Have you read the verse “I count it all as garbage to gain Christ.” I always thought the writer (Paul) was talking about letting go of the things of the world, but if you read the chapter (Phillipians 3) you’ll see he‘s actually discussing letting go of his own ways of being made right with God (his achievements and good deeds). And as he declares himself, he had PLENTY of reason to boast about his commitment to the Law.
Paul in essence says, “I let go of me and I found Him.” He’s says, “ITS NOT ABOUT ME!” He says, “every external means I could have held on to as esteem, I let go of that I may have the Greater Thing- Christ!”
Anything that lifts the weight of perfection, doing, and being “good enough” off of little me and puts it back on Christ (it’s rightful place) causes me to rejoice and breathe. To know that even Paul had this revelation only continues to confirm that the cross alone saves. This is soooo glanced over in many pulpits. But my burden is for this. My life is a testimony of this!
“Perfection” runs in the same circle as “Religion.” They may be even cousins. They’re both murderers. They kill relationship with the Holy Spirit, peace, and joy. The invite in pride, a critical spirit, and striving. Truth is and will always remain:
Christ is the ONLY WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT through Him! We are now approved, boldly loved, and free to grow in grace. Selah.
Lord, we thank you for free gift of salvation that cannot be earned, but received. I ask that every heavy yoke be thrown off of the reader. I pray that Jesus be exalted and every way of the flesh to reach You be laid low. We thank You for Your Holy Spirit Who prunes us and helps us to bear fruit for Your glory and the expansion of Your Kingdom.
“My beloved ones, don’t ever limit your joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus! I don’t mind repeating what I’ve already written you because it protects you— beware of those religious hypocrites who teach that you should be circumcised to please God. For we have already experienced “heart-circumcision,” and we worship God in the power and freedom of the Holy Spirit, not in laws and religious duties. We are those who boast in what Jesus Christ has done, and not in what we can accomplish in our own strength. It’s true that I once relied on all that I had become. I had a reason to boast and impress people with my accomplishments—more than others—for my pedigree was impeccable. I was born a true Hebrew of the heritage of Israel as the son of a Jewish man from the tribe of Benjamin. I was circumcised eight days after my birth and was raised in the strict tradition of Orthodox Judaism, living a separated and devout life as a Pharisee. And concerning the righteousness of the Torah, no one surpassed me; I was without a peer. Furthermore, as a fiery defender of the truth, I persecuted the messianic believers with religious zeal. Yet all of the accomplishments that I once took credit for, I’ve now forsaken them and I regard it all as nothing compared to the delight of experiencing Jesus Christ as my Lord! To truly know him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap. It’s all like a pile of manure to me now, so that I may be enriched in the reality of knowing Jesus Christ and embrace him as Lord in all of his greatness. My passion is to be consumed with him and not clinging to my own “righteousness” based in keeping the written Law. My “righteousness” will be his, based on the faithfulness of Jesus Christ—the very righteousness that comes from God.”
Philippians 3:1-9 TPT
“For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 TPT
“Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.”
John 14:6 TPT
“For in his wisdom, God designed that all the world’s wisdom would be insufficient to lead people to the discovery of himself. He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross in order to save those who believe it.”
1 Corinthians 1:21 TPT
“When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love. Before you were led astray, you were so faithful to Messiah. Why have you now turned away from what is right and true? Who has deceived you? The One who enfolded you into his grace is not behind this false teaching that you’ve embraced. Not at all!”
Galatians 5:6-8 TPT