[0:00] Philippians 3 from verse 1. Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord to write the same things to you as no trouble to me and is safe for you.
[0:13] Look out for the dogs, look out for the evil doers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh, for we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
[0:27] Though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks that he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Circumstised on the eighth day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the law of Pharisee, as to zeal, a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
[0:52] But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
[1:03] For his sake, I've suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
[1:18] The righteousness from God that depends on faith, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. That by any means possible, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
[1:39] Well, I want to begin by talking about road safety. Road safety is something we learn from a young age, isn't it? As soon as you can walk, your parents tell you to hold their hand when you're crossing the road to walk on the pavement, wait for the green man.
[1:52] I actually haven't seen that many green men in Lewis, so maybe you don't have to. If you're on the west side, you just have to wait till there's no cars. Then you progress. Once you learn to ride your bike, you learn which side of the road you've got to cycle on to put your hand out when you're going to turn corners, not to cut inside a car, that kind of thing, to put lights on your bike, wear a helmet.
[2:12] And then road safety is even more important when you get into a car, isn't it? A lot can go wrong if you don't. You've got to wear a seat belt, you've got to keep the lights on when it's dark, I don't know, drive on the right side of the road, that kind of thing.
[2:24] And you learn all those things in driving lessons. Well, what's the key to staying safe in the Christian life? What would you answer if a new Christian came to you and asked you that question?
[2:38] And they said, hey, look, I'm trusting in Christ now. How do I stay safe? How do I make sure I'm safe in this journey through the Christian life? What would you say?
[2:49] Have a think. Because the Christian life is a journey. It begins when we trust in Jesus, and it ends when we die, or when Christ returns and brings us to be with Him.
[3:00] And heaven is our goal. We've seen that throughout Philippians. Paul says in verse 14, further on in this chapter, that he's pressing on to the goal to win the prize for the upward call of Christ Jesus.
[3:11] Heaven is the goal because Christians fundamentally are citizens of heaven. That's what we were reminded of a few weeks ago and reminded of again in verse 20. So the Christian life then is one of pressing on to be with Christ.
[3:27] But it's not a solo journey either. No, the Christian life isn't a solo journey at all. What we've seen throughout Philippians is that partnership is required. The Philippians are called not to press on alone, but to strive side by side for the faith of the gospel, to stand firm together, there to be shoulder to shoulder, pushing forward with that goal of heaven, to be with Christ together.
[3:54] That's the journey of the Christian life. That's the stuff of pilgrims progress that has been made into. Back to our question then. What is the key to staying safe in that Christian journey?
[4:06] What would you tell someone? Would you say, read your Bible? Would you say, get stuck into church? Would you say, make sure you get some good Christian friends who you can read the Bible with or pray with and stay accountable to?
[4:19] Read some good Christian books. All those are really good responses. All those are true. But what does Paul say here? It's interesting. Maybe not what we expect.
[4:30] Chapter 3 verse 1, finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord to write the same things to you as no trouble to me and is safe for you. In other words, the key to staying safe, Philippians, is to rejoice in the Lord.
[4:44] And if we're not quite convinced of that, look down at chapter 4 verse 4. Paul says it again there. Rejoice in the Lord always. I'll say it again, rejoice. You can look back in chapters 1 and 2. Rejoice comes up again and again and again.
[4:56] The subject of rejoicing is always God. Rejoice in the Lord. In other words, make God your supreme focus. Put all your confidence in Him. Make Him the center of your life that you exalt.
[5:08] That is the focal point. Rejoice in Him. Find your joy. Find your worth. Find your satisfaction in Him. That's no trouble for Paul to say again and again and again because it's safe for us.
[5:23] Paul wants the Philippians to say safe. He wants us to say safe. And the key is rejoicing in the Lord. As basic as you might say as wearing a helmet when you ride your bike.
[5:34] It's as basic as wearing a seat belt, turning on the lights in your car. It's basic but it's also vitally important. Because we'll see the question of life is also full of danger. Paul has already touched on how there's some opposition that the Philippians are facing.
[5:50] Paul has already touched on how there's can be risk of infighting and disunity in the church. And here we're going to see some more danger in the Christian life. So it's vital that we stay safe.
[6:02] If you're not convinced yet, Paul's going to explain as we go through. But before I dive in, can I just say that if you're listening and you wouldn't call yourself a Christian, that doesn't mean this passage isn't for you.
