“If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” Philippians 3.4-6
Paul is giving us a list of reasons to place confidence in the flesh. What the world values is different than what God values. He’s using his own example of education, status, position to suggest it’s emptiness.
Paul confirms he’s a true and faithful Jew by his eight day circumcision. Not only is he an Israeli, but comes from the very tribe of Benjamin, from King Saul, from whom he was most certainly named. Not only does he have genealogical significance, he has positional status as he’s a Pharisee with ”zeal” who ”persecutes the church” and has a ”righteousness based on the law” which he defines as ”faultless.” These accomplishments and achievements alone have elevated him to a level of influence within the Jewish community.
But Christ gripped his life, met him on the road to Damascus, blinded him by the light, and turned his world and values upside down. What he once considered valuable, we will soon read he considers a loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus. Paul is setting us up for what matters most. In essence, he’s saying, “I have it all, everything the world can offer, but in the end, I value nothing as much as I value God, and he values me.”
At this point in life, many of us might have prepared a bio or resume touting our accomplishments. Maybe we earned some special awards, or received outstanding recognition. Perhaps we have a family for which we are proud or excelled in education. Regardless of what confidence we gain from these ideals, Christ matters more.
Not only does Jesus matter more than anything we can achieve in this world, but we matter to him. He died for us so we might have life today and life ever more. Regardless of what this world brings, Christ is greater.
Place your hope and confidence in him now. Allow his love to impact your heart and head and to fill your soul.
“O Lord God, you are good. When my love fails, your love remains steadfast. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to find significance in you alone. My confidence comes from you. Help me continue to walk as you walked, Lord Jesus, to find joy in this life and hope in your plans. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen