PHILIPPIANS 3:17-21—brethren, be followers together with me, and mark them which walk so as you us as for an example.(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things)For our citizenship is in heaven; from where also we look for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body ,that it may be fashioned like to His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
We should be chiefly concerned about preserving the purity of the office of the ministry and the genuine of faith.
Paul is admonishing his church, as he everywhere does, to hold fast to the one true doctrine received from him in the beginning. They are not to be too confident of their own wisdom in the matter, or to presume they have independent authority; but rather to guard against pretenders to a superior doctrine, for so had some been mislead.
Verse 1-16—Behold, this is the picture or pattern which we hold up for you to follow, that remembering how you obtained righteousness you may hold to it….a righteousness not of the law. So far as the righteousness of the law is concerned, Paul dares to say he regards it as filth and refuse(that proceeds from the human body)notwithstanding in its beautiful and blameless form it may be unsurpassed by anything in the world-such righteousness as was manifest in sincere Jews and in Paul himself before his conversion; for these in their great holiness, regarded Christians as knaves and meriting damnation and consequently took delight in being party to the persecution and murder of Christians.
Yet Paul says “I whom am a Jew by birth have counted all this merit as simply loss that I might be found in the `righteousness which is from God by faith’. Only the righteousness of faith teaches us how to apprehend God-how to confidently console ourselves with His grace and await a future life, expecting to approach Christ in the resurrection .By ‘APPROACHING’ him we mean to meet him in death and at the judgment day without terror, not fleeing but gladly drawing near and hailing him with joy as one waited for with intense longing.
Had Paul confined his denunciations to the righteousness of the world or of the heathen-the righteousness dependent upon reason and controlled by secular government, by laws and regulations-his teaching would not have seemed so irrelevant.
The law is holy and righteous but teachings of people on how to live before God. (Sainthood)
Paul is referring to the eminent, godly individual, whose lives are beyond reproach. These very ones, whose lives are beyond reproach. These very ones, when Christians are encountered, are hostile and heinous enough to be able to forget all their own faults in the sight of God, and to magnify to huge beams the motes we Christians have.Infact, they must style the gospel heresy and satanic doctrine for the purpose of exalting their own holiness and zeal for God.
Though the law forbids the lepers to mingle with people, this leper was so bold as to go to the Lord and ask to be cleansed because he trusted and expected with his whole heart that Christ would be kind and gracious and would cleanse him. He approaches regardless of law and people and of how pure and holy Christ is.
Here behold the attitude of faith toward Christ: it sets before itself absolutely nothing but the pure goodness and free grace of Christ, without seeking and bringing any merit. For here it certainly cannot be said that the leper merited by his purity to approach Christ, to speak to him and to invoke his help.Nay,just because he feels his impurity and unworthiness, he approaches all the more and looks only upon the goodness of Christ.
This is true faith, a living confidence in the goodness of God. The heart that does this has true faith; the heart that does it not has no true faith; as they do who keep not the goodness of God and that alone in sight, but first look around for their own good works, in order to be worthy of God`s grace and to merit it.These never become bold to call upon God earnestly or to draw near to Him.
The leper must have heard a good report about Christ, namely, how kind, gracious and merciful he is, ready to help and befriend, comfort and counsel everyone that comes to him. His faith did not grow out of his reason but out of the report he heard of Christ as Paul says ROMANS 10:17.So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
This is the gospel that is in the beginning, middle and end of everything good and of all salvation. Gospel is a good report, saying or fame of Christ, how he is all goodness, love and grace as can be said of no other man or saint.
Rely on no other-JOB 31:27, 28 ISAIAH 2:8
You see here how love makes a servant of Christ so that he helps the poor man freely without any reward, and seeks no advantage, favour nor honor thereby but only the good of the poor man and the honor of God the father. For this reason he also forbids him to tell anyone in order that it may be a pure, sincere work of free and gracious love.
Faith makes of us Lords and love makes of us servants. Indeed by faith we become gods and partakers of the divine nature and name, as is said in PSALMS 82:6-I have said you are gods, and all of you are children of the most high. But through love we become equal to the poorest.
According to faith we are in need of nothing and have an abundance; according to love we are servants of all.
