PUT NO CONFIDENCE in 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—” Philippians 3:3 And have no confidence in the flesh. This phrase stuck in my mind this morning and I could not get away from it. I found a great commentary on this verse, particularly this phrase from Cambridge Bible: “The flesh”—a most important word in the distinctive teaching of St Paul. A fair popular equivalent for it would be “self,” as far as that word expresses that attitude or condition of our moral being which is not subject to God’s law or reliant on His grace.
The “flesh” is sometimes that state, or element, of man in which sin predominates; whatever in man is not ruled and possessed by the Holy Spirit; the unsanctified intellect, the unsanctified affections. The “flesh” is sometimes, again, as here, anything other than God taken by man as his trust and strength, e.g. religious observances regarded as occasion for self-confidence.”If you read all this in context, Paul’s only hope was in Christ alone, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11.
He didn’t hope in his Jewish lineage, his family tree, his ability to know the law, his zeal, his work for God, nor his own acts of righteousness. He put no confidence in his body being healthy or well, or himself being free or imprisoned, on the sea or on the land, in foreign lands or his home country. “Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.” 2 Corinthians 11:18 Here Paul responds to those who do glory in their own works, achievements, their “self”; that he had more right than them to boast. He is being facetious. He had more rights to boast than any man and yet he couldn’t. He had died to himself and was raised a new creation in Christ. Therefore, Christ lived in Him and he was subject to His Lordship.
Put no confidence in your flesh. There’s no hope in our flesh. There’s no soundness or firmness in our own way of thinking apart from God’s Word. There’s no safety or security in doing things our own way. There’s no soundness in trusting our own intellect. I can’t trust my flesh. I can’t trust my stinking thinking. I can’t trust my physical body, whether I am sick or well. I can’t trust in my circumstances and whether I am abased or I abound. I can’t trust my stomach and whether I’m hungry or I’m full- I put no confidence in my flesh. Are you getting it yet? Is this word sinking in? Indeed to trust in ANYTHING outside of Christ, or short of Him; is to have your hope misplaced. The character and description of a true believer in Christ is to have no confidence in our self. We do not rest, or trust, or place our hope in ANY carnal or external privilege or performance, or any other thing besides Jesus Christ. Therefore, press on Christian soldier!
God will do what He said He would do. God is not a man that He should lie. Is there anything too difficult for Him? Why are you limiting a limitless God. Run your race and keep your eyes on the prize! Stop worrying about what others are doing. As my husband says, “the world is going to world”. We have no part in it. We are not of this world. Do what He’s told you to do. Stop looking for approval from man. If you finish your race, you will be amply rewarded by the Father. Rise up and strengthen your arms! Put on the mind of Christ. Obey God. Don’t bow to Nebuchadnezzar but stay in the fire and you will come forth as gold. Do not fear, for fear brings a fog of deception. Fear God only and you need not fear anything. I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it. #runyourrace
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