Summary: Our confidence is found in Jesus.
Text: Philippians 3.1-11
CT: Our confidence is found in Jesus.
FAS: Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a CEO and business professor, had some surprising conclusions about self-confidence and leadership. Thomas wrote:
There is no bigger cliché in business psychology than the idea that high self-confidence is key to career success. It is time to debunk this myth. In fact, low self-confidence is more likely to make you successful. After many years of researching and consulting on talent, I've come to the conclusion that self-confidence is only helpful when it's low. Sure, extremely low confidence is not helpful: it inhibits performance by inducing fear, worry, and stress, which may drive people to give up sooner or later. But just-low-enough confidence can help you in the following three ways:
1 Lower self-confidence makes you pay attention to negative feedback and be self-critical.
2 Lower self-confidence can motivate you to work harder and prepare more.
3 Lower self-confidence reduces the chances of coming across as arrogant or being deluded.
Of course Christians would add a fourth and most important benefit for low-enough self-confidence—it helps us put our ultimate confidence in the Living God. But Christians can agree with this article's conclusion: "In brief, if you are serious about your goals, [low-enough] self-confidence can be your biggest ally to accomplish them. … It is therefore time to debunk the myth: High self-confidence isn't a blessing, and low self-confidence is not a curse—in fact, it is the other way around."
Matt Woodley, editor, PreachingToday.com; source: Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, "Less Confident People Are More Successful," The Harvard Business Review (7-6-12)
LS: Who or what we put our confidence in has a lot to do with how we live.
We are in our third week of Philippians. We looked at how we are to be more like Christ in the first week. Last week we looked at how by not grumbling and complaining we become true children of God, blameless in this perverse world and ready to shine His glory to the rest of the world.
This week we are moving into Philippians 3.1-11.
Do you have an old box that contains old artifacts from your past? Heck you may have a room full of stuff from your past. What would you find there?
For me it would be full of my successes. My things I had loved. The music I listened to. The sports I played. The things I chased after thinking they were what were important in life.
But when I ask some important questions I start to wonder what I was thinking.
What do you treasure?
Is there anything of surpassing value?
Is there anything that deserves our lifelong, passionate pursuit?
The answer is yes. Paul describes it in verse 8 from our text today.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord
Paul reminds us that nothing on earth compares to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You will never regret pursuing Christ.
Paul describes what a Christian isn’t, what a Christian is and how one can become a Christian. My goal for this sermon is that we look at whether we are a follower of Christ.
Elsewhere in the Bible the idea of “knowing Christ” involves salvation.
John 17.3, Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.
So salvation is about knowing Jesus. It doesn’t merely mean to know about Him; it means that you have a relationship with Him. And those that know Christ want to know Him better and better.
Phil.3.1, Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Paul writes this passage to remind believers of their need to stay focused on the true gospel of Jesus. Salvation is not about knowing some things about Jesus. But it is also not about doing religious things to earn acceptance before Jesus.
This text really speaks against legalism, that is, the temptation to derive your justification before God, your acceptance by God and your forgiveness from God from by your own religious works. We are reminded we cannot earn salvation. It is a gift to be received. But even dedicated Christians have a tendency to forget the gospel daily.
Galatians 3.1-9, You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”