Intro: Human achievements, no matter how fantastic they may be, never bring salvation for our souls nor can those deeds produce eternal life in us. Our credentials in the world really do not impress God. Our hearts on the other hand—should we bow our wills before God and serve one another in Christ’s love—have the power to please God immensely. When we are obedient to allow Christ to work a spiritual rebirth in us, by our faith Christ immediately ushers us into God’s presence to provide us with grace for our needs. This is why the prayer of the righteous has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16).
May we all gain the revelation no matter how kind, understanding, merciful, or loving we think we are salvation comes by grace through faith in the resurrecting work of Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). I don’t care who you are and how long you have profess to “know” God, we all need Christ to lift us out of dead living; it is a process made available by our commitment. If we try to bring change in the power of our human flesh, we are not welcoming the supernatural work of Christ for salvation.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reminds the Philippians that if salvation was about his human achievements or his religious training he would be at the top of the heap before God. He used to think those things were important; but, since meeting Jesus he views them as “garbage” compared to the life he now experiences. To have a personal relationship with Christ that is flourishing with righteous fruit should be the goal of every Christian. Today, let’s each ask ourselves, “What do I value most in life?” Be careful when you come to the answer, because we can make certain people, material things, self-sufficiency, and even success an idol that displaces Christ in our lives. To really know Christ is to actively experience his resurrecting power in our lives—to become more like Christ!
5 I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 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 9 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 [through Christ’s faithfulness]. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for causing me to grow in your righteousness. You are what I value most. In Jesus’ name. Amen.