There is something powerful about reading someone else’s experience with God. Somehow it motivates and inspires us with hope and confidence that change is possible. This chapter Paul gives us a glimpse into his personal life. See what you can learn from him.
1. What does Paul mean in verse 1 by saying “finally”?
2. What same things did he already write?
3. Who were the “dogs” that they were supposed to beware of? What were they trying to do to the Christians?
4. Why did Paul have to clarify who Christians were? 3:3 What was the difference between them and the Jews?
5. What are the differences today between those who worship God in Spirit and those who worship forms of religion?
6. Describe Paul’s religious experience of the past: 3:4-6. How does your experience compare to his? How does it differ?
7. What impact does our negative religious impact have on our present relationship with God?
8. What conclusion did Paul come to about his religion? 3:7 What did he come to see as most important?
9. How do the thoughts of verse 8 fit into your experience? What have you counted as loss? What is most important in your life? What kind of knowledge are you putting first?
10. What do you now consider to be rubbish that you used to think was really important? 3:8
11. Why is it sometimes so difficult to be “found in Him” instead of trying to have our “own righteousness”? 3:9
12. Where does real righteousness come from? 3:9
13. Read 3:10 – explain what these things mean:
– knowing Him –
– knowing the power –
– knowing the fellowship –
14. If salvation is a free gift, how does one hope to attain the resurrection? 3:11
15. Did Paul consider himself to have perfected his Christian character? 3:12
16. How could verse 12 be used to encourage someone who is down on themselves?
17. What does Paul want to hold on to? 3:12 What does Jesus hold on to?
18. What was the one thing that Paul did? 3:13
19. How would your life be different if you did that “one thing”?
20. What is the goal for a Christian? 3:14
21. How would you describe the “upward call” that is mentioned in verse 14?
22. What is the perfect mindset, in light of verses 14,15?
23. What does Paul mean in verse 16?
24. Who has been a positive example to you in your Christian experience so far? Who have you been able to help and encourage by your example?
25. How did Paul feel about those who were doing damage to the cause? 3:18
26. How seriously do you feel about the cause of God? Do you hurt when it is hurt? Do you rejoice in the victories of the cross?
27. What does it mean that “their god is their belly” in verse 19? What is the result?
28. How does it make you feel that your citizenship is in heaven? 3:20
29. What is God able to do? 3:21 – what are some of the things that still need to be subdued in your life?
30. How could you use the thoughts in this chapter to help others?