Title: Christianity is Christ

Focus: To be Christians, you must know Christ in such a way that you lose yourself to him

Function: To motivate the audience to read about and imitate Jesus with the goal of knowing him, not just a bunch of rules

Text: Phil 3:1-11

1.  Christianity is Christ
2.  According to some our literature, one might think Christianity is Church
	a.  Our movement has historically placed emphasis on ecclesiology
	b.  Even literature for the lost was billed as "one true church and how to 
	     get into the church"
	c.  The product is what I like to call "churchianity"
3.  Christianity is Christ
4.  But doesn't our religion begin with God 
	a.  In the beginning, God....
	b.  Hero of Exodus is... God, Yahweh
	c.  Prophets spoke of a coming reign of God (Kingdom of God)
5.  So our faith does begin with God, but it ends with Jesus
	a.  Final scene in Revelation is the lamb before the throne
	b.  Jesus is CENTRAL to our faith
	c.  ILL:  Like the hub of a wheel, if hub not at center or is gone, collapse
6.  Paul realized this in our text for this morning
7.  Phil 3:1-11 - Paul makes several points

I.  Starts with "Beware"  (v.2-3)
	A.  Beware of three things
		1.  The dogs - Derogatory term Jews used of gentiles.  Who?
		2.  The evil workers - This is really getting bad, who are they?
		3.  The false circumcision - Must be the gentiles right?
			- Not normal work for circumcision
			- Katatome means "mutilation" (to cut off)
	B.  We are the "true" circumcision
		1.  Paul uses word, "peritome" which is regular word for it
		2.  Characteristics of the true circumcision
			- Worship in the Spirit of God
			- Glory in Christ Jesus (not me)
			- No confidence in the flesh (in me)
		3.  No mention of actual circumcision
		4.  (v.4-6) Paul could have been full of self-confidence
			a.  Self confidence amounts to mutilation
			b.  ILL:  Medeival church whipped selves to be righteous
	C.  Where is your confidence
		1.  If I am strong with skill and an engineering degree
		2.  Start tower project to the sky to get to God - never make it
	D.  Do we stack bricks too?
		1.  Bricks of good works
		2.  Correct worship service
		3.  Make sure bricks are perfect
		4.  Even if impressive architectural marvel - still mutilation
		5.  Will not get you to God
	E.  Our confidence is not in the flesh (not in ourselves)

Trans:  Spend so much time with these bricks, don't they amount to anything?

II.  Next, Paul shares his perspective on the bricks  (v.7-9)
	A.  Things that were gain to me, I count as loss
	B.  What things is he talking about
		1.  We typically apply this to material things
		2.  (v.5-6)  Things that used to be "gain" in regard to God
			a.  Are these not admirable features for a godly man?
				- A Hebrew of Hebrews (a model)
				- A Pharisee - very conscientious
				- Blameless according to the law
			b.  What is wrong with all of these????????
	C.  ILL:  I look back at my accomplishments 
		1.  I became a Christian at age 13
		2.  3 college degrees, working on Master's with a 3.8 GPA.
		3.  My ultimate goal is a PhD.
	D.  Paul's background was greater than this
		1.  Counts all of these things a "rubbish" 
		2.  He threw his PhD. into the trash!
		3.  WHY?????????? These were Paul's religious accomplishments 
			- Their value= Nothing
	E.  Do you consider your religious accomplishments valuable???
		1.  Church attendance, active in church work, know false teachings
		2.  Their value is nothing
		3.  Since our confidence is not in the flesh, we count our 
		     religious accomplishments as loss.

Trans:  The reason we count our religious accomplishments as loss is there is
something that is of infinite value

III.  Paul shares what is the most valuable thing in life  (v.8-11)
	A.  Most valuable thing is Jesus Christ
	B.  How do we gain Christ? (V.8)
		1.  Knowing Christ
			a.  Do you want eternal life?  Can you know they way to it?
			b.  Jesus not say, I will show you the way, but I AM the way
			c.  If want to know the way, then know the way....Jesus
		2.  If Jesus the way, count accomplishments as rubbish.  Why?
			a.  Our accomplishments amount to "false circumcision" (2)
			b.  Our righteousness is through faith, not law
			c.  (Col 3:10-13) - True circumcision is God's work, not ours
			d.  Righteousness comes through faith in Christ
		3.  What happens if righteousness not come from faith in Christ?
			a.  Righteousness coming from self - Self-Righteousness
			b.  That has a very negative connotation
	C.  When take Christ out of picture or even distort him...have problems
		1.  Most cults and strange religions begin with distorted Christ
		2.  Mormons - Jesus and Satan brothers.  Can work way to Heaven
		3.  Islam - Jesus just a prophet, not son of God - Works salvation
		4.  Jehovah's Witness - Jesus a god, not God in the flesh
		5.  Weird cults, like in Waco - Someone claiming to be Jesus
		6.  One thing most cults have in common - works salvation
	D.  The only work that saves is the work of Christ
		1.  You do not contribute to your salvation one bit  (v.10-11)
		2.  Power for our resurrection is in His resurrection, His death
		3.  Put it another way in Rom 1:16- Power of salvation - Gospel
		4.  You respond to the Gospel, but not contribute to it
	E.  Since our confidence is not in the flesh, we count our 
	       religious accomplishments as loss. and knowing Christ as

1.  Point of this passage
	a.  The value of knowing Christ is priceless
	b.  The value of our efforts amount to nothing
	c.  Our confidence is not in the flesh (ourselves) but in knowing Christ
2.  Salvation is knowing the way.....which is a person - Jesus Christ
	a.  Take Jesus out of the picture, left with rules & legalism

3.  Christianity is not rules, it IS CHRIST