[6:13] Because actually the very truths that a Christian needs to hold on to to say safe are the exact same truths that anyone needs to understand if they're going to understand what the Christian life is all about.
[6:26] They're foundational truths in other words. These are the things that underpin the Christian faith. So if you're going, if you're trying to think, oh, what's the Christian life all about? This is a perfect passage.
[6:37] Because we have to get back to basics to understand how to say safe and rejoice in the Lord. We've got two points. First of all, rejoice in the Lord because everything else counts as rubbish.
[6:49] Rejoice in the Lord because everything else counts as rubbish. If there's any safety instruction we should pay attention more to than another. It's that big red triangle that you see when you're driving along the road.
[7:02] And it's everyone know that's danger, right? You know, you've got a curve in the road or there's deer crossing or something like that, slippery road ahead and you have to pay attention to those signs.
[7:14] It's always funny when you see it. No, it's not funny. It's tragic when you see pictures of like a double-decker bus that has failed to see the warning sign of a low bridge ahead and it's bumped into the bottom of the bridge.
[7:25] These are vital things that you've got to pay attention to these warning signs of danger. Well, Paul's safety instructions begin with a serious warning of danger.
[7:37] You see, as we read through chapter 3, it becomes obvious that there's some really dangerous characters out there that the Philippians have to watch out for.
[7:49] So if you read from verse 2 again, Paul repeats the word again and again, look out, doesn't he? Look out for the dogs. Look out for the evildoers. Look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
[8:01] It's strong language. And so we've got to ask ourselves, who are these people? Who that Paul is warned against? Why does he use such strong language? Once we get through the chapter, we see that it becomes obvious that these dogs have got the wrong end of the stick.
[8:15] What they're saying, they're saying that to be a real Christian, to grow as a Christian, what you need to do is get a better spiritual CV. You need to keep these Jewish religious rituals.
[8:28] You need to particularly be circumcised and all of those things, that levels you up as it were as a Christian. If you do those things, you can have confidence that you're one of God's people, confidence that God loves you.
[8:41] However, Paul says that's dangerous. He calls that putting confidence in the flesh. Why? Because that's like putting confidence in what we do, putting confidence in our CV.
[8:52] And that's the complete opposite to the gospel, isn't it? That's why it's dangerous. The question is confidence in what Christ has done in Christ's CV. And just look at the language then, let's just look at the language a bit closer.
[9:05] We see just how dangerous it is. Paul calls them dogs. Look out for the dogs. At that time, Jews referred to Gentiles as dogs. Not the nice kind of cute puppies, but think unclean street dogs.
[9:19] The kinds that have patches of fur, mangy fur, flee, bitten, they live in the rubbish. Well, Paul's saying the people who are putting that message across, that you need to have a good CV for God to be happy with you.
[9:35] They're like rabid dogs. And if we still can't get ahead about, you know, think dogs being nice and cute, think more about hyenas. Drooling, circling for the kill.
[9:47] That's what Paul wants them to think about. This is dangerous. This is dangerous teaching. He calls them evildoers. And again, he's turning on their head what they would have thought. They would have called themselves the law keepers.
[9:59] God's happy with us because we keep the law. Paul says, nah, they're the evildoers because they've rejected the one who kept the law himself, Jesus Christ. Most damning of all, he calls them mutilators of the flesh.
[10:11] Pagans were the ones who would maybe were known for cutting themselves in religious rituals. Now Paul compares circumcision to a pagan ritual to ritual mutilation. He says it does nothing.
[10:23] It's like slashing yourself in front of an idol. And Paul uses this graphic language, basically talking about these judaizas as pagans to say, look, they don't have confidence.
[10:36] You don't let them trick you. Don't listen to them. Put your confidence in the God, not in the flesh. That's a confidence in the flesh is a pagan way of thinking.
[10:49] In contrast, Paul says God's people are those who trust in Christ's CV. Look at how he describes the Christian in verse three. He says we are the circumcision. We are the circumcision.
[11:02] We're who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. We are the circumcision. Christians are those who have been marked out as God's covenant people, not in the flesh.
[11:14] We might be relieved to know. But in our hearts, in the Old Testament, God told his people that they needed a surgeon's knife, essentially to cut away the flesh from not from their bodies.
[11:27] He says, cut away the foreskin of your hearts. You need your heart. You need you guys need heart surgery to be right with God. And now Paul says the people who trust in Jesus, he says, we are the circumcision.
