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Philippians 3:4-7 “If I must boast”

Mar 23 2020

Philippians 3:4-7

“If I must boast”

 

In chapter 3 verses 4-7 Paul lists what prior to his encounter with Christ were things that he boasted in but now since his relationship with Jesus he regarded as his Mistakes. In this autobiographical passage Paul uses his own history not as a badge of honor as he use to but rather as the mistakes he made do to his worship of religion. Paul had no confidence in the power of his eloquence to persuade people or his devotion. The only one in whom Paul had confidence in was Jesus Christ. There was a time prior to his relationship with Jesus that he took pride in four things of his religion:

a.     Vs. 5a His ancestry: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin”. 

b.     Vs. 5b His orthodoxy: “A Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law a Pharisee.”

c.     Vs. 6a His activity: “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church.” 

d.     Vs. 6b His morality: “Concerning the righteousness, which is in the law, blameless.”    

In each and every case Paul said that this was how he felt prior to knowing Christ as he uses this in the past tense. Most folks feel as though all of these areas were changed in one day as Paul road to Damascus, but I think that only one changed that day and that was with regards to his activity in persecuting the church. Looking at his own words in other letters it appears that the other four areas took time for him to understand that he had only replaced the religion of Judaism with the religion of Christianity as he was still worshipping his own effort. Paul had been confident in his flesh prior to his conversion and he had been confident in his flesh after his conversion. According to 2 Corinthian chapter 4 it wasn’t until 14 years after his conversion that he began to understand what true worship and spirituality was. In 2 Corinthians 11:30 Paul writes “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.” Then in the 12th chapter of that same letter in verse 10 he writes “Therefore I take pleasure, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The things that caused him to be weak and dependent upon the Lord were now the things that he was most thankful for. Paul stepped out of religion and into a relationship and in so doing discovered the secret of the Christian life that only in dying to self, do you find lasting joy and peace. Paul swore off religion as worship and started worshipping only the work and effort of Jesus. How about it, are you ready to join Paul id dying to religion?                     

 

This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!