Protecting the Gospel and the unity of flock
PHILLIPIANS SG WK10
Note to leaders: Do not feel that you have to use every question. Pick and choose as the Spirit leads you but don’t skip over the first question in the discussion from the message!
Warm Up: When you buy something, do you take the time to read the warning label? Why or why not?
Background: Almost everything we buy, eat, or wear comes with a warning label. While most of these warning labels seem like common sense to the average person (and some of them seem almost ridiculous), there are some warnings that you would be foolish not to read and to heed. Why? If you use the product wrong or incorrectly, you could be taking your life into your own hands. Now there is another area of our lives where we should be even more diligent but we are not. As a matter of fact, it’s as if most choose to be deliberately foolish when it comes to what we allow to enter into our lives spiritually. There’s no filter. No examination. No testing. And there’s one other thing. The enemy is counting on you to not read the label.
Text: Phil. 3:1-3
- Why does Paul begin this passage with a reminder and a command to rejoice?
- What is the connection between rejoicing in the Lord and safeguarding the things and people who are most important to us?
- Who are “those dogs” that Paul is calling the church to on their guard against? Why is Paul worried that someone might open the door to the church and let the dogs in?
- Paul said they were men who do evil. Have you ever believed in someone only to later learn that they were only using you or weren’t being honest with you?
- Why was circumcision such an important and dividing issue for Paul and the Judaisers? What was at stake for the Judaisers? What was at stake for Paul and the church?
- What happens to the Gospel of Jesus Christ when any other conditions are added to it?
From the Message: Phil. 3:1-3
- What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
- This morning Pastor Steve said, “The cults and the false religions know orthodox Christian doctrine better than most Christians.” Statistics show that the largest number of converts to the cults come from evangelical Christian backgrounds. Does this surprise you or alarm you? Why?
- Do you know any Christians who put an overemphasis on works, service, or spiritual gifts as proof of their salvation?
- What is the danger in any of the above?
- Pastor Steve said, “Salvation is an inside job, not an outside work.” Does this mean works are not important? Why or why not?
- When does an emphasis on works or spiritual gifts cross the line and turn the requirements of salvation into something that is not the true gospel?
- Pastor Steve said, “Watch out for those who add any other requirement for salvation other than faith in Christ alone.” What three signs did Paul give the Philippians to distinguish true faith from that which is false?
- Think and Pray About It: Would you be confident defending the Gospel and pointing out the differences between what you believe as a Christian with a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon? Why or why not?
Reflect: I’m constantly amazed at how many people believe that they are going to stand justified before God in the end because they are a good person, lived a good life, or have done some kind of good works. Think about it. If it were possible for you to live a perfect life, to never sin in thought or in deed, to never leave anything undone that you should have done, you would still never stand a chance of getting to heaven by your human effort.
For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law… For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Gal. 2:16, 21 (NLT)
There is only one “good work” that takes the sinner to heaven: the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 17:1–4; 19:30; Heb. 10:11–14). On our best day, our good works are nothing if we are not being led by the Spirit of God. This is why you cannot have confidence in Christ and confidence in the flesh at the same time. Who are you really depending on to get you to heaven?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Eph. 2:8-9 (NIV)