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Philippians, Chapter Three, Lesson Two

REJECTING THE WORLD           Page 2
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.

For example:

1) Attending church 2) Giving an offering 3) Praying 4) Reading the Bible
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 before God.

** 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 in me..."
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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