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Opportunity Costs

Opportunity Costs

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Published by: tiandwi on Oct 27, 2008
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09/15/2010

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Opportunity CostsPhilippians 3:1-11Cascades Fellowship CRC, JX MIMay 25
th
, 2008
In economics, there is a fundamental principle that helps entrepreneurs,CEO's, and committees make decisions concerning the use of resources. Theprinciple is known as opportunity costs. Opportunity costs are those hiddencosts that don’t show up on the price tag – the cost of the item itself PLUS thecosts of what you had to give up in order to buy or produce the item.An example of this would be say you wanted to buy a new bike to ride towork or school every day. You settle on two bikes that are about one hundredbucks apart in price, but you are fifty bucks short of more expensive one. If youbuy the lower priced one, you have enough money to take it home right awayand buy a helmet and saddle bags. But you also get a lower quality bike withonly a six month warranty, which means after that period you would have to payfor any repairs. That's a hidden cost you have to figure into your selection.If you wait a couple weeks you can come back when you have themoney for the more expensive bike with a two year warranty, but you don't getthe helmet and the saddle bags, plus you have to figure in the cost of the extrawear and tear your shoes take by walking the distance to work or school. Or youhave to figure in the cost of bus fare. Either way, you have to consider theadditional costs to you above and beyond the fifty bucks needed to buy the moreexpensive bike. So as you can see, everything costs a little bit more than what
 
the price tag says it costs. The cost is affected by our choices. Paul talks a bitabout this in our passage this morning.In the Letter to the Philippians Paul has been addressing both the internaland external strife present in the church so it is no surp[rise when he sets thewarning bells off with some pretty strong language. Look at vv. 1-2.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me towrite the same things to you again and it is a safeguard for you. Watch outfor those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
Paul is warning his beloved friends about his most hated enemy. He hadto defend his gospel against them in Galatia and Corinth, so now he prepares thePhilippian church ahead of time so that they can stand against the claims of theJudaizers. Judaizers were Jews who accepted Christ's teachings, but believedthat full acceptance before God required circumcision and Law observance –they were necessary for salvation. In other words, according to them, salvationwas not by grace alone.What do think Paul means when calls the Judaizers "men who do evil,those mutilators of the flesh"? The reference here is circumcision; Paul ispointing out that those that call for circumcision are asking for a worthless rite.For them, circumcision means nothing because the new covenant is in the bloodof Jesus Christ, not the blood of the foreskin.You see, the danger lies in being able to do something to own thesalvation given to us. Our bent for independence from God pushes us to think interms of what we can do to earn the Father's favor. We want to believe that we
 
are somehow responsible for choosing Christ. That somewhere in some corneof our hearts there is this place of pure goodness that suddenly wells up andsays "Yes!" to Christ. We want to believe that we are holy, obedient children. Weobey the letter of the Law so that we can say on that day, "We made it!" When infact, without the working of the Holy Spirit on the inner man, we would have runaway.This is the problem, says Paul, with teaching that we must add our ownobedience to grace for salvation. It lures us in to thinking we have arighteousness all our own before God, when in fact without the intercession of Christ before the throne, without the groanings of the Holy Spirit too deep tounderstand, our every effort is like menstrual rags before God; filthy and uselessfor anything but to be thrown in the fire.We cannot put our confidence in the flesh, in what we can accomplishthrough your own efforts! Paul says, place your confidence in Jesus Christ andhim alone. Only he can save. Only he can satisfy. Make your boast in ChristJesus, not yourself. Boasting in yourself is useless and I ought to know. For if anyone has a reason to boast it is me. Picking up in v.5.
....circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribeof Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
Paul runs off a pedigree that few can rival. He is no johnny-come-lately tothe God of Israel. He is a man who would make any Jewish mother proud! Infact, one might argue Paul as saying, "If anyone in the world knows about these

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