Self-Righteousness Vs. Christ’s Righteousness
It has been far too long since I have posted anything on the blog and I don’t really have a good excuse. Anyway, I am back and going to be posting on a regular basis…God willing.
Today, I was at church and listening to the preacher do his thing. He is preaching through Philippians and today’s sermon focused on Phil. 3:4-21. The sermon was good and it highlighted a common theme found in the pages of Scripture. Paul writes this in Phil. 3:3-6:
For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—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: 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; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness, under the law blameless.
Paul is setting up for a huge point that is essential to Christianity. Paul makes it clear that if anyone deserves God’s favor it was him. He was a stand up Jew. He was circumcised, Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, and a Hebrew of Hebrews. Paul kept the law so well that he had the authority to enforce it as a Pharisee. Paul even had zeal that many others didn’t and he proved it by persecuting Christians. Under the law Paul was as blameless as anyone. With Paul’s foundation laid, he makes his point:
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. -Phil. 3:7-11
In verse 7, Paul says that everything he did, as a faithful Jew, was nothing compared to the greatness of Christ. Paul continues to labor this point in the following verses. He even goes so far to say that everything he had, as a prominent Jew, was “rubbish” compared to what he has gained with Christ. When Paul says “rubbish”, he is saying “dung”. In fact, Paul is using a slang word for feces. I think most of us could probably think of the four letter word that people use today. At the end of the day, everything compared to Christ is dung.
Paul then makes his main point in verse 9:
and be found in him [Jesus], 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.
The point of this verse is a common theme throughout the Bible and it separates Christianity from every other religion on the planet. There is nothing that you or I can do to obtain righteousness in the eyes of a holy God. Jesus, God in flesh, obtained righteousness for his people. We must place our faith in Jesus to be deemed righteous.
Take hold of Christ’s righteousness and let go of your self-righteousness.
Thanks for reading.
- Christ Paid Sin’s Price (anotherchristianblog.org)
- By Flesh or by the Spirit? (anotherchristianblog.org)