"Though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done." Philippians 3:4-7 (NLT)
We all know that someone (maybe yourself) that has so much confidence based on who they are, our native history, education, family name, good deeds, things we have accomplished, or rules we have followed. It makes us feel like we are “best of the best”.
That’s what Paul is doing here, he is telling the people all the facts as to why he believes he should be at the front of the line, and why he should have favor with God. He has done everything right; he has dotted his I’s and crossed all his T’s. There is nothing else he can do in the flesh. But then he states this, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.”
When Paul encountered Jesus in the dust of the dirt road to Damascus, he learned that all his past, training, education, his ancestry, and actions would NEVER earn him anything with God.
Imagine the scene. Paul, who went by the name of Saul at that time, was on his way to Damascus with authority to arrest any who believe in Jesus. Suddenly, he saw a bright light, causing him to fall to the ground. Jesus said to Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” probably in a loud thunderous voice. Most people would ask “who’s there?” or “who are you?”, but Saul knew instantly that this was Jesus.
Paul knew instantly that all of the reasons he thought of himself of being so great that would not pay for his sins. You cannot have confidence in the flesh and in Christ. It’s one or the other. If you believe that these things will ever earn you any favor with God --- STOP IT --- you are putting your confidence in the wrong things. It’s not a thing, it is Christ.
All you need in every situation is Christ, and Christ Alone. Believe in Him, count on Him. Once you do, you will realize that everything else, all the good deeds, prayer, Bible study, education….. all those things are just tools which allow us to do good and advance His word in His name.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have put confidence in myself, my position or my stuff over trusting in you. Help me to be willing to give it all up (count it as worthless) for the sake of knowing you more! In Jesus Name. Amen!