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To Live for Christ? (Philippians 3:7-11)

Sermon on 21 March 2021 by Ps Gaius


The book of Philippians was written by the apostle Paul when he was in prison. It encourages us to live for Christ.


But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. – Philippians 3:7

Note the words “gain” and “loss”.

God wants Abraham and his descendants to keep the covenant. And what is this covenant?

And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you; every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” - Genesis 17:9-14

Circumcision is about purification, about holiness. God wanted unholiness to be cut off.

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 — Philippians 3:2

Dogs are people who do not care about holiness. They do not worship by the spirit of God. They are in the same group as evildoers, who do not have glory in Jesus Christ, and those who mutilate the flesh. These people are trying to get close to God by putting confidence in the flesh. They trust in their own might and strength.

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: 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; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. - Philippians 3:4-6

What was Paul’s gain?

Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin, belonging to the people of God. He had power, prestige and privilege. He followed the law strictly. He considered himself righteousness according to the law. He used to be a persecutor of the church.

Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. - Deuteronomy 10:16

It is our heart that God wants purified. Circumcision is not about the physical aspect of it, but about our lifestyle. Whether in the old testament or new testament, God has always wanted the circumcision of our hearts.

But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. – Romans 2:29

What are our earthly gains? Class, community, certificate, career, company, cash, credit cards, car, condominium, club, children, church (focusing on the place, not Jesus) and coffin.

These earthly gains can equally be thought of as our losses.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? - Matthew 16:26

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? - Mark 8:36-37

Are you ready to live for Christ? Are you ready to reckon your gains as losses?

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ - Philippians 3:8

Paul’s gains were also counted as loss, so that he could gain Christ.

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — Philippians 3:9

Faith is not something you can see. Faith is believing in something you haven’t seen.

that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, — Philippians 3:10

The “know” here refers to something more intimate than knowledge. It is about a relationship with God. It is not just about knowing the existence of our Abba Father. Are you ready to relate with Christ more?

In this world, we will have tribulations. But God will see us through. If you have a relationship with God, you know that He will see you through. Suffering will make us closer to Jesus.

Are you ready to remain in Christ through all situations?

that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. — Philippians 3:11

We will have hope in Christ Jesus that we will live with Him.


Reckon you gains as losses, relate with Christ more, and remain in Christ in all situations. Ready ourselves to live the way Christ wants us to live. Rejoice in the Lord.

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. — Philippians 3:1

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