No Confidence in the Flesh

This week we look at Philippians 3:1-14. Philippians 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. We are told from the outset to put no
confidence in the flesh. “Flesh” was a word Paul used to describe our human effort to justify ourselves. It is that element in is that wants depend on self rather than God. Verses 4-6 describe Paul’s accomplishments in fleshly religion. Remember, religion is what we do to try to appease God or to earn His approval and salvation. The problem is that our efforts always fall short. We cannot earn salvation. We cannot save ourselves. We need a savior!
In verse 8, Paul tells us that he considers all he accomplished with regard to religion to be worthless in order that he might put his faith in Christ (gain Christ). In fact, if you move directly from “I count all things to be loss” in verse 8 to verse 10, you get the flow of Paul’s thought. He counts all his own accomplishments as a Pharisee as rubbish so that he may know Christ, know the power of His resurrection, and know the fellowship of His sufferings as he sits in a Roman prison awaiting trial. Then comes the part that encourages me to keep going even when I fail as a disciple. Verses 12-14 tell us to “press on “, to forget the times we stumbled in the past and to keep reaching forward to what lies ahead. Regardless of the past and regardless of present circumstances, press on toward the goal, the prize, the upward call of God in Christ! So, hang in there! Keep going! Press on! Don’t let the past get you down! Keep your eyes on Jesus, and He will get you there! Brothers and sisters, press on!