“To write the same things to you is…for you…it is a safeguard” (3:1b). Against the spiritual attacks and influences.
What or who are your spiritual “safeguards”? Whose presence in your life makes you safer? Who or what puts your spiritual life more at risk?
“So, watch out!” (3:2-3)
“… even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more…” (3:4-6).
“… I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (3:7-9). (Because those he used to boast about led him astray, now he counts them as garbage in order to gain Christ.)
"To gain Christ and be found in Him" - letting go of self and taking hold of Christ more and more.
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death…” (3:10-11).
“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal (NASV: “or have already been perfected”); but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (3:12-14).
The spiritual movement from life to death to life again.
Paul’s personal testimony speaks directly to Christians who may be confused, intimidated, or destabilized by pressures to conform to some false idea of who they should be. What was once gain to him, he now considers loss on account of Christ, even rubbish. Why? Because now he sees all his former achievements, ambitions, attachments, and other self-glorifying preoccupations as distractions from what matters most—knowing Christ more and more and experiencing his power at work in his life.
The sky may be the limit for your personal, social or professional life, but, if you want to grow in your identity in Christ, your so-called glory days are over. You need to put them in the past. They’re of no lasting value to you anymore. For Paul, being in Christ defined who he was, and he spent the rest of his life trying to live into his identity. In his own words, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (3:12).
Welcome to our English service of this International congregation in Yangon.
We are an evangelical congregation emphasizing Bible centered and Spirit-empowered living. We hope to be a blessing to you.