[11:40] We're the ones who've had our hearts. We are the ones who have had heart surgery from Christ. We're the ones who have been marked out as the new Israel because God has cut away our sin in Jesus Christ.
[11:53] Secondly, we're the ones who worship by the Spirit of God. God hates any worship and any rituals that only consist of external things. But we worship by the Spirit of God.
[12:07] We are united in Christ to God. We're united in Christ by his Spirit to God. So it's not just any kind of external things.
[12:19] It's a real heart change through the work of the Spirit in Jesus Christ. And that leads to positively and negatively, we glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
[12:32] The Judaic says they put confidence in the flesh and who they were and what they could do. Paul says in contrast, we glory in Christ. We glory in who he is and what he has done.
[12:45] That's what characterizes the Christian's life. And Paul says it's first of all to encourage the Philippians in where they're at, to encourage them that they're safe if they keep their confidence in Christ.
[12:58] Did you notice I loved how Paul switches from you to we. In verse three, he's saying we. He's putting himself on team Philippi.
[13:09] He's saying, look, you and me, we are the circumcision. Philippians, you're on the right side. Don't get tricked into thinking that you somehow got something that you don't have.
[13:21] You're on the right side. But Paul also wants to warn the Philippians not to have confidence in the flesh. Not because I think they were already drifting down that path. Paul throughout the letter to the Philippians has been rejoicing that in the gospel partnership they've got together.
[13:36] Paul's been saying it's great the way that we're partnering together in the gospel and the way how you've grown and the obvious marks of your faith. But rather like a driving instructor pointing out a warning sign.
[13:50] Paul wants the Philippians to be aware. Don't take that turning. There's only danger down there. The Philippians needed to be reminded of how dangerous putting confidence in the flesh was and we do as well.
[14:05] You see the message of finding confidence in what we can do. That's something that is as much around us today as it was for the Philippians. It's a subtle message.
[14:17] It's a message that's out there in society. We do stuff in order to be better. It's the mantra of every other religion, you might say. Not one of grace, but what we do.
[14:30] And it can easily infect the church. People might not say, sometimes people do say, if I'm good enough I'll go to heaven. But even if people aren't saying that it's so easy to feel like and to say, well I can't come to God and be saved unless I first brush up on my spiritual CV.
[14:48] I can't call myself a Christian unless I've ticked X, Y and Z. Unless I've got my bachelors in knowing the Bible and whatever else you might want to put there. But Paul says that's a load of rubbish.
[15:02] I love the encouragement that Jesus gives in Mark 2. He says, I've came not to call the righteous but sinners. When we realize that our spiritual CV is pretty rubbish, that's a good thing.
[15:17] As we heard this morning, that's when we realized that actually we're the very people that Jesus came for. Not the people who think they've got a nice long CV that says righteous at the bottom, A star.
[15:28] But the one that concludes with sinner. That's what Jesus came for. But it doesn't end at the feeling of maybe needing confidence in the flesh.
[15:39] It doesn't end with thinking how we can get to Christ. That can easily slip into the Christian life, how we live as Christians. It can easily be an unsaid message of, you know what, I have to be on top form.
[15:53] I may not have to be on top form to come to Christ, but I have to be on top form to be at church. I have to put out a kind of, people have to see that I'm, I don't know, somehow doing really well as a Christian.
[16:10] You know, rather than a place of comfort, the church can be, the church should be a place for comfort for the anxious, for safety for the down trodden, rather than the place, well, I can only go to church if I'm on top form.
[16:24] Because otherwise I don't want people to see that I'm struggling. I think sometimes that we can maybe act like we have to be spiritual superheroes in the Christian life.
[16:37] And then even for, and that as we live the Christian life, we think that somehow we've got to be brushing up on that spiritual CV. But for one thing, God doesn't, God doesn't require us to look presentable, to be acceptable to him.
[16:55] We're only acceptable to him in this work of his son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord looks on the heart. Man might look on the outward appearance and we need to make sure that we're not putting a barrier between people coming to Christ and living as a Christian and that people might think that they're going to be judged, but God looks on the heart.
[17:14] And that's why we need Jesus CV. And that's why living as a Christian isn't about brushing up on our spiritual CV, but coming again and again to Jesus Christ, again and again rejoicing in him because he's everything that we need.
