Title: No Hope in Ourselves
Scripture: Philippians 3:1-3
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
Explanation: It seems at every church Paul writes to, there is always a group there opposing him. Most of the time, it is a group of Jewish Christians who insist on Gentile believers first becoming Jews, and then they can accept Christ. Their greatest demand was male circumcision, Israel’s sign of the covenant. It was a mark each Israelite male wore that signified they were part of God’s people. It was the mark and pride of the Jewish people, and their claim to being in relationship with God, because they were circumcised and Jewish. Paul spends his entire ministry (read some of Paul’s other letters like Galatians and Colossians) fighting the idea that Gentiles needed to become Jews to be a part of Jesus. Paul emphatically claims that trusting in Jesus is the only way to become one of God’s people. He would fall in line with Peter, who says in Acts 4:12 that there is no other way to be saved…no amount of good works, not being a Jew, not getting circumcised, not attaining certain spiritual or religious practices. Trusting in Jesus is the only thing we can put our confidence in, because He has the ability to make us right with God and change our lives. This was central to Paul’s teaching, so when he saw those who opposed it, Paul did not mince words with them. Not because he wanted to be violent or angry, but Paul knew this group would lead people away from the life that Paul was trying to lead them to. So Paul fought for his churches.
- What is something that stands out to you in today’s reading?
- What are some areas where you try to lean on or trust your own abilities rather than God?
- What are some practical ways you can trust God more in these areas?