By faith we receive blessings from above, from God; through love we give them out below to our neighbor.
Here we learn again that we must begin with the gospel and believe it and not look upon any merit or work of our own as this centurion also advanced no merit or work but only his confidence in the goodness of Christ. So we see that all the works of Christ exhibit examples of the gospel, of faith and love.(centurion showed love to servant also)
When the leper here limits his prayer and says, “Lord, if thou will, thou canst make me clean” it is to be understood in this way: faith does not doubt the good will God has toward a person, by which he wishes him every good but it is not known to us whether what faith asks and presents is good and useful us; God alone knows this.(ROMANS 8:26—Likewise the spirit also helps our infirmities for we know not what we should pray foor as we ought but the spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered.
We ought to believe without doubting and without limiting the devine goodness;but we out to pray with the limitation.That it may be his honour,His kingdom and will,in order that we may not limit his will to time,place,measure or name but leave all that freely to him.For where we submit to his will and seek what is acceptable to him,he can not refrain from doing in return what is acceptable to us.
TRUE JOY—PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7—rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.Let your moderation be known to all men.The lord is at hand.Be careful(anxtious)for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.And the peace of God which passes all understanding ,shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
“Rejoice in the Lord always” our conduct toward God-rejoice always.Joy is the natural fruit of faith.GALATIANS 5:22-23-But the fruit of the spirit is love,joy,peace,longsuffering,gentleness,goodness,faith,meekness,temperance:against such there is no law.
Until the heart believes in God,its hard for it to rejoice in Him.When faith is lacking,man is filled with fear and gloom and flees from the presence or mention of God.Has enemity and hatred against God.
Heart has a consciousness of sin and a perception of God`s chastisement.The heart therefore must ever be depressed,faint,even terrified.Thinks God stands behind ready to punish.(PROVERBS 28:1-The wicked flees when no man persues:but the righteous are bold as a lion……..DEUTRONOMY 28:65-66—and among these nations shall you find no ease neither shall the sole of your foot have rest but the LORD shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes,and sorrow of mind.And your life shall hang in doubt before you;and you shall fear day and night and shall have none assuranceof your life………PSALMS 32:11-be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous;and shout for joy,all you that are upright in heart.
Its after knowing how loved and liberated you are by God through Jesus that you rejoice-a rejoicing where is no sin,no fear of death or hell but rather a glad and all powerful confidence in God and His likeness.In God we don’t rejoice superficiallyand without a heart experience-we truly rejoice.
To rejoice in the Lord—to trust,confide,glory and have pride in the Lord as in the gracious father-this is a joy which rejects all else but the Lord,including that self-righteousness whereof Jeremiah speaks JEREMIAH 9:23-24 thus says the LORD let not the wise glory in his wisdom,neither let the mighty man glory in his might,let not the rich man glory in his riches.But let him that glories glory in this,that he understands and knows Me,that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgement and righteousness in the earth:for in these things I delight.says the LORD………(1 COR 1:31; 2 COR 10:17)he that glorieth,let him glory in the Lord.
Rejoice “always”…PSALMS 34:1-I will bless the LORD at all times:His praise shall continuallybe in my mouth.
For he fears not because he has God.PSALMS 23:4-Yea,though I walk through the valley of the shandow of death,I will fear no evil,for you are with me;your rod and your staff they comfort me.
ROMANS 8:35,38-39—who shall separate us from the love of Christ?shall tribulation,or distress,or persecution,or famine,or nakedness,or peril,or sword?For I am persuaded that neither death,nor life,nor angels,nor principalities,nor powers,nor things present,nor things to come,nor height,nor depth,nor any other creature,shall be able to separate us from the love of God,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Again I will say rejoice—The natural accompaniment of sin truly is fear and a burdened conscience and we cant always escape sin.Therefore we should let joy have rule,let Christ be greater than our sin.
1 JOHN 2:1-2—my little children,these things write I to you,that you sin not.And if any man sin,we have an advocate with the father,Jesus Christ the righteous.And he is the propitiation for our sins:and not for ours only,but also for the sins of the whole world….again…..1 JOHN 3:20—For if our heart condemn us,God is greater tha our heart and knows all things.