1. Review.
Have you been considering through this series what the theme “For me to live Is Christ and to die is gain” really means?
Consider Murray’s words:

Am I a Christ reflector? Is what I see in the scripture concerning Christ that which can be seen in my life as I engage day by day with others? Like Paul said “I want to live the life of Christ within a world that doesn’t know Him that they might understand something of the Lord Jesus Christ?

“Living As Citizens of Heaven.”

So far we have looked at:
A. The Gospel of Christ: The message which we preach-let’s live out the Gospel.
B. The Attitude of Christ: His example which was an attitude of selflessness, service and sacrifice.
C. The Work of Christ: God has a ministry for each one of us.
This study we look at:
D. Legalism.
E. Paul’s Focus.
Next week we conclude with:
F. The Power of Christ.
G. Right Thinking.

H. Contentment.

Read Philippians 3:1-9. What did Paul say was his reason for writing this section? How important do you consider this to be? Consider Jesus teaching, Matthew 16:6, 12, 5:20 and the early church leaders. Acts 15:5-11.

What is your definition of legalism? What forms can it take? Give some examples.
Discuss Murray’s words:

Legalist’s intension weren’t to build up the church but control it. How they worked is to:
a. Sow doubt. “Are you really saved if you don’t….” It’s faith in Jesus Christ plus ‘second blessing’ or plus ‘tongues,’ etc. or rules and regulations.
b. Shift the believers focus away from the Lord Jesus Christ to as long as I am better than so and so I’m doing alright. Eg: Luke 18:9-14.
c. Split churches.

Have you succumbed to legalism at some time? What was the resulting effect on your walk with the Lord? Share with others in your group. What did Paul say about saving faith and the value of self-righteousness? Philippians 3:3-9.

3. Paul’s Focus.
Read Philippians 3:10-15. What was Paul’s burning desire in this life? Discuss the following:
• Though he hadn’t reached his goal what was his focus?
• How did he view his past mistakes?
• What does the words ‘I press on….’ suggest regarding resistance and effort required?
• What was his goal when he left this life?
• What is an indication of spiritual maturity and (unspoken) immaturity according to this passage?
What conduct is Paul referring to that the ‘enemies of the cross of Christ’ show? Philippians 3:18-19.
What does he say about what true believers attitude, focus and future is? Could these things be said about you? Share your answer with your group.

After Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, he decided to write it off as “worthless” when compared with the greatness of knowing Christ. We should value our relationship with Christ as more important than anything else. To know Christ should be our ultimate goal. Yet how do we know Him better?
(1) Study the life of Christ in the Gospels. See how Christ lived and responded to people. (Matthew 11:29).
(2) Study all the New Testament references to Christ. (Colossians 1:15-2:15)
(3) As you worship and pray, let the Holy Spirit remind you of Christ’s words.(John 14:26)
(4) Take up Christ’s mission to preach the gospel and learn from His sufferings.(Matthew 28:19, Philippians 3:10)
To do these things, however, may mean that you must make major changes in your thinking and life-style. Are you willing to change your values in order to know Christ better? Will you fix or rearrange your crowed schedule in order to set aside a few minutes each day for prayer and Bible study? Will you change some of your plans, goals and desires in order to conform with what you learn about Christ? Whatever you must change or give up, having Christ and becoming one with Him will be more than worth the sacrifice. taken from ‘Life application Study Bible.’

4. Conclusion.
Ask yourself Murray’s following question:

Do you see men and women lost and on their way to hell and does it grab your heart and compel you to say….’Lord help me in some way to be able to engage with these people ‘cause they are on their way to hell. That brought You down from heaven, they need to know that. They need to understand that.


This post filed under

Bible Study LegalismLiving As Citizens of Heaven.Paul's FocusPhilippians