October 21–22, 2017 Religious Resumes

Oct 21-22, 2017 Religious Resumes

Welcome to the seventh week of our fall series Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure. The Philippians church is under pressure from the Roman culture, but also from a group trying to convince them they need to add religious rituals because Jesus isn’t enough. This week’s conversation looks at what Paul writes to remind the Jesus-followers that Jesus IS enough. Through his own story, he helps them see that a religious resume is worthless—the only thing of value is Jesus.


Building healthy and life-giving relationships.


What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.


Prayer is an important part of care. As we have worked through this series, what are some places you’ve felt challenged and how can your group be praying for you in those areas?

Share part of your story

What are some things you feel like you have to say over and over?


Taking next steps toward Christ together.

Look back to Philippians 3:1–11. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.

The Gospel Again

Philippians 3:1–4

Paul writes the same things again and again because it is a safeguard. Why do you think Paul thinks it is important to repeat it?

Paul reminds the Philippians about where they can put their hope. He contrasts putting our hope in Jesus versus putting our confidence in the flesh. What contrast is Paul making here and why is it important?

Comparing Resumes

Philippians 3:4–8

Paul gives his religious resume. How good of a religious resume is it?

Paul isn’t the only one with a religious resume. We all have one. How have you seen different parts of our culture view religious resumes?

Sometimes we slip into thinking our religious resumes matter. What ways have you been tempted to be proud or ashamed of your religious resume?

Paul uses strong language to describe what he thinks of his religious resume. How does Paul refer to his religious resume in Philippians 3:7? Why do you think he talks about it this way?

The Liability of Goodness

Luke 18:9-14

Have someone read Luke 18:9–14 aloud. What is the Pharisee doing in these verses? Do you think the Pharisee is telling the truth about what he does?

The Pharisee’s problem is not that he is doing bad things. The problem is he is trusting in the good things he is doing to earn a standing with people and with God. How have you seen people take this approach?

Jesus told another story about a father and two sons. Have someone retell the story. What was keeping the younger son from the father and the older son from the father?

Discuss the following statement: Sometimes we rebel by being very bad and sometimes we rebel by being very good.

At times, it can be hard to do good things for the right reason. How do you experience the tension between doing good things for the right reason and doing good things for the wrong reason?

This series is about finding joy under pressure. How can a release from the idea that we need to earn our standing before God help us find joy?

The Goodness of Christ

Philippians 3:8-11

Paul tosses his religious resume in the trash. What is he counting on instead of his religious resume?

Jesus’ death on the cross is the innocent suffering for the guilty. When we confess our sins and accept the free gift of life Jesus offers, his righteousness transfers to us. If we’ve accepted the free gift of life, what does God see when he looks at us? Why is that so important to remember?

Grace should produce goodness. When we realize we belong to God, we then start to behave. What’s the important of this sequence?

Have you experienced the drift from “God loves me so I want to be good” to “I’m good so God loves me?”

Paul wanted to know Jesus—instead of building a religious resume. He doesn’t want to move past the gospel but move into it. What are some ways we can re-engage the generosity of God through his son Jesus instead of building a religious resume?


Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.

Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.

Relational Investments

Paul reminds the people of the gospel and encourages them to withstand the challenge of adding something to knowing Jesus. How can resisting adding something to knowing Jesus help us in our conversations with people outside the faith?

Download a printable PDF here.