next generation. Circumcision then was primarily a symbol picturing man's need to be cleansed at the core of his being the root of his being. But over the centuries the Jewish people lost the meaning of this mark which pointed to the need which would point to the cross of ultimate cleansing of the very core of your being, but they would keep the ceremony alive and of course the market set aside. In this dispensation of grace now in this church age see all of the gospel for both Jew and Gentile, is the indwelling Holy Spirit that there is anything you do outwardly to deal inwardly with the core of who you are. That's why takes the cross of Christ and his sacrifice. These early Jewish teachers were attempting effectively to make every Gentile, a Jew, and then saying that you have a guaranteed covenant with God because you have that outward display or mark of the covenant, and Paul graphically sets the record straight here. In fact, he refers to them now with a normal war for circumcision little misleading in English language, it's translated for circumcision, but the word he uses is a slightly different word that actually means physical mutilation, which would've been highly offensive to them.
He effectively calls these false teachers mutilators. Beware of those who mutilate the flesh of what he's doing is taking all the backing of the Old Testament where that same concept is used of pagan ceremony and ritual effective member. The false prophets of bail. They believe that they would get the attention of their God by doing what to their bodies cutting themselves. If we can just cut ourselves enough and shed enough of her own blood bail will be impressed and send fire to our sacrifice. Kings 18. Now Paul uses that same word here. Shockingly, is effectively saying that the physical circumcision that there attempting to get every Gentile to perform is as spiritually meaningless as the ritual mutilation of pagan religion because of the sacrifice of Christ in his finished work. It now comes through faith alone and there is no physical mark.
There is no outward ceremony. There is no outward symbol that gains you acceptance. There's no work there is no ritual there is no penance. There's no act because salvation deals with the core of who you are, which then we have the analogy of having the circumcised heart hearts change. Keep that in mind that in mind, the dogs will harm you. The will workers mislead you.
These and I would just call them ceremonial lists will burden you something you gotta do if you if I if I could boil down the core of these false teachers and their teaching and one statement for you today would be this false religion and false teachers simply add a plus sign after the name Jesus. Jesus plus baptism, Jesus plus church membership Jesus plus tithing Jesus plus cemeteries were Sabbath worship Jesus plus pilgrimages Jesus plus penance, Jesus plus prayers Jesus plus whatever then maybe if you have the plus God is satisfied, you realize, that implies a God is not satisfied with the sacrifice of his son on your behalf, and we puny humans must do something in order to earn it. Ceremonial lists burden you may take no pity on you either. This is the core of legalism. Legalism makes someone's opinion, your obligation legalism makes someone's traditionalism, your burden and the list just seems to grow also. So I said through believers verse three we are the true circumcision now uses the word for circumcision speaking metaphorically saying we have been cleansed of the very core of our being to the sacrifice of the Savior, not by some surgery, but the Savior said this is if you're following along.
This is what we do. We rejoice in the Lord we find in him our satisfaction.
This is who we avoid those who deny that Jesus Christ is enough. We sang about it earlier. He is enough is our entrance into heaven. Now Paul reminds them and us. This is who we are we diverse. We worship in the spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh. Three characteristics of true religion or the gospel. First, we are those who worship God first. That is by worshiping the spirit of God will make it up. We are focusing on us were focusing on God were focusing on the the living God, the living word and the written word. Where the focus of our worship.
We have to be careful little believer today. We don't say to somebody I really I really enjoyed worship today.
What I will like that's all of it was all about you and me, and that somehow we were. We were the audience, forgetting that God is the audience we simply participated in offering to him through singing and music and praying fellowship. These offerings worship the heart devoted to the spirit of God that energizes our worship and directs and enhances and creates genuine worship which is fellowship in the adoration of this is who we are.
We worship God for secondly we are those who brag about Jesus Christ. Most look again we glory in Christ Jesus word for glory is a word describes bursting with joy about something someone is most proud of, and here I swirl the same way eventually ran a table or proud of you want to show you where you want to talk about nothing wrong with sharing account business with one another. But what is that with which we find most the Gloria Gordon we glory in Christ Jesus. Because we as believers more than anybody else on the planet understand that we if you strip everything away. You pull everything away.
The only thing we really have the post about is our salvation, and the only one we really have the most is Christ. I hope today's lesson has been an encouragement today and every day. Let's glory in the work of Christ on our behalf. You're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi, Stephen pastors a church in Cary, North Carolina and is our daily Bible teacher here on this program you can learn more about our ministry by visiting us firstname.lastname@example.org sure and explore our resources.
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