We may say we are Christians, but without evidence of our new identity, we have no reason for confidence in our claim. In this lab, John Piper explains that true Christians worship by the Spirit, glory in Christ Jesus alone, and put no confidence in the flesh.
Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 3:1–3:
- How would you explain to someone who has never heard of Christianity what it means for you to have a new identity in Christ?
- Watch the lab. John Piper identifies three marks of authentic Christianity. What are the three marks, and what are their opposites?
- If you know those who claim to be Christians but lack one of the three marks Piper mentioned, how could you loving approach them?
Principle of Bible Reading
Mine Within the Context First
Making connections to other passages enriches Bible study. We need to make connections, but we also need to be careful not to import other passages into the one we are studying before we have given the passage itself its proper due.
The problem with moving all over the Bible too quickly is that we can miss what the particular author wanted to communicate. In many cases, the author could have brought in other passages or made connections, but that might not have been his point.
Study cross-references and perform word searches, but let each author speak for himself without making a collage of other passages too quickly.