“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 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 .”
More About Philippians 3:8-11
Written by Karen Ehman (First 5 Ministries)
In Philippians 3:8-11, Paul had the right attitude – “It’s all about Jesus.” Unfortunately, he bumped into some folks who didn’t.
The Judaizers were a group of people who said they believed that Jesus was the Savior, but only the Savior of the Jews. Therefore, the only way you could become a Christian was to first convert to Judaism and adopt all of the spiritual practices of Judaism.
Now before we wag our fingers at the Judaizers, we must recognize that we may do the same thing! We all have our “rituals” – no matter how contemporary or traditional our church may be. Even when we ever so subtly infer that our rituals are required for salvation, we are adding to the requirements of the gospel and diminishing the work of Christ.
Here are some practices that may be on our list:
- Attending a certain denomination (or a non-denominational) church.
- Repeating certain words like The Lord’s Prayer or The Apostle’s Creed at every service.
- Taking communion or being baptized in a specific manner.
- Reading only from a certain translation of the Bible.
- Holding to a particular style of music in church or forbidding a type of instrument.
While these are important things to consider, as Christians, we must realize that salvation is not about the rituals we perform. It is about the condition of the heart. Only a relationship with Jesus brings salvation.
Prayer: Father, may I never boast in anything except the cross of Christ. No earthly accomplishment could ever compare to Jesus laying down His life for me, according to Your will. What an indescribable gift You have given me! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: What does today’s teaching indicate about how we should view religious accomplishments, spiritual disciplines or strict rules we follow as Christians?