[17:30] We need a guard against confidence in the flesh. And to drill that home, Paul moves on and gives his own CV and he shows how his own CV stacks up. Let's keep reading the following verses.
[17:44] You see Paul says other people are giving confidence in the flesh and Paul says, look, if anyone has reason to be confident in the flesh, it's me. Let's read his CV verse from part of verse four.
[17:57] He says, if anyone thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Verse five, circumcising the eighth day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of Hebrews, as the law of Pharisee, as the zeal, a persecutor of the church, as the righteousness of the law of blameless.
[18:13] Paul in his pedigree, he was as Jewish as you could get. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews. You traced back his lineage and he was a Jew through and through.
[18:26] There was no dirty Samaritan blood in him or whatever people might have said in a racist kind of way. Paul was a Hebrew through and through and he was proud of it before he came to Christ.
[18:38] From an early age, he had studied the Torah. He knew it back to front. And once he had mastered that, well then the only thing left after that was seeing how he could try to make trouble for anyone who wasn't as religiously zealous as him.
[18:51] And so he started going after the Christians and we read in Acts, throwing them in prison. Paul's spiritual CV was a star all over. Every single box was ticked.
[19:04] But what's his conclusion when he gets to verse eight? At the end of the day, how does he say it all stacks up? He came across Christ and he says, indeed I count everything as loss compared to the passing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.
[19:20] Verse eight, when he says I count them literally as rubbish, the word is literally dumb. He says it's the kind of all of my good deeds, all of that spiritual CV I had.
[19:33] It may as well just be scraped off my shoe. That's how much worth it has compared to Christ. There's nothing of that that can give me confidence before God.
[19:45] All of that, she's got to shake that off. Paul was, I don't know if you might remember math classes and you're doing kind of tallying up things. Maybe think of Paul as if he's got an accounting ledger out and he's put all the gains in one column.
[20:02] He's put all of his pedigree as a Jew. He's put in all his religious observance. Initially, Paul thought that had pluses. Paul thought that all gave him plus 100 points for God.
[20:14] He came to Jesus and he realized scrub that out. That's one big fat minus. All of that, all of that, it doesn't give me a plus before God. All of that gets in the way of me knowing Jesus, my Lord.
[20:28] Because I mean means I'm putting confidence in that instead of Christ. That's why he says all the things I counted as gain. Well, yeah, now I count as loss. Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of knowing Christ.
[20:42] When Paul discovered Jesus, he realized he was spiritually bankrupt. Nothing had any worth in front of Christ. Now, it's worth saying none of those intrinsically are bad things.
[20:55] It wasn't bad for Paul to be a Hebrew. It wasn't bad for Paul to be keeping the law. It was bad for him to be persecuted in Christians, I guess. So I'll leave that one out. But the things that we can have confidence in, the things that Paul had confidence in, they were wrong because Paul was putting them in the place that only belonged to Christ.
[21:12] He said these things count as a plus before God. These things make me right with God. These things, though, just gave false confidence.
[21:23] Those things, Paul's joy, you might say, was attached to who he was in terms of what he was doing. The answer he says is he needs to rejoice in the Lord instead. And we need to be reminded of that.
[21:36] Having a religious background, having Christian morals, does that make us closer to God? Paul would say no. You might be born in the Christian family. You might be baptized. You might give to charity.
[21:47] You might be a faithful husband or wife. You might be a loving daughter or a moral person. You might in every way be an upstanding member of society. Paul says no religious pedigree, no moral credit, but none of that gives us credit before God.
[22:03] It's all loss, not just neutral but negative. And in fact, it's negative. It's dangerous because it promotes confidence, not in Jesus, but in the flesh.
[22:17] And he says, anyone teaching that? They're just dogs promoting dumb. Don't listen to that. He counts everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus as Lord.
[22:31] That's also a present tense thing he says. He's saying, I count everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus as Lord. Coming to Christ, we have to realize that there's nothing we can offer Christ.
[22:42] But remaining in Christ and staying safe as a Christian is an ongoing process of saying, there's nothing I can add. There's nothing that I can give that somehow makes me better in God's sight.
[22:55] That somehow gives me an upgrade that makes me a super Christian. We constantly need those reminders because we think, okay, look, I become a Christian. I come to Christ.
[23:06] But now if I read my Bible more and more, then Jesus is going to be really happy with me. You're right, those things, of course God is delighted if we delight in him. But that doesn't give us a greater status or anything.
