Title: Discipleship Means Discarding My Status & Credentials for Christ Alone
Scripture Text: Philippians 3: 1-11
Preacher: Rev Ashok Amarasingham
1.1 Praise God that weekend worship services have begun in church
1.1.1 Some new normals now
1.1.2 Some prayer items…one day the government will open the door to all foreigners to come back to church.
1.2 Church Theme: Discipline Ourselves so as to Disciple Others (1 Cor 9: 24-27 & Heb 12: 1-2).
1.3 Today, we look at both individual and corporate discipleship.
1.3.1 How important are status & credentials to you?
1.4 Focus for Today:
Until and unless we take no glory in our status and credential, we shall never experience the full joy of knowing Christ as his disciples.
2) Watch out for those Judaizers Who Took Glory in Status and Credentials
2.1 Who were the Judaizers? They were seen as early as Acts 15.
2.1.1 They insisted that Gentile converts MUST be circumcised for salvation (Acts 15:2)
2.1.2 There was a fierce debate between them and Paul-Barnabas.
2.1.3 The Council of Jerusalem (esp Peter and James) decided that circumcision was NOT needed for the Gentile converts.
2.2 Paul did not sugar coat his words in his attack of them.
2.2.1 Look out for those dogs.
2.2.3 …those who mutilate the flesh (the original NT Greek is very graphic!)
2.3 Paul stressed that the New Covenant superseded the Old.
“For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is a matter of the heart by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2: 28-29) please do not delete this
2.4 Paul, then unleashed his status and credentials. They were outstanding
2.4.1 First four had to do with status.
* circumcised on the 8th day (Lev 12:3)
* stock/people of Israel
* tribe of Benjamin (cf 1 Kings 12: 21)
* a Hebrew of Hebrews
2.4.2 The final 3 has to do with credentials
* a Pharisee
* for zeal…persecutor of the church
* for legalistic righteousness, blameless.
2.5 Paul drops the bombshell…all my status and credentials are counted loss (3:7)
2.5.1 He uses bookkeeping terms ie “profit and loss”.
2.5.2 “Rubbish” in the original NT Greek was really “faeces”.
2.5.3 The story of John Sung and how he saw his outstanding credentials
3) Giving Up our Counterfeit Glories is Hard to Do But Try, We Must.
3.1 All Paul’s gains were a collective loss in order to gain Christ (3: 7)
3.2 We must purge self righteousness completely for the righteousness of God. (3: 8-9)
3.3 Four pursuits of Paul (3:10)
3.4 Practical Application
3.4.1 From LOLMD Unit One: Glory-Why We embrace Christ.
* Everyone is in pursuit of that one thing in life
* Strong relationships, many grand children, wealth, health, significance, etc. All are temporary only.
3.4.2 The only eternal pursuit is being connected with God through his Son.
3.4.3 As we glorify Christ, he gives us glory (Psalm 8:5)…not a self-glory but divine glory. Beware of counterfeit glories.
3.4.4 …Praise, Power & Pleasure. This may lead from Toy to Toy, Fix to Fix or Relationship to Relationship.
3.4.5 Come back to Jesus…surrender your status and credentials to God.
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