Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Cultivating Joy Through Humility
Sunday, June 11, 2017

What is false humility?   What does it look like to you?  How would you recognize it?

Philippians 3:1-6, p. 831
“Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 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 fleshthough I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have morecircumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” 


  • Paul’s friends at Philippi were being asked to mix God’s Grace with the “works of the flesh (legalism.)”
  • Teachers of legalism (Judaizers) had crept into the church attempting to seduce the Christians into adding circumcision to the plan of salvation.
  • Paul warns against these intruders and explains their false doctrine: doctrine matters
  • If our salvation was based upon our own virtue and accomplishments Paul points out he would be the best; but, if Paul could not achieve earned salvation based upon his qualifications then no one could—only by faith in God’s Grace alone.

Paul’s Warnings:  “Watch out” for the Judaizers (legalists) in 3 ways:


  • Uncomplimentary term (old and new testaments: Proverbs 26:1, p. 467; Revelation 22:15, p. 879) describes the false teachers who were bringing legalism into the Gospel of Christ.
  • Similar to the false prophets of Isaiah’s time.

Isaiah 56:10-11, p. 525

“Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough.  They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.” 

Evil Workers

  • Those who wormed their way into the congregation a form of teaching other than the Gospel of Christ.
  • Aggressive in spreading their works-salvation.
  • Same intruders in the Corinthian church as Paul identifies them as “false apostles”, “deceitful workers”, “transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13, p. 821)


  • Refers to the cutting of circumcision.
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ was complete within the realm of faith; anything added to that would be as nothing with God.

Genuine Spiritual Worshippers 

  1. Respond to God in the Spirit

John 4:24, p. 753
God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

  1. Rejoice in Jesus Christ alone

Galatians 6:14, p. 826
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” 

  1. Refuse to trust in the flesh

A true follower of Jesus Christ knows he/she is not capable of earning God’s favour through the deeds or works of the flesh.

Luke 18:14, p. 742
God, be merciful to me a sinner!” 

Paul’s qualifications:

  • Circumcised the eighth day
  • Jewish bloodline
  • Tribe of Benjamin
  • Hebrews of Hebrews
  • A Pharisee
  • Persecutor of the church
  • Blameless before the law
  • All considered “rubbish” by Paul.

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