Speaker: Moe Bergeron
Philippians 2:17-3:11 ERV
Your faith makes you give your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. Maybe I will have to offer my own life with your sacrifice. But if that happens, I will be glad, and I will share my joy with all of you.  You also should be glad and share your joy with me.  With the blessing of the Lord Jesus, I hope I will be able to send Timothy to you soon. I will be glad to learn how you are.  I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares for you.  Others are interested only in their own lives. They don’t care about the work of Christ Jesus.  You know the kind of person Timothy is. He has served with me in telling the Good News like a son with his father.  I plan to send him to you quickly, as soon as I know what will happen to me.  I am sure the Lord will help me come to you soon.  For now, I think I must send Epaphroditus back to you. He is my brother in God’s family, who works and serves with me in the Lord’s army. When I needed help, you sent him to me,  but now he wants very much to see all of you again. He is worried because you heard that he was sick.  He was sick and near death. But God helped him and me too, so that I would not have even more grief.  So I want very much to send him to you. When you see him, you can be happy. And I can stop worrying about you.  Welcome him in the Lord with much joy. Give honor to people like Epaphroditus.  He should be honored because he almost died for the work of Christ. He put his life in danger so that he could help me. This was help that you could not give me.
And now, my brothers and sisters, be filled with joy in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again. I want to be sure that you are prepared.  Be careful of the dogs—those men whose work does only harm. They want to cut on everyone who isn’t circumcised.  But we are the ones who have the true circumcision— we who worship God through his Spirit. We don’t trust in ourselves or anything we can do. We take pride only in Christ Jesus.  Even if I am able to trust in myself, still I don’t do it. If anyone else thinks they have a reason to trust in themselves, they should know that I have a greater reason for doing so.  I was circumcised on the eighth day after my birth. I am from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a true Jew, and so were my parents. The law was very important to me. That is why I became a Pharisee.  I was so eager to defend my religion that I persecuted the church. And no one could find fault with the way I obeyed the Law of Moses.  At one time all these things were important to me. But because of Christ, I decided that they are worth nothing.  Not only these things, but now I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Christ, I lost all these things, and now I know that they are all worthless trash. All I want now is Christ.  I want to belong to him. In Christ I am right with God, but my being right does not come from following the law. It comes from God through faith. God uses my faith in Christ to make me right with him.  All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him from death. I want to share in his sufferings and be like him even in his death.  Then there is hope that I myself will somehow be raised from death.