The Joy of Confidence in Christ
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Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
September 23, 2018
Central Passage
Philippians 3 : 1-3
Philippians Week 15



Philippians 3:1-3 | Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh


Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi is one of joy. Although the apostle wrote from a prison and the Philippians were experiencing persecution of their own, Paul reminds them that through the gospel of Jesus Christ they always have a reason to rejoice, even in the midst of suffering.

Given Paul’s direct hand in planting the Philippian church, the epistle is dearly personal. He began by expressing his deep love and thankfulness for the Philippians’ continued partnership with him in the advancement of the gospel. He then assures them that his imprisonment has not hindered the good news but rather, by the providence of God, has only spread it further. Next, he exhorted them to behave as citizens worthy of the gospel by being unified in mind and humble in service, following after the supreme example of our Lord Himself.

Now having commended the work of Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians, Paul begins the next major discussion: the danger of legalism. One of the most influential heresies of the early church was the teaching of the Judaizers, who taught that Gentile Christians must conform to the Mosaic Law, particularly by being circumcised, in order to become a disciple of Christ. The Apostles rightfully condemned this teaching as adding human effort to the gospel of grace. Although the Judaizers’ insistence on circumcision may not be widespread today, the spirit of such legalism continues to stalk followers of Christ.


Read Philippians 3:1-3 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Philippians 3:1-3 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. How does Pauls command to rejoice in the Lord connect to his condemnation of legalism?
  3. Who is Paul describing in verse 2? Why is he using such strong language against them? What place does such harsh language have among Christians?
  4. What does it mean that we are the circumcision? Why is this so significant? What are the marks of being a part of Gods people now?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?