Temple Baptist Church
A. As we begin the 3rd chapter of Philippians, we find a warning issued by the Apostle Paul. He begins with the word “Finally” though there is still much to be said in the epistle. He is about to leave with them something to be remembered: rejoice in the Lord.
B. “To write the same things unto you” are things that need reinforcement. I preach much on certain subjects because of both their importance and the possibility of our forgetting them. Paul did the same thing under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
C. There are some things that Satan attacks on a regular basis and our rejoicing in the Lord is one of them. I am not speaking of rejoicing in general as we will deal with that in the next chapter. Paul is not speaking of our rejoicing in the things of this world nor is he speaking of our rejoicing in spite of dire circumstances.
D. He is trying to instill within the Philippian believers confidence in the Lord. The reason for their possible lack of confidence is because Paul is absent and Timothy is staying with him. That leaves Epaphroditus to deliver the news that they were not coming plus deliver the Philippian epistle. Possibly their confidence was in Paul and Timothy, not the Lord. The context speaks of placing no confidence in the flesh. The warning includes the mention of 3 enemies of rejoicing in the Lord that can creep into the local church. They will undermine your confidence.
1. Dogs – Those who do not Belong. Dogs do not have a good reputation in the bible and are not well spoken of once. They are scavengers and a type of outsiders. To Israel, the gentiles were dogs—outside of the covenants of God. Here in our text, they are in the listing with the “concision” or circumcision which is outside of the church.
2. Evil Workers – Those who do not Behave. Deceitful workers who do the work of the Lord unfaithfully, walked in craftiness, and handled the word of God deceitfully; endeavoring to subvert the Gospel of Christ and shipwreck the faith of God’s Children. I preached Sunday morning on the “Except of God’s Righteousness” because these men are everywhere. These false teachers believe that justification and salvation are by the works of the flesh and are to be shunned!
3. Concision – Those who do not Believe. “Concision” means to mutilate or to cut off. These were the Jews who believed that they were God’s people through election instead of the personal choice of salvation. We encounter these men all of the time. They are men who believe that they are right with God because of who they are instead of what they believe. We can call it Calvinism or whatever but they are wrong. I am a child of God through choice, not because I was born elect.
What not to put your confidence in:
1. Put no confidence in your flesh!
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
The arm of flesh will fail you because it is permeated with sin. We are “sensual” because it is with our 5 senses that we perceive the world. Out heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. NEVER TRUST YOUR FLESH!
2. Put no confidence in other people!
Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Micah 7:5-7 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. (6) For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. (7) Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
What this does not mean is that you cannot have a certain confidence in your brother in the Lord. It does not mean that you cannot confide in him to some degree. It does not mean that you cannot lean upon him at times. It means that your brother is just a man and he or she can fail you. But, you can “trust in the Lord with all thine heart!” Let God be your confidence.
3. Put no confidence in government!
Psalms 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Psalms 146:3-5 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (4) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (5) Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
I believe that, in our day, this goes without saying. “Big Daddy” government will not make the right decisions nor will they take care of you. Ronald Reagan said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” Our government has and is failing; prices are going up while salaries and jobs are going down. If you expect the government to feed and care for you, you are going to be in for a rude awakening. It is God who cares for us and supplies our every need!
4. Put your confidence completely in the Lord!
Hebrews 10:35-36 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Now we see why Paul began this chapter by saying, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” I have no problem saying again and again, let the Lord be your confidence in every aspect of Life. Do the best you can and trust the Lord with what you cannot do and it will be all right! I want to leave you with two of my favorite verses:
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.