#187 – HOW DO I KNOW IF I BELONG? (8/9/20)
If someone were to ask you, how does someone come into a relationship with God? What would you say?
In this life of difficulty and opposition, we must know how to belong and that we belong to God or we’ll be sucked into cranky teaching. Paul writes,
‘Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh’ (Philippians 3:2-3).
The Philippians were being urged by the ‘Judaizers’ to obey the custom of circumcision if they are to be right with God. Circumcision was a sign that the Jews were the people of God. Paul reminds them that they are God’s people not by physical circumcision or keeping any law, but through three things:
i. God’s people ‘serve God by his Spirit’
We become a part of God’s people because we are ‘born again’ by the Holy Spirit and have received a new heart for serving God - a spiritual circumcision. Have you been born again? If so, you belong to God.
See Romans 2:28-29, Colossians 2:11-13
ii) God’s people boast in Christ Jesus
We are God’s people because we ‘boast in Christ Jesus’ - have put our trust entirely in Jesus’ work for us; we ‘boast’ in the death and resurrection of Jesus for salvation. Do you trust in Jesus’ death as your means of salvation? If so, you belong to God.
iii. God’s people ‘put no confidence in the flesh’
Christians do not rely on any rituals or actions that they carry out as contributing in any way to their salvation or growth in God. We put our confidence in God to save and transform us through Jesus. Is your confidence in God to save and transform you? If so, you belong to God.
How do I know that I belong? You belong to God and can never be lost if you have put your confidence in Jesus.
Let’s ensure that we have digested the terms and ideas in today’s text. But let’s also be ready to help anyone - Christian or non-Christian - who wants to come to know God.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - THE SURPASSING WORTH OF JESUS.
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Apart from your family members, dog/cat etc. if your home burnt down, what 2 things would you save and why?
Introduction - please share in your group
On Sunday we saw that Paul, used himself as an example of someone who could have put confidence in his good works and heritage for salvation. However, he has counted all self-confidence as ‘rubbish’ compared to the gift God God’s perfect righteousness that is ours through faith in Jesus.
We are all in danger of falling into legalism (trust in our performance) for salvation. God encourages us, through this text, to rejoice in and repeat the gospel to ourselves as a safeguard.
Discuss in your group
(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)
Please read Philippians 3:1 and discuss: Rejoicing in the Lord has an emphasis on remembering the gospel. Why and from what is this a ‘safeguard’?
Please read Philippians 3:2-3 and Discuss: Being the ‘true circumcision’ is short-hand for being God’s true people. What does Paul say are the marks of God’s people?
Please read Philippians 3:8-9 and discuss:
i) How does one become righteous?
ii) How should considering Jesus to be of ‘surpassing worth’ effect our lives?
Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:
1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?
2. What will you do in response?
3. How can we pray for you?
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