Go back and re-read Philippians 1:1.
Just like Paul begins each of the epistles by introducing himself, he also addresses to whom he is talking. Surprisingly, Paul addresses the church at Philippi with a very interesting word:
He begins his letter to the church of Phillipi with these words, “to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi”. The reason that is so interesting is because he calls the church of Phillipi saints. The reason why that is such an interesting word is because it means HOLY ones. The reason that is so interesting is because the word HOLY means WITHOUT SIN. The reason that is so interesting is because Paul is writing to PEOPLE. Sinful people. People who sin. People with sin. This is the same word that Paul calls the members of churches in Romans 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:2, 2 Cor. 1:1, Eph. 1:1, and Col. 1:1. It seems like Paul had one word he liked to call a follower of Jesus: A SAINT.
<> If you had to pick one, would you call yourself a sinner or a saint?
The Problem: If we ARE sinners, then the book of Philippians isn’t written to us. We might as well quit reading and put it away, and while we’re at it we might as well cut Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians out of our Bibles because all of them are written to saints. If we’re not a saint, then we’re reading somebody else’s mail.
The Solution: Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and Romans 3:19-26
<> Where does the Scripture say our righteousness comes from?
This is called subtitutionary atonement. Don’t let the big words scare you. It’s a reasonably simple concept: We couldn’t do what was required of us by the law so God provided a substitute in Jesus Christ who could both live up to the requirement and who also took on the punishment that we deserved. Atonement means washed. Essentially by Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, He washed us from our sin so that we are made clean by His action and not by our own.
Read Luke 18:9-14 and Luke 7:36-50.
<> At the deepest levels of your heart, are you trusting/begging Jesus for your righteousness?
<> How does your attitude change if you understand your righteousness is a gift?
<> Does your attitude reveal that you are trusting yourself for your righteousness instead of receiving it as grace from Jesus?
<> What changes about how you approach life if you really believe that God sees you as a saint and not a sinner?
Conclusion: You were a sinner. You are now a saint. PRAISE JESUS. (1 Cor. 6:9-11)