Where is Your Confidence?
Written by Sarah E. Frazer (First 5 Ministries)
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
My daughter walked in with her head held high. Her new shoes clicked across the tile as she strode across the room. Her back was straight and her hair was fixed perfectly. At only seven years old, she knew who she was and whose she was.
What about us? Do we, as believers in the God of the heavens, possess confidence because of who we are and whose we are? We should! In today’s passage, Paul shows us three ways we can live in true confidence because of Christ.
- True Confidence is Rooted in Joy
We’ve talked a lot about joy in Philippians, but did you know the word “rejoice” in Philippians 3:1 is a command? I’m not saying feign joy. Rejoicing isn’t about happy feelings. As believers, we don’t rejoice in or because of our circumstances. We rejoice in Christ! Joy is not dependent on externalities. Joy stems from praying, progressing in the faith and knowing Christ. (Philippians 1:3-4; Philippians 1:25; Philippians 2:1) True confidence rejoices in Christ even though we might sorrow in our circumstances.
- True Confidence Rejects False Doctrine
Some might tell you salvation is based on “Christ and …” They might add to the gospel. Paul warns the believers at Philippi, and us today, that this is false teaching. Those who would make us earn our salvation were called “dogs” and “evildoers” (Philippians 3:2). Jesus also condemned the Pharisees for their false teachings. (Matthew 12:34-37) True confidence can never stand on a false doctrine. Instead, our confidence is based on knowing the truth! The truth is Jesus died on the cross for our sins and lives a resurrected life. And He has offered that new life to me. (Galatians 2:20) True confidence rejects anything that teaches otherwise.
- True Confidence Reflects the Savior
How do we gain this confidence? We realize we can do nothing to save ourselves, and Christ is the one who will present us perfect to God. (Philippians 1:6) True confidence doesn’t come from us. It comes from Christ. We worship, glory and rest in all of who Christ is – not in ourselves. We are not to be boastful people. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We are to be people who reflect the light of the Son of God. True confidence rests in a right relationship with God.
We can know who we are and whose we are because of what Christ has provided for us. Paul says, “we are the circumcision” (Philippians 3:3). In Romans, Paul refers to a circumcision of the heart. He says, “circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Romans 2:29). Let us rejoice with Paul today, knowing we are God’s heart-circumcised people who daily place our confidence in Christ!