[23:20] Because the whole reason God accepts us is still in Jesus Christ. We don't add to Christ's CV at all. We need to recognize again and again that we can't add anything, that our confidence must be in Christ.
[23:37] Counting anything else as loss is a process throughout the Christian life. Whenever there'll be things that will appear in our lives. There'll be things that we'll find ourselves putting confidence in and thinking, you know what, this makes me really great.
[23:52] And we'll have to remember this is like dung to be scraped off my shoe. It's got no worth compared to what Christ has done. So I was our first point, rejoicing the Lord, counting everything else as loss.
[24:11] But second, Paul says we need to as well as realize the negative. As well as realize everything that doesn't have worth before God. We need to remember the surpassing worth of Christ, our Lord.
[24:22] Verse 8, indeed I count everything as loss. Why? Because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. What is knowing Christ?
[24:34] What is the surpassing worth of knowing Him? Well, first of all, Paul says it is righteousness in Him. Do you see that in verse 9? He says that I may be getting Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes of the law.
[24:50] But the righteousness that depends on faith, sorry, righteousness from faith in Christ. That comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
[25:05] Why prize this righteousness? Why is righteousness from God so much better than anything we can earn? See, we have to be convinced of this, otherwise we're going to think that being a better person is better to God than Jesus.
[25:16] It's his righteousness. Well, Paul says it's far better. Remember, Paul got to the top of the religious pile. You might say he was a very righteous person. But Paul says the righteousness that Christ, righteousness of Christ, that's worth far more than anything that he could, that's not just a gold star from a restricted set of rules.
[25:41] The righteousness of Christ is God's ruling on our lives saying you are righteous before me. That it's like the stamp that God gives when he sees someone who belongs to him and he says when I see you, I see you with the righteousness of Christ.
[25:56] His life is our life in that way. Because Christ perfectly obeyed the law. That isn't a righteousness that Paul could earn.
[26:08] That isn't a righteousness that we can earn. And twice in verse 9, he emphasizes that it comes through faith. Faith in Christ, that's the opposite of confidence in the flesh. Confidence in the flesh is all about what we can do.
[26:19] Faith in Christ is all about what confidence in what he has done. Remember those gain and loss column? Paul has realized that that whole column of stuff that he's done has got a big negative next to it.
[26:33] Well now he says when he came to realize, when he came to know Christ, he realized that that whole gain column gets filled up with just one word, Christ.
[26:45] And that righteousness that comes from Christ is far worth more than anything of that. If you were to put all this in accounting software, it would probably break because it can't really compute the numbers of how much Christ is worth.
[27:01] And the second benefit of having righteousness from Christ, it means that we belong to him. It means that we're in him. When Paul says that I may be found in him, that's like because we're like failed businesses that we've gone bankrupt.
[27:16] Everything counts as loss, but when we're found in Christ, he takes our debts. He buys over the business. He buys us out of bankruptcy. His name appears on the sign and we're found in him.
[27:29] We're owned by him both now and for eternity. And Paul says that's a righteousness that we can be confident in. Righteousness that doesn't come from ourselves, but it comes from Christ.
[27:42] That's the supreme treasure. The second, knowing Christ is worth far more because of the relationship, relationship that we have from faith in Christ.
[27:56] The relationship is immense and yet it is so intimate. And that comes out because in Paul's phrase, knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.
[28:07] In chapter two, verse nine, Paul's talked about how Jesus is the one who's God himself, who humbled himself to death and across and yet has been exalted to have the name above all other names.
[28:19] That at the name of Jesus, every knee or bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And Paul says that Lord, I know him. I know the one who's been exalted.
[28:31] I know the one who is high overall. I know the one who has all power and majesty. I know him. You can imagine it's, I don't know, the closest language that we can use for that is maybe that of marriage.
[28:46] Having that intimate relationship, that Paul says, I know him. He's my beloved. Paul knows Christ because he's in Christ because it's again kind of Paul's taking his debt.
[29:00] God's taken Paul's debts. Everything that is true of Christ, all of Christ's merits belong to Paul. Jesus even promises that when he reminds us, sorry, no.
[29:15] And knowing Christ means that we can come into relationship with the triune God himself. We don't just know Christ. We know God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus says if you had known me, you would know my Father also.
[29:32] Don't you agree with Paul? Knowing Christ is of all surpassing worth. It's relationship with the triune God. It's greater than anything else. What can compare?
