by Joe Alain

A Theology of the Christian Life
Joe Alain
Philippians 3:7-11

How is a person made right with God? And how do the righteous live? In Philippians 3:7-11, Paul provided a brief theological summary of his experience of salvation. He exposed the false gospel of legalism and encouraged the Philippians to live out the Christian life of grace to its fullest.

Life Application: It's important that we understand the experience of salvation so that we will be able to spot the false gospel of legalism and be encouraged to live out the Christian life of grace to its fullest.

In this brief summary of Paul's theology of the Christian life, we have the three phases or aspects of salvation: (1) Justification (3:9), that is, the act of being declared right with God, righteous in God's sight, what we call salvation. Salvation can also be thought of in three tenses, here the first tense is past tense, ''I am saved.''

(2) The second aspect of salvation is Sanctification (3:10), that is, the process of growing in holiness, conforming to Christ, living out your salvation. This speaks of the present tense aspect of salvation, ''I am being saved.'' (3) And the third aspect of salvation is Glorification (3:11), that is, the final outcome of our salvation, resurrection, to be with God, to see His kingdom come in all its fullness. And this speaks to the future tense aspect of salvation, ''I will be saved.''

I want to focus today on the two aspects that most impact how we think and act right now, justification and sanctification.

1. Justification (3:9)
The context for Paul to talk about justification is that of the false teachers that are causing some problems in Philippi. So Paul first tells the Philippians to (1) Reject legalistic righteousness, which was the false Gospel being offered by these teachers. Notice how Paul begins to deal with the false teachers, the legalists (vv.1-2). There is a noticeable absence of joy in their lives which is always a c ...

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