#DailyDevotion All Our Righteousness Is But Filthy Rags
Php 3:3-7 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— (4) though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: (5) circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (6) as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. (7) But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Who are the circumcision? Those “who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” Paul says, Col 2:11 “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,…” It is a pure and clean heart that Jesus gives us when we were baptized into Christ. There he circumcises our hearts and gives us his Holy Spirit that we may come to him in faith and truth.
We who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus are the true circumcision. To worship by the Spirit of God is not some crazy or ethereal thing. It is to believe the good news. It is to worship trusting we are acceptable before for the sake of Jesus. Worshipping in the Spirit is worshipping trusting that our sins are forgiven us and God has forgotten them. It is to believe we are covered with the righteousness of Christ Jesus and of God, by grace, as a free gift. The opposite of this is putting confidence in the flesh, i.e. we trust we are accepted by God and are pleasing to him because we have been obeying the Law of Moses and of God. But trying to be pleasing to God via keeping the Law of Moses is to live according to the flesh. That is not to say, those who worship in the Spirit and glory in Christ don’t try to live good and upright lives living according to the moral code Jesus has given us in the Gospels and in the Epistles of the Apostles. Indeed, that law which is still God’s will, Jesus and his apostles have taught us. Because we are pleasing to God through faith in Christ and glory in Christ’s work for us we will indeed keep that moral code and try to live God pleasing lives which also pleases God our Father.
Now Paul of all people had confidence to glory in his flesh, i.e. the keeping of the Law and the traditions of the elders. He had a pedigree. He was trained in the Harvard of Judaism in his day. He kept the Law and the traditions as good as and even better than all his pears. He was blameless as to keeping the Law (not that Paul never trespassed the Law but rather made sure the proper sacrifices were made when he sinned). All of this Paul considered as excrement. It was worthless, a loss compare to what Christ gave him.
You see the work of Christ Jesus, his obedience, his suffering, his death, his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father is far more glorious than any keeping of the Law we may do, including circumcision. For Christ Jesus offers to us freely, by grace, as a gift the work he has done. He gives us all the credit for his righteousness for free. Our righteousness is but filthy rags. Jesus’ righteousness is our glory. It is to Jesus’ glory and praise that he gives is to us. We simply believe and trust that this is so and rejoice in it.
Heavenly Father, may we so give Christ Jesus the glory due him, hating our own righteousness and clinging solely to the righteousness given us by Jesus through faith in his name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.