1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 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.

Paul had reason to boast. He had a history that he could have trusted in to get him through. In his own words, “as for righteousness based on the law, faultless”. But Paul didn’t hang his hat on those achievements. Instead, he counted the gains that were due him in this world as losses and garbage. And they are of no value when it comes to being clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Everything this world has to offer pails in comparison to knowing Jesus and abiding in Him. All the accolades and praise this world can give are not worth a lick in the kingdom of God.

  • What do you let get in the way knowing Christ Jesus more perfectly?
  • What have you held on to that keeps you from receiving more from Christ?
  • What righteousness of your own do you look for praise or affirmation from?

As Paul did, can you count it all as loss for the sake of knowing Christ Jesus? Can you see it as worthless when compared to the surpassing greatness of intimacy with Christ? Now here these words from God, “Well done good and faithful servant”. Let that be our goal instead.