What Really Matters?


Philippians 3:1-21

INTRODUCTION: Question: “When is a bird bigger than a mountain?” Answer: “When the bird is closer than the mountain. Often what really matters seems to be what is close up in space and time in our lives. When the apostle Paul began this chapter he said: Philippians 3:1. Here Paul is giving some serious consideration to determine what is and what is not of importance. What really matters and what does not really matter so much. Paul is looking at what used to be important to him and realizing what is really important in God’s sight.


Philippians 3:1: Paul is warning the Galatians again about some very religious people whose religion revolved around what they did for God instead of what God had done for them. Philippians 3:2-3: God never intended circumcision to be a work for salvation. It was meant to identify the children of Israel. God said of those seeking to justify themselves by works: Isaiah 29:13; John 13:34-35. Good works were never part of our salvation; good works come because of our salvation: Ephesians 2:8-10. Paul used to think his good works were going to save him: Philippians 3:4-6. If good works could save a man, then Paul should have been saved by his good works, but Paul came to realize that in both the Old and New Testaments everyone that was ever saved was saved by faith in God as their Lord and Savior: Hosea 13:4; 1 John 4:4. Far too many people have religion but they do not have a Savior! John 4:23-24. Paul came to realize that all the good works he had done were not only useless, they kept him from trusting in God as his Savior and Lord. Philippians 3:8; James 2:10. We cannot please God for salvation by what we do in the flesh because it is never perfect: John 6:63; Romans 7:18.


Paul came to realize that instead of good works that seemed so important to him was rubbish and not to be trusted in so he could come to faith in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:8-9: Self-righteousness will keep us away from God’s righteousness. Romans 10:1-4. The worst form of religion is religion of self- righteousness that keeps us from receiving God’s righteousness: John 3:3. We must turn from both our sin and from our self-righteousness in order to receive Jesus Christ’s righteousness.


Paul found the knowledge of Christ! Philippians 3:8: Paul did not just gain knowledge about Jesus Christ he also had the knowledge of Jesus Christ. John 17:3; Matthew 7:21-23. That word “knew” in verse 23 is the knowledge of the intimacy of marriage. Paul also gained a true fellowship with Jesus Christ: Philippians 3:8-9. Paul said he was “found in him.” Paul had a set of rules from God but no relationship with God: Psalm 16:11. Paul found the very righteousness of Jesus Christ: Philippians 3:9. This is not a works righteousness from the law, this is a credited righteousness and it is a gift from God: Romans 4:4- 8. God credits to our account His very righteousness and does not put our sin against our account any longer: 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 4:7-8. So now you can see the bankruptcy of the religious man and the blessedness of the redeemed man.