Philippians 3:1-11 “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! 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. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”
Found my notes, so jumping back in Pastor JJ’’s sermon series. Life can be filled with disguises so that the question of true identity, even of reality, repeatedly surface, and judging by appearances and focusing on who and what a character inescapably is. When our identity is in Christ, we rejoice in life and live out that joy. Our life story centers on the redemption from sin & the consequences thereof by the ultimate act of love and self-sacrifice, the atoning death of Jesus Christ for his people. But, beware, there is a danger that we not allow or involve the Lord in our lives and relationships. We never want to reject God’s revelation in favor of our own wisdom. We never want to say: "Glory be to me.” Life is not to be looked at through Christ plus anything, and certainly never without Christ, but always through Christ. Become the promise of God lived out. It’s not really about knowing all the “right” thing to do, doing all the “right” things, being in all the “right” groups, but about “knowing” Christ and “being” like Christ; having a “righteousness” through faith in and fellowship with Christ alone. Faith in God alone and His power, not ours. “Soli deo Gloria”, to God alone be the glory.
Our sovereign Creator God’s intent, purpose and concern is to receive glory. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The only one who deserves glory, because of who He is, what He did, what He does, and what he is going to do in our life. Self-centered glory and adoration is believing the false life. It is certainly the case that moving from truth to lies is the beginning of the end. Our life identity without the Lord is nothing but rubbish and death. We are made for a relationship with Him, believing in the gospel truth. We must clear out our dead craziness that reaps the whirlwind of vanity (sellin our soul to the devil), and find our “true” identity Christ, then live out His purposes through our life, pleasing in His sight. We were created in His image; created for worshipping and giving everything to God. Yes, created to call upon His name and to be holy like He is holy; being like Him. Why did Jesus have to sacrificially die, in our place for our sins, upon the cross? Because He is the “God of life” and heaven, not the “god of death”. In Christ and through Christ is only way to truly live out our life rejoicing with joy, with a “true”, not a “mistaken” identity.
1 Peter 2:10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
In Christ, Brian