Living In His Power

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


Place No Confidence In The Flesh

Philippians 3:3–6 says, “For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh—although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.”

Our liabilities should show us we cannot place confidence in the flesh. The false teachers wanted people to place some confidence in the flesh, with circumcision, and some confidence in faith, with trusting Jesus. Paul is telling us that there is nothing within us, nothing we can do, to balance the sheet and pay our debt. 

Paul had many reasons to trust in the flesh; he had a great resume. However, he chose to trust in Christ’s resource instead of trusting in his own resume. There are times when we may think that we have such a good resume, as Christians, that we can balance the sheet ourselves. Maybe you grew up in church, you are a pastor’s kid, were saved and baptized at a young age, have been to seminary, or teach the Bible. Paul is saying here, “There’s nothing on your resume that will remove the liabilities on your balance sheet of the debt you have in sinning before God.”

Every one of us has sinned before God. We have done things wrong. Often, we knew we were doing wrong and we did it anyway. That debt is not going to be paid by what our parents did for the Lord or how many times we go to church or do good deeds. That will not get us to heaven. The only way to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. We need to take our perfect or imperfect resume, all our accomplishments, and surrender it to the Lord. 

Warren W. Wiersbe, an American pastor, and Bible teacher said: “Like most religious people today, Paul had enough morality to keep him out of trouble, but not enough righteousness to get him into heaven. It was not the bad things that kept Paul away from Jesus, it was the good things. He had to lose his religion to find his salvation.”

It is when the resource of Jesus invades our life, through salvation, that we can say, “Lord, it is about You.” Grace and trust release control and bring a life of surrender.