Going Deeper – 07.17.2022

07.17.2022 | MORE & MORE | Wk 6: “No Confidence in the Flesh”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

What is your greatest skill or ability? How did you get so good at it?

The Dig

On Sunday, we continued our series More & More on the Book of Philippians (Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi).

Read Philippians 3:1-3. Here, Paul warns the Philippians about those who define spirituality & Christianity by cultural identity markers & tribalism. In particular, he focuses on those who put their confidence in the flesh; which, in Greek, is best understood as human ego (the part of us obsessed with comparison, self-centeredness, & superiority in relation to others). 

What is the inherent danger of blending ego, tribalism, & cultural identity into spirituality & religion? 

Why does Paul see this as so counter to the fundamental vision & purpose of Christian spirituality? 

Next, read Philippians 3:4-14. In this passage, Paul lays out his own ego accomplishments, only to label them as garbage & worthless barriers to what really matters in life & faith. 

What stands out to you about Paul’s language here? 

How did Paul’s journey of spirituality & experience of Jesus change how he understood his past & the ego-driven pursuits that used to define his identity, worth, meaning, & purpose? 

How does Paul seem to understand his identity & life’s purpose in the present? 

Close by reflecting on how this passage speaks to you presently. 

What ego-pursuits, cultural identity markers, or human efforts have you relied upon for identity, worth meaning, & purpose in the past? What led you to change your posture towards them? 

What ego-pursuits, cultural identity markers, or human efforts do you find yourself most often putting your confidence in now for things like identity, worth, meaning, & purpose? How might Jesus & discipleship turn that upside-down & lead you into deeper growth in this season? 

Getting Out of the Hole

During this series, take time each week to read & meditate on each section of Philippians that we cover. This week:

  • Read Philippians 3:1-14.
  • Write down or underline key words or phrases in the passage. 
  • Meditate on what issues of ego, cultural/national identity, or human effort that you most often seem to put your trust & confidence in for giving you security, meaning, purpose, identity, or value. Consider things like: work, money, family, romantic relationships, tribal identity, etc.
  • Read through Philippians 3:1-14 again. How does this passage challenge you in those areas? How might Jesus Christ turn upside-down & reorient your relationship with these things or areas of life?
  • Ask God to help you discern what it would mean to grow, heal, & surrender to Him in this parts of your life. 

Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!

Additional Resources*

The Story of God Bible Commentary by Lynn H. Cohick 

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas

A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, July 23rd: Join us next Sunday for week 7 of our series More & More, where we will continue walking through Paul’s Letter to the Philippians! 

* Please see mye3.org for details.