Winning Christ

I. The “dangers” list (Philippians 3:1-6)

A. The “dogs” are those who may appear OK but are still “wild.”

1. They were the “religious” leaders who turned on the Lord Jesus.

2. They are the “fools” who refuse to give up their evil behaviour.

3. They are the “watchmen” and “shepherds” who fail to warn their charge of the evil that is coming upon them.

4. They are the “false prophets” who teach error in the name of truth.

B. The “evil workers” are secular leaders who teach against God.

1. God hates them and will destroy them.

3. God hates them because they will not listen to His word or believe the works of His hands.

C. The “mutilators” require physical “marks’ as evidence of salvation.

1. Any kind of physical “holiness” is in view.

2. Any kind of special “experience” is in view.

3. Any kind of special “knowledge” is in view.

D. The more subtle danger may well be the confidence in our own accomplishments (Philippians 3:4-6).

1. Paul lists some of his extraordinary accomplishments.

a. He was born into Israel in the Tribe of Benjamin
b. He was circumcised as required of the Jewish Law
c. He was a “Hebrew of the Hebrews”
d. He was a Pharisee (a religious conservative)

2. Paul displayed his zeal by persecuting the church of the Lord Jesus

3. Paul was exemplary in his religious and legal behavior.

II. The loss of all things (Philippians 3:7-8).

A. The list in Philippians 3:4-6 is but a partial listing.

1. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 -- Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

B. The works, both of the flesh and of the spirit, Paul counts “loss.”

1. The personal “gain” would have been his personal “profit.”

a. His previous life as a “Hebrew of the Hebrews”
b. His challenges as a dedicated missionary.

2. The “profit” was negonmi and lemia = carefully considered as damaged.

a. Acts 27:10, 21 -- I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage…. be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
b. Our works are “damaged” – on account of Christ.
1) Nothing we can do will compare
2) Nothing we can do will suffice

C. The loss is compared with the “excellency” of Jesus Christ.

1. “Excellency” is the Greek word, huperexo – only used 5 times.

2. “Excellency” means to “rise above” or “be superior”

3. 1 Peter 2:13 -- Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

4. Romans 1:13 -- Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

5. Philippians has the best used of the term for our study.

a. Philippians 2:3 -- Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 
b. Philippians 3:8 -- Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
c. Philippians 4:7 -- And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

D. The “superior” thing is the “knowledge” of Christ Jesus.

1. “Knowledge” is the word, gnosis, = intelligence, understanding.

a. This word stresses progressive knowledge, as in the sense of “come to know.”
b. Oida, a similar timer used in Philippians 4:12, is the perfect tense of “to see” and is used to identify achieved knowledge.
c. Philippians 4:12-13 - I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

2. Knowing the Lord Jesus is a growth process of understanding.

a. 1 John 2:3-5 – And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
b. 1 John 5:20 -- And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

3. Knowing God means listening and continuing in the Word of God.

a. John 8:19 -- Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
b. John 8:28 -- Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things
c. John 8:31-32 -- Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
d. John 8:43 -- Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
e. John 8:47 -- He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

III. The “loss” makes way for the “gain” of the “power of his resurrection.”

A. This “might” is available to the Twice-Born who “know” Christ.

1. Acts 4:33 -- And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

2. Matthew 22:29 -- Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

3. Ephesians 1:19-20 -- And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us–ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,

4. Ephesians 3:20 -- Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

B. This “might” includes the “fellowship of his sufferings.”

1. 1 Peter 4:13 -- But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

2. 2 Timothy 3:12 -- Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

3. 1 Peter 5:10 -- But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

C. This “might” makes us conformable unto his death.

1. Romans 6:6-7 -- Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.

2. Romans 7:5-6 --  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

D. The “might” makes it possible for me to “attain” the resurrection.

1. The phrase means “to arrive at” the “out resurrection.”

2. “If it might be possible for me to arrive at the resurrection.”

3. 1 John 3:2 -- Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

4. “I follow after…” (the righteousness, life, knowledge)

5. “So that I might apprehend – that for which I am apprehended.

6. “I do not count myself to have apprehended” – I am not there yet.

IV. The focus is to “reach forth” and “press toward the mark” for the “prize.”

A. Forgetting the “behind things.”

1. Ephesians 4:22-24 -- That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

2. Ecclesiastes 7:10 -- Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

B. Reaching out for that which lies ahead.

1. Hebrews 6:1 -- Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection

2. 2 Peter 1:5-8 -- And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…knowledge…temperance…patience…godliness...brotherly kindness…charity.

C. Pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

1. I “follow after” the “award for the best judge” who “did spy out” the heavenly calling.

2. Colossians 3:1-4 -- If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

3. Colossians 3:5. 8. 12 -- Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth….But now ye also put off all these….Put on therefore, as the elect of God….

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