by Jerry Vines

Philippians 3:17-21
Dr. Jerry Vines
When we started our study of Philippians I pointed out to you
that in each of these chapters Paul deals with one of the thieves which
rob us of our joy as believers. In each of these chapters he shows us
that victory over this thief which robs us of our joy is found to be
in the joyful Christian mind. In chapter one he deals with the thief of
circumstances. Circumstances can have a great deal to do with our joy.
He says our mind is to be a single mind on Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Regardless of whatever the circumstances may be they become an
opportunity for us to advance the cause of Jesus Christ and His gospel.
In chapter two he deals with the thief of people. People can
cause us to lose our joy but the victory there is found in a submissive
mind when we live a life of serving other people then people will not
rob us of our joy.
In the third chapter the thief he deals with is the thief of
things. Things which can rob us of our joy. A great deal of our life
is lived around the whole concept of things. Things can either bring
joy into our life or they can take joy away from our life. People are
happy, very often, on the basis of the presence of things or the absence
of things. I was interested to look at this third chapter in reviewing
to notice that eleven times in chapter three Paul talks about the
subject of things. In the opening verses he becomes a spiritual
accountant. He looks at the religious things he had been depending upon
in order to bring him salvation. You move on into the second part of
the chapter and he becomes an athlete. He says I forget the things that
are behind, I press toward the things that are ahead. Now he comes to
the concluding portion of this chapter and he becomes here a stranger
and a sojourner -- an alien who really doesn't belong in this world. He
says we are to look at the things of this world from a spiritual
perspective -- a spiritual mind. ...

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