Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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All for Christ, Pressing Toward the Goal, Our Citizenship in Heaven
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Philippians 3, the third chapter in our study on the Book of Philippians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
This book is filled with encouragement, profound truth and amazing promises, and it also appeals to sincerity.
Verse 1: Repetition is a good thing for reinforcing our knowledge, and Paul says it is a safeguard.
Verse 2: In Paul’s days, dogs were not pets, they were looked down upon, they were scavengers that hung around in packs. It is important to realize that some of the very people that we think are “good workers” are actually “evil workers”. We must therefore be careful who who allow into our circle of trusted people. Paul also refers to mutilation- this is still common in many parts of the world, where this is done for “religious” reasons.
Verse 3: Circumcision was intended to be of the heart; physical circumcision of the flesh was meant only to be a preview of this. (Ref. Deut.10:16). Jeremiah also speaks to this, and Paul references it again in both Romans and Colossians.
Verse 4: True worshipers, those who are of the circumcision, have no confidence in the flesh, they rejoice in Christ, and have faith in Him only.
Verses 5-6: Paul explains that if anyone should have confidence in the flesh, it is he, and he gives a list of reasons why:
Verse 7: Although Paul had lost all these things and their prestige, he now knew that none of these things could compare to the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. In addition to the material things that Paul lost, he also lost his physical health and his freedom, and now had what he described as a “thorn in [his] flesh”.
Verse 9: His own righteousness was “law righteousness”- the Sabbath, food laws etc. Now he has faith righteousness, and he believed in this and understood its importance. We all have to strive to get to the place where the only thing we are focused on is righteousness by faith.
Verse 10: “That I may know Him”- This is the capstone. We should place these words where we can constantly see them and be reminded that this is the goal. “…and the power of His Resurrection“- knowing that after this life, when the dead in Christ will rise first, raised to immortality, to true life. Understanding “the fellowship of His sufferings”: Most of us cannot say that we know the fellowship of His sufferings. As believers we will know suffering, if we have not already, but few may ever truly know the fellowship of which Paul speaks.
Verse 11:Paul’s goal is his resurrection from the dead, being free from all earthly stresses and pain.
Verse 12: Whenever we think we have arrived, it is not true, there must be a constant pressing on.
Verses 13-14: everything that Paul thought was once so important he is leaving behind and pressing forward to those things that are ahead; towards the goal, the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (the Resurrection).
Verse 15: Paul once again states that this is for mature Christians. “Have this mind”, we all must come to the true understanding of what our goal is and what we are going after.
Verse 16 : We must be of the same mind.
Verse 17: We have examples and witnesses, and we must understand the importance of having made-up minds, come what may.
Verse 19: They have lost their vision of Christ; the goal becomes their belly, their minds are set on earthly things. Our affections and goal must be set on eternal life.
Verses 20-21: Our citizenship is in heaven, that is where eternal life is. He will transform our lowly body into one like the glorious one He has. He subdued death, hell and the grave.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
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