If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 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. Philippians 3:4b-5
Listen: Philippians 3
Paul’s resume was quite impressive. If false teachers in Philippi teaching the “Jesus+” religion were right, then Paul—of all people— would be welcomed into heaven with great fanfare. No one’s efforts could compare to his.
Philippian culture adored extraordinary resumes. Roman culture admired great accomplishments and disdained humility, while Jewish culture demanded implicitly following the Law. This makes Paul’s response to his own religious resume shocking, “I consider [it] garbage (or excretion)” (Philippians 3:8c).
Paul’s dramatic point gets the attention of every Christian in Philippi. He asserts there is nothing he has done in his past (good or bad) that effects his worthiness for heaven. He goes on to say, “…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9). Paul’s great resume had been keeping him from God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
When you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins, his righteousness is transferred to you. That is what qualifies us for heaven. Maybe, without realizing it, you’re building a resume of good works. On page 38 of your Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure journal, write out 2 Corinthians 12:9. Memorize it as a reminder you are saved by grace—not an impressive resume of works.
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