True Worshipers Philippians 3:1-4 (NKJV)

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1 True Worshipers Philippians 3:1-4 (NKJV) We made it to chapter three; do you remember the theme of Philippians? It s sprinkled all throughout the letter; you ll find it here in verse one. Vs. 1 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. Notices the phrase rejoice in the Lord. The theme for Philippians is joy in Jesus. Not in your circumstance or situation, however good or bad it might seem. Those are all things that can change in a moment, and if our joy is placed in those things, it can also be changed in a moment. But, if our joy is in Jesus, then it will be stable and anchored in the one who is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He s our rock, and if your joy is connected to the rock, then it s rock solid. Read through verse 2-11, and then we will make our way back. We won t be covering the whole text today in this message, but read it through so that you get the bigger picture here. We will be looking at this text over the next couple of weeks. Beware of dogs. Some of you have signs on your gate or fence that say, beware of dog, could you imagine a sign that included; they are evil and mutilators. Now of course Paul was talking about the Judiazers, a group of Jewish legalist that would usually follow after Paul. They would make their way into the gentile believing church and agree with much of what Paul was teaching: Jesus was the messiah, the gospel is needed, go ahead and get water baptized. But then they would also include circumcision, if you were a gentile you believed you needed to be circumcised, thus connecting you with the law and the old covenant. So it was Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, and you circumcised. Copyright 2015 Chris Fraley 1

2 Notice Paul called these dog s evil workers, because there message took away from the finished work of the cross. In essence they were saying the cross wasn t sufficient. So Paul defined true circumcision here in the next couple of verses Vs. 3-4 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so Notice what Paul says here about the true circumcision or those who are true in the faith. 1. We Worship God in the Spirit. The father is Spirit, and when the Spirit comes into our life, worship takes a spiritual dynamic. When Jesus was talking with the Samaritan women they went back and forth about worship. The Jews said you had to worship the Lord in Jerusalem on the temple mount, but the Samaritans who were half Jewish and half gentile said it was on their mountain. Jesus clears this up in John s gospel "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:20-24 (NKJV) Jesus reminds her that it s not a place, it s a person, it s not on the temple mount or on your mount; true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. That can be anywhere; here under this roof, or at home under your roof, or under the roof of your car, or you can go roofless. Copyright 2015 Chris Fraley 2

3 Worship is no longer confined to a place, that s why the temple mount today is shut down, there is no tabernacle, and there are no more sacrifices. It s no longer confined to a mountain, it s a person. And notice, Jesus says the father desires to be worshiped in spirit and truth. Truth because he is truth, spirit because it s a spiritual deal. I grew up in a very conservative background, we had the truth part down, and it was all about truth. Making sure that what we sang was full of sound doctrine, and I look back with great appreciation. But when it came to the Spirit part of worship often there was an absence. And if the Spirit did move it was so foreign that usually the pastor would shut it down. Some of you here grew up in a church that emphasized the Spirit; it was always alive, and very emotional, so much so that you might even remember that this emotion became the most important part of worship. You were always looking at the emotional side of things, needing the hair on your arms to stand up, if you didn t feel something or shed a few tears each time you came to church then something was missing. The worship was emotional but the truth was often lost or even shut down for the sake of the Spirit. You were either swinging from the chandeliers or you were bored to tears. The father desires for us to worship in both Spirit, because worship is spiritual, and we should do it with passion. But also in truth, being grounded in God s word. Spirit and truth always complement each other they are not at war with each other. One should point you to the other, and we should always make room for the each of them. Notice who we worship, remember we worship a person who is that? 2. We Rejoice in Christ Jesus. He s the object of our worship; He s the one we boast of. I often pray with the prayer elders and worship team before service; that Jesus would be the guest of honor here, that He would be the famous one, Wildwood you do a great job celebrating Jesus here each weekend. Copyright 2015 Chris Fraley 3

4 We are not interested in boasting in our accomplishments as the legalist would suggest. We are boasting in His greatness, enjoying His presence, giving Him glory. He s the one that set us free; He s the one that forgave us of sin. He picked us up out of the miry clay and put our feet on the rock. Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Act 3:1-9 (NKJV) Notice his response to what Jesus did in his life. He was walking, leaping and praising God, why? It was the response to the grace that was given to him. That s why we worship Jesus, because of the great things He has done. Notice the last thing here 3. We Have no Confidence in the Flesh. My flesh has done nothing for me but make me miserable. There is nothing in my flesh, or a work of my flesh that can make me right with God. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells Romans 7:18 (NKJV) Paul would even remind us in Galatians that our flesh and the Spirit are contrary to one another, at war with one another. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another Galatians 5:17 (NKJV) Copyright 2015 Chris Fraley 4

5 Because there is nothing good in our flesh, because it s at war with God, it has to be crucified, and that s what Paul reminds us of in Galatians. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 (NKJV) "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) If we could do something in our flesh to earn a right standing with God, then why did Jesus need to be crucified? It needed to be crucified because it was the very thing that was keeping us from God. It was at war with God, it wasn t until we came to the cross and put our faith in Christ that everything changed. Christ took residence in me, and conquered the flesh that was in me. So my confidence is not in my flesh, or in the things that I can do in my flesh. The true circumcision is those who have put their faith in Christ. Paul would even remind us But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:14 (NKJV) That means there might be some things in your life that you need to pull the plug on. Some of those things that have the ability to choke out the work of the spirit in your life. But then make sure you put on the Lord Jesus. Paul reminds of us the reason that we need to do this, it s in the verse s preceding this And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. Romans 13:11-13 (NKJV) Copyright 2015 Chris Fraley 5

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