[29:43] As Paul says, rejoice in the Lord. Remember that. Rejoice in the relationship that you have. Rejoice in the righteousness that you have in him. Because rejoicing in that reminds me that nothing else can compare.
[29:54] And it stops us from veering off and putting confidence in anything else. Friends, do you know Christ? If you have faith in Jesus Christ, you can say that with rejoicing that I do know him as my Lord.
[30:11] You can say I do know the God of the universe. I do know the one who's exalted above all. Let me encourage you to praise Christ. Jesus tells the parable of the man who's digging in a field and he finds treasure.
[30:26] And so he sells everything he has just to buy that field. That's Christ. He's worth more than anything we have. Jesus tells the other parable about the merchant who's, and he finds that pearl.
[30:39] And he sells everything else he has just to get that fine pearl. That's Christ. If you're trusting in Jesus, you have him. I think so often we can forget that what we have as believers is of such unimaginable worth.
[30:55] And we just sometimes stack Jesus alongside everything else that we think is worth in our life. Christian, you have Christ. He is of all surpassing worth.
[31:08] We need to remember that. We need to ask God to help us delight in him more because that will help us keep us safe. Keep us safe from putting confidence in the flesh.
[31:20] We read God's word and we need to ask him, show us Christ. Show me Christ in all his fullness. Show me his worth.
[31:31] As we do that, we need to ask one another. We need to ask as we chat together. We meet together as we pray together. We need to encourage one another to look to Christ. What's the solution when someone's wandering in the Christian life?
[31:43] What's the solution when someone's struggling with sin? It's Christ. Again and again. The problem is always because we drift away. The problem is always because we forget that he is of supreme worth.
[31:54] And we think, oh, you know what? Why do people start arguing? Why do people start being selfish? Because they start thinking that their own needs are of greater worth than Christ, basically.
[32:05] If we've realized that Christ is of supreme worth, we wouldn't start looking to our own needs. That's why Paul tells the Philippians that they had a big problem with infighting. He says, you've got to find your worth in Christ.
[32:17] He is of supreme worth. As I was thinking about knowing Christ, I felt challenged that it's so easy to make doing things for Christ the goal rather than knowing Him.
[32:32] We can sometimes be, I don't know, like the father who spends all their time working hard, and he says, you know, I'm doing it for the kids. And I'm doing it to pay for their music lessons, paying for their school trips and for their clothes, for their university fees.
[32:46] I need to wake up one day that his kids have left home, and he might have done stuff for them, but he doesn't know them. Let's make sure that we're living to know Christ, not just to serve Him.
[32:58] That's the prize, knowing Christ. Finally, very, very briefly, Paul, we see that Christ is of supreme worth because of the resurrection. In verse 10, Paul says that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, that I may share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in death.
[33:15] That by any means possible, I might attain the resurrection from the dead. You know, Paul, at present, knowing Christ in the present, knowing the power of His resurrection in the present, is knowing His power to endure suffering.
[33:31] Yes, there's a future aspect to that, but first of all, Paul says that I may share in His suffering, sorry, that I may know present tense, know the power of His resurrection. We need to be reminded that the resurrection of Jesus doesn't just make a difference when we die, it makes a difference now.
[33:47] It gives us hope as we face suffering. It strengthens us as we face trials. Because remember, in Christ, we are a new creation. In Christ, we have God's spirit.
[33:58] Christ is risen, and so there is hope in the face of suffering. And so Paul says, even as I share in His sufferings, even as I become like Christ in death, Paul's hope is in the resurrection.
[34:13] As we follow Christ downward arc in suffering, you might say, Christ's resurrection reminds us as surely as we die with Him, so also we will, we live with Him.
[34:25] It's just, it's Paul's goal, it's Paul's hope, Paul's aim and ambition, being with Christ. Paul's got his eyes set on that horizon, or on a journey.
[34:40] When we come to know Christ, when we go to be with Him, Paul's got his eye on that horizon, even through suffering, he knows the hope of Christ's resurrection, means that he will go to be with Christ.
[34:53] Well, we need, our time is up and we need to close. We're on a journey as citizens of heaven. That's what stretches out before us. And the thing that keeps us safe is rejoicing in Christ, remembering that He's of supreme worth.
[35:06] Because if we do that, we'll remember that nothing else. We'll remember to put our confidence in nothing else. That's to be those who treasure knowing Christ. Amen.