Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!! – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3a) [8]

Perhaps when we began this series on Philippians, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mp, you may have thought Paul was going to show us some easy, quick, instantly gratifying ways to experience joy.  So far that hasn’t been the case.

In chapter 1, Paul described how we can experience Joy in Suffering,  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mF.  In chapter 2, Paul described how we can experience Joy in Serving,  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-nA.
Perhaps you thought serving would be an easy, and obvious way, to experience joy.  Yet, as we learned with experiencing joy in suffering, experiencing joy in serving, also requires sacrifice and dependence on God.  And we’ll see that to experience joy in believing, will require no less.
When I think of experiencing joy in believing, it seems like this will be easier than to experience joy in suffering and serving.
After-all, how hard can it be to believe?
Well, I guess it all depends on what you believe. Because our beliefs are the foundation on which we base our decisions, make our choices, determine who or what we follow, and what formulates our worldviews.
For our purpose, we’ll be looking at experiencing the joy in believing from the perspective of what we put our “faith” in (a strong belief or trust in someone or something).  As Paul puts it in Philippians 3:3 – We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.
Paul was the perfect person to make this statement because, as we’ll see in a moment, Paul has the “creds” that would easily allow him to puff out his chest.  People that knew him, might have even called him “SuperJew”.
Perhaps he looked a bit like Jason Alexander, better known as, George Costanza from the hit comedy, Seinfeld??
Yet I could have confidence in myself if anyone could.  If others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! – Philippians 3:4
Philippians 3:5-6—-
  • I was circumcised when I was eight days old.
  • I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one!
  • I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 
  • I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church.
  • And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Now how’s that for a resume?

But let’s look at Paul’s very next verse.  I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him.- Phil. 3:7-9a

                          phil3-8

 

WOW!!

IF PAUL, AND ALL HIS CREDENTIALS WERE CONSIDERED GARBAGE, THEN WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US, OR PAUL, FOR THAT MATTER??

< All My “Creds” are Garbage???  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3)   [9], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sC >

 

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Are ALL People Children of God??? – (Part 1 of 3)

This question, Are all people children of God?, has been on my mind for the past few weeks. This flame was fanned by the current sermon series being taught at the church we attend.

Because I disagreed with what the preacher was teaching, all people are children of God, and all people are adopted sons and daughters of God, I decided to do some digging in the Scriptures, they (the Bereans) received the Word (Scriptures) with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.Acts 17:11

Below is a brief summary of the first two weeks of the message series.

In week 1 of the series,

The preacher said that Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians to remind the Ephesian Christ-followers, and us, about their identity.

He proceeded to quote from Ephesians 1:3-6 – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

He proceeded by saying, “As Christ-followers our primary identity is not built on something we do, but on something that has already been done.  Through Jesus Christ, you’ve been adopted as God’s son, as God’s daughter.  YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD.”

[The message seemed ok, to this point, but further along in the message…]

The preacher said, “You are so much more than the labels that you might be wearing (some examples of labels – mom, businessman, electrician, not smart, weak, 4 eyes, etc.) you don’t have to find your identity in those things anymore.  It is possible to step away from the competition and comparing to discover the truth of who you are.  And this is that truth, YOU ARE GOD’S ADOPTED SON, YOU ARE GOD’S ADOPTED DAUGHTER.  YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. That is your primary identity.”

[So that’s that?  I simply need to realize that there is more to me than my labels?]

In week 2 of the series,

The preacher’s message again was, “We are first and foremost children of God, members of God’s familyI am God’s child, you are God’s child.  That is the identity that defines us.”

He then quoted Galatians 3:28 – There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus, and says, “Instead, of looking at someone as male or female, black or white, rich or poor, young or old, look at them as your brother, or your sister.”

[Sounds like a nice enough message.]

**But is it possible that the preacher is downplaying, or simply choosing to ignore ALL that the scripture is saying.**

IS THE PRONOUNCEMENT THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN ACCURATE ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE??

My response is No!!

Are ALL People Children of God???  –  (Part 2)  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-pI

Response to Reader’s Comment – Are All People Children of God???  (Part 2)   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ro

Are ALL People Children of God???  –  (Part 3 of 3)   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-rg

 

  • Would you like to have a personal/intimate relationship with God??  Would you like to become God’s child??  Take a look at the tab, The Cornerstone…, in the menu for more info.
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