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Philippians 3:3 Commentary – What do Authentic Believers Look Like?

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What does an authentic relationship with God look like?

I think we all really need to catch this one.

Authenticity is important. I want to know that I am really following God and that I am really trying to do His will, seeking after Him in all things.

So many voices out there are trying to tell you what is normative for your faith journey. So, how do you filter through all that noise to find out what an authentic believer in Christ looks like?

Philippians 3:3 says:

“for we are the true circumcision who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”.

Paul’s just given a warning about the falsely religious and all the other people that would like to steal your joy. We talked about that a lot in the last video.

Now he turns his attention to describing genuine followers of Christ and he gives us three big indicators here so we can see what this looks like.

Like a pilot that’s looking at those runway lights in the middle of the night to see exactly where he needs to go, we need to look at these three indicators and make sure that we’re aligning ourselves correctly – so we’re headed in the right direction.

The first thing he says is that true believers are those who worship in the Spirit of God.

This goes back to some words that Jesus had spoken to the woman at the well where He tells her that the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth.

The first thing we need to think about is the direction of our worship. So many things try to redirect the focus of our worship.

There are material things, relationships, and competing agendas, that all attempt to pull us away.

Even in spiritual circles, we run the risk of worshiping the process or a personality and we take our eyes off the Creator and start worshiping the creation.

We need to make sure that we are always directing our worship where it belongs.

The next thing we need to think about is the power source of our worship.

True worship does not occur under my own strength and power. We must be in the Spirit of God to worship Him authentically.

For a good reference, you should read John 15 as Jesus talks about abiding in Christ.

The second indicator is where our glory resides.

Does Christ get the glory whenever good things are poured into your life or do we step in the way and soak up all this praise that’s not ours to begin with?

Moreover, this is an easy trap in which to fall. You see, I believe that God blesses effort and that he wants to intervene and bless as we exercise our faith.

However, it is easy to look back and as we look over the history of our lives just see the effort that we pour in and start to glorify the things that we have done.

Someone with a vibrant, authentic relationship with God understands that everything comes from his benevolent hand. All of our intellect, our abilities, our opportunities, all of those things are direct gifts from God.

Then in addition to that, He pours out blessings above and beyond what we could ever hope to achieve on our own.

All the glory belongs to Christ and He has blessed us in ways that we cannot even begin to count.

The third indicator is an extension of this – that we put no confidence in our own abilities but instead we have a great faith in a great God.

How much privilege, resources or influence you have is irrelevant. What matters is that we serve a God for Whom literally anything is possible.

He can take what little we have and make much out of it. He can accomplish any goal.

He has unlimited resources and unlimited ability to fulfill His plan in your life.

Left to ourselves, we are going to fail at some point. None of us is perfect and even with the best of intentions, we can make a mess of things.

Therefore, we cannot trust ourselves to get us through the most difficult things in life – to navigate through the troubling seasons.

Place your confidence in an omnipotent God who can do anything that He wants to do and you’ll never be disappointed.


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