Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God for the decision taken in heaven before time, out of love, to save a people for Himself and make peace with them through the death of His Son, Jesus. Isaiah 55:3, Luke 2:14, John 3:16.
- Confess the sin of dwelling too little on the mysterious and miraculous incarnation of the Son of God and its implications for your life.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 56 – What is the reason attached to the third commandment?
Answer – The reason attached to the third commandment is that though the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the LORD your God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgement.
Proof Texts – Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 1 Samuel 3:13, 1 Samuel 4:11
Comment – No one can escape the judgement of God.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Verse to memorise.
Philippians 3:13,14. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Philippians 3:1-11.
Notes written by Rev. Philip Dunwoody (Dervock, RPCI), with slight amendments.
Ch 3:1-11. Joyful Loss and Joyful Gain.
There are some things that Christians should be joyful to live without; others that we can be joyful to live with.
Paul describes his own experience of joyful loss in verses 3-7. Before he became a Christian, Paul (Saul) was someone who thought he had it all: a top-flight religious education, a perfect record of obeying man-made religious laws, a pure, "good" person. This is what he is describing in verses 4-6. He was a "Hebrew of Hebrews", he ticked all the boxes that the Jewish religion had, he was the best of the best… But he says in verse 7 that he lost it all – and he's glad about it! Paul had been trusting in his own "goodness" as salvation, without realising that he could do nothing about his own sins. Today, people still want to trust in themselves: being a "good Protestant", or a "good Catholic", or just a "good human being", who recycles, or gives to charity, or never murders anyone, or does their bit for the local community. Paul describes all of this as "rubbish" in verse 8 – in fact, the word could be "dung". The Bible says we cannot save ourselves. Everything that we're tempted to rely on, we will someday lose. We can take nothing with us out of this life.
But then Paul describes his joyful gain. In verse 8, he says everything is a loss "compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord". In verse 9, he describes how he now does not trust in his own goodness, but instead trusts in the goodness – the "righteousness" – of Jesus Christ, which he has received as a free gift. What we gain in Christ, by faith, is a perfect record of sinlessness – past, present, and future. This leads to the greatest gain of all, which Paul describes in verse 11: "resurrection from the dead". If God took away everything else from you, could you still rejoice in this: that Jesus Christ has taken away your sin, and someday, you will rise again to live with him forever?! What else could we possibly need?
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 108A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God for the great gain that it is in our lives to know, by His grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive, by faith, His righteousness. Thank God that you will be raised from the dead unto eternal life.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC