Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Philippians 3:1-11 “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!”
Paul begins the third chapter of Philippians by telling us to rejoice in the Lord. He then goes on in the next eleven verses to tell us why. I suggest you grab your Bible and read those verses now before you simply read my summary of them. Let God’s Word speak directly to you. I’ll wait…..(sounds of the Final Jeopardy music playing in the background)
Here’s why Paul tells us to rejoice – because we know the truth and we continue to consistently uphold the truth. Being theologically pure produces rejoicing. Here’s how Paul explains it:
- We can rejoice because our confidence is not in the flesh but in the finished work of Jesus Christ in our lives. We do not depend on what the flesh can provide for us, but we glory in what Jesus has provided for us, and we worship Him by the power of the Spirit of God. There is not much reason to rejoice when our hope is in the finite and failing system of the world. However, there is every reason to be filled with joy when our hope is in the eternal and the never-failing power of God to save us through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross. Paul says that if anyone has a reason to rejoice because of the flesh it is him, but because he now knows the truth he considers all of that as rubbish compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus as his Lord.
- We can rejoice in knowing that we are running the right race, with heaven as the goal. We may not have always been running the right race, but we can rejoice that now we are, and that is due to the awesome love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ that has forgiven us for the past, allowed us to forget the past, and restored us to relationship with Himself for all eternity.
- We can rejoice in knowing that none of us, not even the Apostle Paul, can achieve perfection in this life, and yet God still uses us for His glory if we live up to what we have already attained. What is it that we have attained? The status of heirs of the King. Let us rejoice that no matter what happens in the flesh, we are spiritually secure in Jesus Christ.
- We can rejoice that our citizenship is in heaven and not of this earth, and that Jesus is coming soon to take us to Himself and transform us into His likeness in a glorified body.
Paul closes this section in the first verse of chapter 4. He says, “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”
We are able to stand firm in the Lord when these four basic theological truths are the foundation of a joyful life. Are they your foundation?