In chapter 3 Paul reflects on his Christian transformation. Paul demonstrates the contrast between his pre-Christian self and his faith in Jesus, in order to demonstrate the conflict between the church and their Judaizing opponents. The church’s opponents called into question their righteousness and the legitimacy of their salvation because they taught that salvation required certain religious actions. Paul urges the church to stand firm in the truth that salvation comes only at God’s initiative and through faith in Jesus. Paul’s only focus is on Jesus and the gospel.
We live in a society that will constantly call into question our allegiance to Jesus and the gospel. Our lives are filled with every kind of advice to live a better life and create a better you. At best, the world tells us, Jesus is one of many ways to make our lives better: the cherry on the top. But Paul’s reminder to us is that Jesus is everything.
Phil. 3:7-11 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Scripture focus: Read Philippians 3
Reflect on how your faith in Jesus is challenged by the world around us. How do we maintain our faithfulness to Jesus and embody our faith in relationship to our neighbours, co-workers and family members who have not received the gospel?