If someone else thinks they have reasons for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Philippians 3:4b
Paul is fuming. Judaizers, a group of people that believed in Jesus while also trying to follow Jewish commandments, are sabotaging the Gospel. Judaizers claimed that following Jesus was not enough. They declared males needed to be circumcised according to Jewish tradition. Paul reminds the Philippians that their righteousness is through Christ and Christ alone. For Paul, this issue gets to the core of the Gospel. He would say that the Gospel plus anything is not the Gospel.
It’s easy to think we wouldn’t fall for what the Judaizers were preaching. But we add things to the Gospel all the time. Without realizing it, we may say something that implies the Gospel is “Jesus + something else.” Maybe we say, “real Christians vote this way,” or “this church really knows how to worship God.” Perhaps we say the Gospel is just about being a good person and gaining religious credentials.
But “Jesus + something else” isn’t the Gospel. GOSPEL CHANGE means we act in new ways but do so out of the inner change that flows out of the Gospel. We don’t put our confidence in our ability to earn God’s love and forgiveness—but in what Jesus did for us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Pray that God would help you see areas where you are adding to the gospel. Pray something like, “God, help me see where I’m being like a Judaizer. Show me where, intentionally or unintentionally, I model that following Jesus is asking for his forgiveness AND something more.”
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
March is FASTING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.