Paul Seriously Lacked Confidence


This is part two of "The Work of Christ" series.

What would happen if you were in an accident and couldn't read your Bible, or attend church, or fellowship with the saints for two months? What would happen if you were bedridden for the rest of your life and could no longer participate in "your ministry". How would you feel if you couldn't write, or teach children's ministry, or sing on a worship team, or preach, or go on missions trips for the rest of your life? Would your confidence in God's love for you waver? Would you wonder if God was still pleased with you?

I recently read Philippians 3:3 and was forced to ask myself those same questions. It says, "For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh..." I'm strongly tempted to put my confidence in the flesh, or in other words, in the things that I do. If I read my Bible every day during the week, and post some encouraging things on this blog, and don't waste too much time watching television, and encourage at least one person in my small group, and serve my wife, than I feel pretty confident that God approves of me. But if I fail to do these things my confidence in God's love and approval can waver.

As I read Philippians 3:3, I was forced to ask myself, "Where is my confidence? Is it in myself, or in the glorious, finished, complete work of Christ?" The Apostle Paul refused to put confidence in himself. Paul, the charismatic church planter, the author of large portions of the New Testament, refused to trust in anything he accomplished to bring him into the favor of God. Paul rejected his own works and trusted passionately, joyfully, and wholeheartedly in the work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. This was Paul's only hope for salvation and it is our only hope as well.

Friends, let us emulate Paul. Let us reject any hope we have in our good works and place our hope fully on the perfect work of Christ. Throw aside any hope you have in your works and cling to the cross of Christ. God isn't pleased with you because of your serving, or preaching, or blogging, or encouraging, or Bible reading. He is pleased with you because He is pleased with Christ.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:19 AM  


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