Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
BE ON GUARD
- Rejoice in the Lord – Rejoicing in the Lord places one in the very presence of the Lord – the very best place to be if you want to be safe and protected.
Psalm 22:3 – “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (You inhabit the praises of your people.)
- The word inhabit means to sit down, to remain, to settle, or marry. When we praise God he does not merely visit us, He abides with us and we are partners with Him in a growing relationship.
Psalm 5:11 – “Let all those that put their trust in you rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18 – “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the field yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet will I rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
The word for joy, gil, contains the suggestion of dancing for joy or leaping for joy. The verb originally meant to spin around with intense motion. This lays to rest the motion that biblical joy is only “a quiet, inner sense of well-being.” God dances for joy over Jerusalem and because of His people.
Isaiah. 65:19 – “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.”
Zephaniah 3:17 – “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people
- His redeemed are joyful in their King; they praise Him with dances, with instruments and singing.
Psalm 149:2, 3 – “Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbre and harp.”
- Pay attention to the Scriptures – If we fail to study and obey the Word of God, we will cave in to the trials of life or to false teaching.
John 14:15 – “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:23 – “If a man love me, he will keep my words…”
John 15:10 – “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
Acts 17:11 – “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
Acts 20:32 – “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
2 Tim 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
- Watch out for false teaching – Remember most false teaching comes with “a little truth mixed in.” Otherwise, there would be no danger of our being misled.
Matthew 5:19-20 – “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…”
Romans 10:3 – “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3
1 Timothy 1:7 – “Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
- Beware of false attempts to worship God – praying, singing, attending church, giving in the offering, being baptized, joining the church. These are all things that we do because we worship. They are the result of our worship. However, they are not the basis of our worship.
- We worship God through the Spirit of God who lives in us.
John 4:24 – “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
- We worship because of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:18 – “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
John 10:9 – “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.”
- Privileges of Birth
Romans 3:20 – “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight – for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 10:3 – “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
ALL FOR CHRIST
- Count all things loss for God – “Count” is in the present tense; it is a continuous action. When we accept Christ, we are to continuously – all the time seek after God. Compared to Him – nothing else should matter.
Luke 9:23 – “If any man desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
Hebrews 11:6 – “Without faith it is impossible to please Him…..He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
- Know Jesus Christ – In the New Testament know indicates a relation between the person knowing and the object known. What is known is of value or importance to the one who knows. Paul’s knowledge of Christ was not merely an intellectual understanding, but rather a personal understanding resulting from his personal relationship with God.
Acts 1:8 – “For you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”
Philippians 1:29 – “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer (to experience ill-treatment, roughness, outrage, to undergo evils from without) for His sake.”
2 Timothy 3:12 – “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
1 Peter 2:21 – “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”