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-P2R Week 11- Signs of a True Believer and Those Credentials that Don't Impress God.


Week 11 :: Philippians 3:1-6

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers,
look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
3 For we are the circumcision,
who worship by the Spirit of God
and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also.
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;
as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

- Philippians 3:1-6

 We just finished week 11 of the P2R project! I am so excited, it has been a great blessing and a  challenge. It has been like finding a gem, one that for so long I heard that could be mine and I didn't go get it. Working through the habit of memorizing a whole book of the Bible, has made a great impact in my life.

Studying this week's I learned many things but one particular lesson, is that when we commit to study and memorize all of God's Word, when we enter into the discipline of memorizing a whole book, we will find ourselves chewing, meditating on passages that we would never to choose to study in depth otherwise, and are full of wisdom from above.

Some of the things I learned while studying these verses (reading MacArthur's commentary)  are these:

Signs of true believers:

1. True believers rejoice in the Lord (3:1)

"Joy persists in the face of weakness, pain, suffering, even death (cf. James 1:2). Biblical joy produces a deep confidence in the future that is based on trust in God’s purpose and power. It results in the absence of any ultimate fear, since the relationship on which it is based is eternal and unshakeable (cf. Ps.16:11; John 16:22). Nor is it a humanly produced emotion; that Paul commands it shows that rejoicing is an act of the will in choosing to obey God. The result is a supernaturally produced emotion, the fruit of walking in the Spirit (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22). Thus, rejoicing marks true believers"

2. True believers exercise discernment. (v.3: 1b-2)

"His strong and direct warning implies another distinguishing mark of true believers: their ability to discern. No one can be saved who does not understand the fundamental truths of the gospel (Rom. 6:17; 10:14, 17). But since discernment, like faith, needs to grow and mature, pastors and elders must warn the church of false teachers (Eph. 4:11–14). Thus, for Paul to write the same things again was no trouble to him, because it was a necessary safeguard for the Philippians. False teachers, proclaiming salvation through ritual, ceremony, and legalism, posed a serious threat to them. Safeguard (asphals) literally means not to trip, stumble, or be overthrown."

3. True believers worship in the Spirit. (3:3)

"The first quality of a genuine believer is a heart that overflows with worship. The origin of that worship is supernatural, since the Spirit of God generates it. It involves adoration and praise to God, and transcends outward rituals or ceremonies. Humans are inveterate worshipers. But worship prompted by culture, tradition, guilt, fear, desire for acceptance and popularity, or to gain blessings is unacceptable to God. The indwelling Holy Spirit prompts true and acceptable worship out of love for the Lord. Since He only indwells Christians (Rom. 8:9), only they can truly worship their Savior"

4. True worshipers glory in Christ Jesus (3:3b)

"True Christians give credit for all they are and have to the Lord Jesus Christ... In contrast false believers "boast according to the flesh" (2Cor. 11:18), believing that their good works and religious activities earn them favor with God."

5. True Worshipers put no confidence in the flesh. (3:3c)

"The flesh represents man's fallen, unredeemed humanness; it pictures human ability apart from God. Unlike the "many {who} boast according to the flesh" (2Cor. 11:18), true Christians put no confidence in it... Therefore, it is a distinguish characteristic of the redeemed that they "do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit'"

Then Paul lists seven credentials, characteristics, achievements, privileges and rights that do not impress God:

1. Salvation is not by ritual (3:5a)

2. Salvation is not by race. (3:5b)

3. Salvation is not by rank (3:5c)

4. Salvation is not by tradition (3:5d)

5. Salvation is not by religion (3:5e)

6. Salvation is not by sincerity (3:6a)

"Paul was sincere, but wrong. The world is full of people who, like him, are sincere in their religious beliefs. They will make any effort, pay any price, and sacrifice anything in their attempts to please God. They may be devout, orthodox Jews, loyal Roman Catholics who attend mass regularly, or even Protestants who are involved in church services and ceremonies. They may pray, fast, or live in poverty, and seek to do human good. but religious zeal guarantees nothing. Those people can be absolutely wrong. When Paul faced the reality of Jesus christ, the zealous persecutor of the church realized that his misguided zeal was a spiritual killer and belonged in the spiritual loss column"

7. Salvation is not by legalistic righteousness. (3:6b)


I encourage you today,  dear friend, choose one Epistle, get a commentary on that Epistle and start memorizing and studying it today. You will find a  precious gem that you will sure treasure forever in your heart.

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If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

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