Friday, May 28, 2021

2021.05.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 3:4–7

Read Philippians 3:4–7

Questions from the Scripture text: What might the apostle have if someone else did (Philippians 3:4)? How would the apostle’s compare? What five possible sources of confidence does he mention in Philippians 3:5? And what two in Philippians 3:6? How much zeal had he had? What quality of the righteousness did he have according to what they thought they could get from the law? What had he thought he was getting from all these things (Philippians 3:7)? But what did he come to count them as? In order that their apparent gain might be replaced by Whom?

No one can have confidence in the flesh. We already saw that in Philippians 3:1-3: confidence in the flesh is the recipe for turning your being set apart into being a dog (Philippians 3:2a), turning your obedience into evildoing (verse 2b), and turning your covenant sign into something superficial and grotesque (verse 2c). 

But if someone could have had confidence in the flesh, it would have been the apostle: an eight-dayer, native Israelite, descendant from a patriarch, given a Hebrew-culture upbringing, of the most devout religious group, zealous enough for action when the most zealous were merely outraged, and with scrupulous keeping of the regulations of the law.

It’s an exhausting list to think about, and even more difficult to do. There really had been no one like he. And what net gain had the apostle gotten out of it? A compoundedly negative balance of demerit that he could never have undone!

The way he came to find that living was Christ (cf. Philippians 1:21) was by this discovery that anything else in life was loss without Christ (Philippians 3:7). It’s a sobering reminder that we really haven’t discovered the value of Who Christ is until we have learned the worthlessness of everything that we are apart from Him.

Have you discovered that, dear reader? Are you willing to renounce all your spiritual and moral achievements as worthless in order to embrace Christ Himself as your only worthlessness? Or perhaps you are a believer who has forgotten this, and it’s time to tally your losses back up (or down, as it were).

What status or work of yours are you tempted to feel makes you worthy before God or men?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”

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