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Archive for January 15th, 2023

What kind of righteousness do you have?

Posted by appolus on January 15, 2023

Php 3:7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 

What things were previously gain to Paul? Paul had just laid out his religious qualifications. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. No one among the group he was describing, the Christian ministers from Jerusalem, was more qualified than he was. And yet these qualifications merely led to “the righteousness of the law.” These men who boasted of their qualifications in order to elevate themselves had their mind set on the things of the world. They desired to be elevated in the eyes of men. They boasted. Yet, Paul says that their God was their belly and their glory was actually their shame.

Brothers and sisters, we are either heavenly minded or earthly minded. You cannot be both, its a mind set. Its the seat of your affections. It will determine the words that come out of your mouth and the way that you live your life before the world. Paul is having the same problem in this chapter as he had in 1 Cor 12. There he spoke of the dangers of talking about your spiritual revelations, calling himself a fool, but having been once again compelled to put a certain group of people in their place and call them out. Both in 1 Cor 12 and in this chapter he boasts about first, his infirmities and secondly his losses. For in speaking in this manner, he is humbled and Christ is elevated.

And so what is the key teaching of this chapter three? It is the dichotomy between having a “righteousness,” that comes from the law, and having a righteousness “which is from God by faith.” The first puffs you up. It seeks to elevate you. It causes you to become “enemies of the cross of Christ.” It shall destroy you. It shall cause you to worship worldly things. Your god shall be “your belly, meaning your lifestyle, gains made by merchandising the things of God, thus enriching yourself. You will seek and often attain fame and that fame, in the spiritual realm, is your very shame. The second righteousness , that which is from God by faith enables you “to know Him and the power of His resurrection.”

To know Him intimately it to gain the everlasting life, resurrection life! To have this kind of righteousness causes you to walk in resurrection power, the power of the risen Christ. This righteousness grants you the right, yes that’s right, the right and the privilege to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings. In this way we are conformed to His death, even the death of the cross and to His life, yes even the life of His resurrection. All of this leads to eternal life. Might I suggest you refrain from boasting in anything other than the cross of Christ and your infirmities and loss, that the power of Christ may rest upon you. What kind of righteousness do you have?

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