Philippians 3:4–7 (NIV): 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Paul worked hard converting regions to Christianity, but it never failed that as soon as he left a new church, Judaizers would follow behind him. Their whole goal? To convince the new followers of Christ that just believing in Christ wasn't enough to receive eternal life.
Paul confronts all of that in today's 2-minute podcast.
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul warns the believers in Philippi of evil teachers who want to add legalism to the gospel message. In other words, they taught that believing in Christ is not enough to receive eternal life. You must also “do” certain things to be righteous or right in God’s eyes. So, in Philippians 3 verses 4 thru 7, Paul gives us his own testimony as evidence that if anyone should’ve been justified by his works, it was him. He writes, “Though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”
So, Paul’s saying, “Look, I did everything the Old Testament Jewish law required. In fact, I’ve got way more reason to be proud of my accomplishments than those evil workers trying to undermine my teaching.”
Paul says that from birth he was a law-observing Jew. He was the best of the best in Israel. He studied with the top Rabbis. He was a “Hebrew of Hebrews” meaning that he was a pure-blooded Jew that could trace his lineage back to Abraham. He was in the most elite tribe in Israel. He was a Pharisee who made it his duty to keep even the smallest detail of the law. He took pride in hunting down Christians and persecuting them. And then Paul ends it by saying, ALL of it means nothing. It’s like taking all your awards and ribbons you proudly display on your wall and destroying them. And Paul counts it all as loss so that he could fully embrace his calling in Christ.
So, your simple Truth for today: What do you boast in? Is it in things that will mean nothing even 20 or 30 years from now? Or do you boast in your relationship with Christ?
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