(While I do not have an official copyright on any of the bible study I have created, I do ask that if you copy, post articles, or excerpts authored by Faith Steps please include and/or post a hot-link to the original article as it appears at Faith Steps, including the title of the post. Also, if you make print copies of the complete bible study for individual or small group use, please provide a complete, typed web address for this site and the particular article is included on each copy.)
“The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way…As I practice this, I find that throughout the day the Lord Jesus communicates with me through impressions in my mind that spring from meditating on His word and talking to Him in prayer. This makes both prayer and the study of God’s Word an exciting adventure for me.” Brother Lawrence in Practicing the Presence of God as quoted in God: Discover His Character
Choose how you will dine with your Lord today:
Read Philippians Chapter 3 (Fast Food)
Read Philippians Chapter 3 (Home Cooking)
Read Philippians Chapters 1-4 (Fine Dining)
As you read, again make note of any keywords or reflections as the Lord speaks to your heart.
Found By Christ-Philippians Chapter 3:7-9
After Paul lists all of his accomplishments in his flesh, what does he say about how he feels about them? (3:7)
What does Paul list as his loss and why? 3:7-8
1) Everything that was a gain to him because of Christ
2) Everything in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ
Who does Paul “blame” for his losses? (3:7b)
Is he upset that they are worth nothing because of Christ? No
What lens does Paul look through as he sees his loss? (3:8)
Paul sees his accomplishments as a loss because they do not compare to the value of knowing Christ Jesus His Lord. Paul is not begrudging the fact that he had to give up his status among the Jews, his pure lineage, his intellect, his passion, or his perfection in keeping the law. Rather, he considers them dirt, in order that he may gain Christ.
Paul says he does not only gain Christ, but what else? (3:7a) Paul is found by Christ.
How is Paul found? (3:9b) With righteousness, but not his own righteousness. Paul’s righteousness is that of one who has faith in Christ
How does one receive this righteousness found through faith in Christ? (3:9c)
What is the righteousness from God based on? (3:9c)
Being found by Christ requires a submission of our hearts and our whole lives to Him. He will not force Himself on us. God is looking for people have willingly given their lives over to Him. Read 2 Chronicles 16:7-9 and reflect upon God’s faithfulness to those whose hearts are His.
“At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, ‘Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a vast army with many chariots and horsemen? When you depended on Yahweh, He handed them over to you. For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.’”
Paul trades his circumcision of the flesh for the circumcision of the heart. He trades his lineage for the lineage of God and to be called a child of God. He trades his position as a Pharisee to be a slave of Christ. He trades his passion to murder and destroy the church to be an ambassador for other believers. He trades his self-righteousness for the righteousness that comes from God through his faith in Christ Jesus. Most of all Paul trades his whole life to receive Christ Himself.
Are we willing to consider our status, upbringing, intellect, passion, and self-righteousness as dirt so that we may gain Christ?
Last spring I attended the Abundance Conference put on by Lifeway. The last speaker was Jennifer Rothschild and she was talking about Superman and Clark Kent. The illustration went something about having the “real person” behind the Superman cape. She went on to talk about a two women. One was named Betsy and the other was named ALICIA. Now I have been to my share of conferences and never have I heard someone use an illustration that had my name in it. God could have chosen any other name than Alicia, but He used MY name right there in the conference. God had already been working me over, but to have the last thing of the conference center straight on me, even if I wanted to dismiss it, I couldn’t. Jennifer proceeded with her story of these two women…
Alicia had been Betsy’s mentor for the past couple of years and it was coming to a close. Betsy made a certificate for Alicia. As she gave it to her, Betsy said, “The first year you were perfect, you had all the answers, etc. But the second year I could see your flaws.”
More times than not, my own self-righteousness and lists of good deeds shines forth for all to see instead of the righteousness I have in Christ Jesus. I want my cape of righteousness to be the one from God based on faith. Take a moment to pray for a spirit of humility and receive the righteousness of Christ so that you may be found by Christ.
“No one can be a slave of two masters, since he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.” Matthew 6:24