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Philippians 3:1-11 | Happiness & Earning, Part 2


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.

BIG IDEA: The happiest Christians on earth are the ones that have truly lost their trust in anything or anyone other than Jesus, so that they can truly trust in and know Jesus.

Gains (3:7-11)

  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Family Tradition
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Nation
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Cause
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Religious Education
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Moral / Social Club
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Platform
  • In gaining Jesus we gain a Person, NOT a Christianized Self-Improvement System

Gaining Jesus As Savior

…….and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith (v:9)

In gaining Jesus, we gain His righteousness……His ‘rightness’ with God.

Paul knew that his gain in Jesus was being viewed by God as him being as righteous as Jesus since he was righteous with Jesus.

……. the righteousness from God that depends on faith…

Literally…….the righteousness ‘out from’ God. It proceeds out from Jesus, to us.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. – Col.1:15

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,….. – Col.1:19

The rightness that we have with God comes from God, through Jesus……its Him own righteousness, not some generic brand of righteousness

It’s not only the righteousness that comes ‘out from God’, but the faith to believe Jesus comes from God. That’s why we call it ‘saving faith.’

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:4-7

Only a saving faith that comes from our Savior, to us, can truly save us.

Gaining Jesus As Sanctifier

…….that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (v:10)

KNOW, KNOWLEDGE (Gk. ginṓskō, gnṓsis, epígnōsis): to understand, to grasp or ascertain; especially to be familiar or acquainted with a person or thing.

Knowing Jesus as Sanctifier means we have a deep experiential knowledge of Jesus, and through that we become more like Jesus.

This knowledge of Jesus is like the intimate marital knowledge a husband has of his wife in their marital union. Like a husband pursues his wife to know her in the most intimate way, Jesus pursues us so we can know Him in the most intimate way

To know Jesus in this intimate way means to enter into His experiences……to have the same experiences…….just as a husband wants to truly understand what his wife has been through, experienced, etc There is nothing we can do to earn our sanctification. There is nothing we can to earn our way into the likeness of Jesus. Jesus does it in us.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

The more we know Him, the more we become like Him

Gaining Jesus As Glorifier

…that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead (v:11)

Paul is not doubting whether Jesus can do this, but expressing just how much he understands that Jesus must do this, that only Jesus can do this, and that Jesus will do this.

This is not only Life in the there and then, but a preview of that life in the here and now. Paul is saying we can know Jesus so well in the here and now that it’s a kind of preview of the there and then.

Diving In

Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • Have you ever had the sense that you've believed gaining Jesus meant gaining a Christian Family Tradition, Nation, Cause, Religious Education, Moral or Social Club, Platform or Christianized Self-Improvement System? If so, what led you into that place? Have you come out? When? How?
  • Is there any sense you have that you're trusting your own righteousness to save you, even in some way, in the end?
  • Have you ever spent an extended period of time pondering the idea that the righteousness (rightness) you have with God comes directly out of the righteousness Jesus has, to you, by faith? If so, how does this incredible truth change everything, incredibly?
  • Is there any truth to the idea that you've trust Jesus to save you by faith, but you mostly trust yourself to sanctify yourself by works?
  • Jesus has saved you and is saving you. Is there any doubt in your mind, in any way, that Jesus will save you? If so, what might that say about the reality that Jesus has saved you and is saving you?

Deep End

The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • Next, spend some time reading and meditating over Titus 3:4-7. If you're up for a little challenge, commit this Scripture to memory over the week. Spend 10-15 minutes just reading and meditating over it now.
  • Then, spend the rest of your time pondering the goodness of God in saving you. Continue to read through the passage, but now praying prayers of thanksgiving at each pause, thanking Jesus for all that He has done to save you.
  • End your time by confessing to Jesus to just how much you're looking forward to the day He will ultimately save you when you see Him face to face.

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus. 

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