Read: Philippians 3:1-11
What Paul is saying in this passage goes against human nature, against the way the world runs things. In our world we are told that the harder we work, the more we will succeed. We are pushed to test our limits, our strength, and our efforts, because that is what gets us places. Your future depends on you, your will-power, your talents, your drive.
Our world has changed immensely since Paul was writing this letter, but human nature is the same. Paul was addressing those who thought they could earn salvation by an outward action. In their case it was being circumcised, or following the law. In our case it might be going to church, giving to charity, or being a good person (not sinning a lot). However, Paul clearly says, “We put no confidence in human effort…”
In fact, after listing off all his human efforts to earn right standing with God, Paul explains the gospel.
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” ~Philippians 3:8-9
We cannot save ourselves. Any human effort to be made righteous will fall short, because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Our only hope is in Jesus, in what HE HAS DONE FOR US. His blood shed on the cross made a way for us to be saved. Our only action is to believe that this is enough, that Jesus is all we need. We must put our faith in Jesus Christ, simply but wholly.
Do you struggle with trying to earn your salvation? Are you just “doing religion” or are you seeking an active relationship with Christ?
I challenge you to re-read the passage from today, and then spend just five minutes waiting on the Lord.
Laura Roland is a youth pastors wife and when she is not with teenagers, she is working with toddlers or drinking coffee. Laura lives life with a passion for people to know Christ in a life-changing way. She absolutely believes that nothing compares to living for Jesus.