HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH
"For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).
Paul gives his clear personal testimony. Paul is not discussing a circumcision of a child to the old law. Paul is addressing a circumcision of the heart, which takes place at the Spirit birthing. Following the Spirit birthing, the Holy Spirit renews the mind to emphasize this circumcision in the heart. We now want to worship God. We now rejoice in Christ Jesus. As a result of our clear Spirit-led focus and motivation, we want to now have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).
Paul let us know, that if anyone thought that he might have some confidence in the flesh, that he certainly would be a strong candidate. However, Paul made it abundantly clear that was not his direction nor his intended direction. Paul said that he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and concerning the law – a Pharisee (Phil. 3:5). Paul even said concerning the righteousness which is in the law that he was blameless (Phil. 3:6). I am not sure how many of us could truly say in our own flesh, that we were that righteous. Paul went on and declared that what things in the flesh that were gain to him, that he counted loss for Christ (Phil. 3:7). Paul summarized his testimony and said, "indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8). When Paul had Christ revealed in him (Gal. 1:11-16), he counted all things in the flesh as a lost cause. Compared to Christ and the reality of Christ in us, they are mere rubbish. Wow! What a victory and what a correct conclusion to these matters!
Paul just wanted to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, which was from the law. Paul wanted his righteousness to be Christ's own righteousness, which is imputed by God the Father by faith in, by, and through Christ as our life in us as us (Rom. 4:24; Phil. 3:9). Paul declared that he wanted at intervals to experientially know Christ in every respect. Paul longed to know Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. Paul desired to have the same Spirit and mind fully of Christ in him as him to live through him in everything even to his death (Phil. 3:10). This mature mind of Christ certainly gave Paul victory in his walk (Phil. 3:15). Paul clearly lived a strong life of victory in Christ, which confirmed that we must have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).V
Written by Dwight Davis
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