Paul had plenty of room to boast in religious, familial, and personal accomplishments, but it was nothing compared to knowing Jesus. The opportunity to know the resurrected Christ is greater than anything else this world offers.
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.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for 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; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
- One of the greatest dangers in the Church is gauging spiritual health by external observances.
- Your flesh can show signs of religion while your spirit has no proof of a relationship.
7 Dangerous Signs of an Imposter Faith
- Ritual – “Circumcised on the 8th day”
- Ethnicity – “Of the people of Israel”
- Family – “Of the tribe of Benjamin”
- Tradition – “A Hebrew of Hebrews”
- Association – “As to the Law, a Pharisee”
- Sincerity – “As to zeal, a persecutor of the church”
- Morality – “As to righteousness under the law, blameless”
- Every personal advantage is worth discarding if it means you truly have the chance to know Christ.
- Our most impressive attempts at righteousness are actually rubbish compared to knowing Christ.
- Salvation doesn’t come by doing good things but by believing the good news.
- Righteousness can only come from God and can only be obtained through faith.
- Salvation is knowing Christ – not knowing about Christ.
- The resurrection of Jesus is meant to be a daily reality – not a yearly observance.
- Jesus defeated death then so we could embrace life now.
- Knowing Christ is better than anything else.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.