333

Middle East license plates can cost millions. Who knows what 333 would fetch but it’s an easy way to remember some profound truth from Philippians 3:3. Paul makes three statements that penetrate the strongholds of self-righteousness. They obliterate the works-righteousness generators that constantly run in our hearts. For the initial audience, it releases them from getting in touch with their inner Jew. What remains when Paul is finished is the uncluttered landscape of sovereign grace. The first attempt to rescue his hearers is the statement that Gentiles worship by the Spirit of God. This word for worship is the one used to refer to the service of Yahweh by the Jewish priests. This was scandalous. Attributing that level of worship to a bunch of “dog” Gentiles was outrageous to the Jews. But this just what Jesus Christ purchased for us on the cross. There is one body of Christ, and it is multiethnic. Nothing else satisfies. Depression is disappointment over the failure of idols. The Spirit of God now indwells every true Christian, guiding his or her worship away from other things, and on to God himself. Stand by for a look at the next two.