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January 26th, 2018 - Phil 3:4-7

                         Daily Devotional <> January 26, 2018 <> Friday

                        Paul's commitment to Christ <> Philippians 3:4-7

                            Point of Contact <> Bro. Ben Van Winkle

 

   Paul thought of how men boast of their fleshly achievements. He thought if they could brag, how much more he could. In the next two verses, he shows that to a certain degree he possessed those natural assets in which man normally glories. “He seemed to belong to every kind of organization which excites the dreams & kindles the aspirations of men.”

   Concerning these two verses, the whole stock in trade of the self righteous Pharisees are shown here, he delights to display the fifthly rags & make a show of them openly.

   Now, you will notice here that Paul speaks of the pride of ancestry (V:5a); pride of activity (V:6a); pride of morality (V:6b).

 

   Here is a list of Paul's natural & fleshly advantages:

   circumcised the eighth day <> he was a Jew by birth, not an Ishmaelite or a convert to Judaism.

   Of the stock of Israel <> a member of God's chosen earthly people.

   Of the tribe of Benjamin <> a tribe that was considered an aristocratic leader (Judges 5:14), & the one that gave Israel their first king.

   A Hebrew of the Hebrews <> he belonged to that segment of the nation that had held onto their original language, customs & usages.

   Concerning the law a Pharisee <> the Pharisees had remained orthodox, where the Sadducees had abandoned  the doctrine of the resurrection.

   Concerning zeal, persecuting the church <> Paul sincerely thought he had been doing God's service when he had tried to wipe out the Christians. He saw it as a threat to his own religion & felt he must exterminate it.

   Concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless <> this does not mean that Paul had perfectly kept the law. He confesses in Romans 7:9, 10 that such was not the case. He speaks of being blameless, not sinless. We can only conclude that when Paul violated any part of the law, he was careful to bring the proper sacrifice. In other words, he had been a stickler in seeking to observe, the rules of Judaism to the letter.

 

   So, as to the birth, pedigree, orthodoxy, zeal, & personal righteousness, Saul of Tarsus was an outstanding man.

 

   But now Paul makes this great renunciation. Here he gives us his own “profit & loss statement.” On the one side the above mentioned items, the things that had been gain to him. On the other side he writes the single word “Christ.”These all amount to nothing when compared with the treasure which he had found in Christ. He counted them loss for Christ. One has said it like this “All financial gain, all material gain, all intellectual gain, all moral gain, & all religious gain <> all these are no gain at all compared with the great gain.”

 

   As long as he trusted in these things, he could never have been saved, they no longer mean anything to him, because he had seen the glory of the Lord, & all other glories seem like nothing in comparison.