Philippians 3:1-6 – No Confidence in the Flesh

A true Christian is one who has “no confidence in the flesh”. This means they have utterly despaired of themselves … are spiritual bankrupt. When the Holy Spirit does a work of grace in someone, He convicts them of their sin. Not just sins, but convicts of the fact that they are sinners by nature and can do nothing to save themselves. There is no pride in physical descent or in natural abilities. This means one who is brought to faith, repents of both their good works and their evil works. Both are equally worthless to God. False teaching glories in something other than in Christ alone, always pointing to something that we can do; a resume we can bring before God to curry His favor, not realizing that He has already adopted us as sons. Not unlike the older brother in the Prodigal son who glories that he has worked for his father all his life, not realizing that God does not first ask us to meet conditions to obtain his love. Those who have confidence in the flesh also tend to believe in Christ PLUS this or that. That Christ saved them, but they must maintain their own justification before God. Glorying in Christ is the antithesis of glorying in the flesh. Pharisees boast before God of what they have done for him. The Christian is one who has empty hands every day and can only thank God for His mercy. He thus relies solely on the righteousness of Christ.

It is the new Covenant in Christ’s blood which “reminds God” not to treat us as our sins justly deserve. True Christians flee to Christ as their only hope. A mark of maturity is that we no longer are constantly worrying about our own spirituality but rather our focus is on Christ and His accomplishments. Those who are glorying the flesh will exhaust themselves because they are constantly looking to their own resources. The cross alone is where we find sanctification. Christians flee to Christ as their only hope casting aside all self-confidence and autonomy. Remember, Paul calls everything other than Christ “rubbish”. Are we trusting in rubbish or in Christ? A.W. Pink, I believe captures the point in a sentence:

“Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.”

John Hendryx

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 3:1-6. Do you ever feel burdened by living the Christian life? Do you ever feel worn down by trying to do all the things you feel like you are expected to do as a good Christian? Take some time to meditate on these verses and remember that you don’t need to rest in the fact that you can’t begin or live the Christian life in the flesh. and that Christ alone is sufficient for your sanctification and growth in godliness.

Song for This Week
Come Behold the Wondrous Cross by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, and Michael Bleecker

Posted on: April 30, 2015 - 10:00PM

Comments are closed.