Thursday, November 4, 2010

Daily - 11/4/10

Philippians 3:3-8a

3 For we are the circumcision, we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,

4 although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.

5 Circumcised on the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee,

6 in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

7 (But) whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.

8 More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

In this passage Paul reminds us that we are to put our confidence in Christ. We shouldn't put our confidence in the flesh, which (per St. Thomas Aquinas) can mean our tendency to sin, our worldly cares, and our worldly observances and activities. Paul gives himself as an example - if anyone could boast in the flesh, it was Paul. He was a Pharisee, and considered himself completely righteous in his observance of the Law. Yet ... he persecuted the Church, and in doing so, persecuted Christ. He relied on his flesh to tell Him what righteousness was, and really, he couldn't have been more wrong.

It wasn't until he gave up his confidence in the flesh, and put his confidence in Christ, that he could become what God wanted him to be -- the Apostle to the Christian world. Verses 7 and 8 tell us that Paul likely gave up a lot to do this, and that he doesn't regret it at all.

God calls us in the same way. As Paul tells us, we need to place our confidence in Christ. That can really be a challenge to us. It's one thing to say we're confident, and it's quite another to truly place confidence in Him. It involves exchanging the known and comfortable for the unknown and uncertain. The testimony of Scripture is that it's definitely worth it.