How is Your Confidence?
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Philippians 3:3-7
The Apostle Paul had every reason in the world to be totally self-confident. For starters, he as a Jew was one of God’s chosen people. The Jews were circumcised in obedience to the law and as a symbol of their special covenant with God as His chosen people. He was circumcised accordingly. But that was only the beginning. His rich heritage, his legalism and perfectionism in obeying the law as a Pharisee, his fiery passion in persecuting the church, he had the resume of all resumes. But once he became a fully dedicated follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and dedicated the rest of his life to loving and serving God and proclaiming Christ to the world, he knew not to place one ounce of confidence in the flesh, his background, his heritage, his accomplishments, his self-righteousness, in absolutely anything other than in the Lord. He knew that the real “circumcision” were, and are today, NOT necessarily those who have been circumcised in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. The real circumcision are those, whether Jews or gentiles, who place their faith in Christ and worship God with hearts aflame for Him in full devotion and dedication to Him and His Word. What Paul teaches us in Philippians 3:3-7 runs 100% contrary to the ways of this world, doesn’t it? And there is a mighty powerful message in it for us all.
Our world teaches us we need to be self-confident, self-reliant, self-dependent, and spend our lives trying to accumulate accomplishments, building our resumes, climbing corporate ladders, boasting in our successes, giving and receiving awards and rewards for them, seeking wealth, bragging about our backgrounds, and the list goes on – and on. The world will one day pass away, and none of this will matter. The only thing that will matter is that we have placed our trust and confidence in Christ, that we have turned away from the wickedness of this world, repented of our sinful ways, and lived to love and glorify the Lord God almighty. Our confidence must be in Him alone!