Chapter Three, Lesson Two
REJECTING THE WORLD Page
V. 7 (Cont'd.)
** How could a long list of religious efforts be considered to be gain
in the fleshly mind?
If you are going to have to earn your way into God's favor, or earn
your way to Heaven, then all the religious "stuff" would be
a gain in that it allegedly brings you closer to the goal.
** In the Christian's life today, do we have a list of things that we
could do in the flesh, thinking that it is gaining favor with God?
Absolutely - those things which can be a part of genuine worship, in
spirit and in truth, can be falsified in the flesh if what we are trying
to do is prove ourselves to God or earn our own way.
1) Attending church 2) Giving an offering 3) Praying 4) Reading the
5) Attending a study 6) Helping the needy
Any or all of those legitimate forms of worship can be falsified as
merely fleshly religious efforts to try and earn our own righteousness
** When the apostle ponders the cause of Christ, how does it effect his
evaluation of those things that he once considered to be gain?
He now counts those very same things to be loss! Not merely worthless,
but actually harmful. The word that Paul uses for "loss" is
zemia which literally meant "damage". Those fleshly religious
efforts were harmful to Paul and are today to anyone thinking they can
make it on their own.
** Paul has just demonstrated the most radical change in a value system
that anyone could ever possibly experience. A full 180 degree reversal
of everything he thought to be important and he made this change for "the
sake of Christ". How important was Christ to Paul?
Galatians 2:20 "...it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
Galatians 6:14 "...may it never be that I should boast, except in
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Philippians 1:21 "For
to me, to live is Christ..."
Colossians 3:1 "...keep seeking the things above, where Christ is..."
1Timothy 1:16 "...Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience..."
2Timothy 1:12 "...for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced
that He is able..."
The apostle Paul was totally committed to Jesus Christ, as well as totally
dependent upon Him!
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