I ended the last post, Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!! – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3a) , http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sk, with a seemingly hopeless statement from Paul as he reflected on his academic and religious accomplishments.
He said, “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him”… – Phil. 3:7-9a
Although it seems like Paul is throwing “everything” away,
this isn’t exactly the case.
It wasn’t a matter of Paul suddenly forgetting all his education, his knowledge, his upbringing. No, it was Paul’s realization that no matter what he did, or how “religious” he was, he could never “earn” himself a spot in heaven.
What he believed caused him to take matters into his own hands. Caused him to imprison and attack Christ-followers in the name of God. Caused him to judge, and force people to follow what he believed to be correct. A dangerous approach, if you ask me. However, isn’t it easy to find ourselves falling into that same pattern. “I know what’s better for you…”
Throughout his life, Paul, was relying on himself. He truly wanted to please God. He truly wanted all people to follow God. He believed that through knowledge and will-power he would be able to follow the “law”, and therefore be considered righteous in God’s eyes. However, The law simply shows us how sinful we are. – Romans 3:20 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. – James 2:10
Do you remember Paul’s message to the Corinthians – If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:33
What a change in Paul’s approach!! He retained his knowledge, education, and upbringing so he could teach, but instead of coming at people with an iron fist,
he came from a position of love.
WHAT CAUSED THIS SEISMIC SHIFT?
Let’s look again at verse 9, and add in the second half of the verse.
“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” – Philippians 3:9b
FAITH? FAITH IN WHAT?
< Faith in “Creds”? or Faith in Christ? – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3) , http://wp.me/p5nZpi-t9 >
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