Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:1-6
“For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glorify in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3)
There was a season in Paul’s life when he was filled with self-righteousness. He describes it as putting confidence in the flesh. Look at what he wrote about himself — “though myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more” (v. 4).
Why would Paul say such a thing? There were times when he depended upon his heritage to give him value and significance — “circumcised on the eight day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews” (v. 5a,b). He also trusted in his religious activities — “as to the Law, a Pharisee” (v. 5c). He boasted in his zeal — ” a persecutor of the church” (v. 6a). The bottom line was that Paul trusted in his own self-righteousness — “as to righteousness under the law blameless” (v. 6b).
Paul was typical of most people who have been brought up with a religious background. He was trusting in his own efforts to earn God’s favor. He was attempting to justify himself by his religious heritage and works.
I am convinced that self-righteousness is our default mode. We are prone to put confidence in our flesh rather than in the Lord. We must constantly examine ourselves — what are we really trusting in — ourselves or Jesus?
When we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we are able to see things as they really are. We realize that we cannot save ourselves. We have to surrender ourselves to our Savior and “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”
Lord Jesus, forgive me for putting too much confidence in my flesh rather than in You. I admit that I often revert to self-righteousness. I become judgmental of others and I pride myself in my religious activities. In reality I have nothing to boast in but You alone.
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