Happy Thursday, and you all know what that signifies…!
Our reading today is Philippians Chapter 3 verses 1 to 11.
Paul suddenly changes gear and goes on the attack against those he believes are bringing false teaching into the church, principally it seems insisting on circumcision for every Christian man, even if they are from a Gentile rather than a Jewish background. And behind the idea of circumcision of course, is that it is to do with law and works, rather than faith and grace.
And so he uses quite graphic language calling them ‘dogs’ and ‘mutilators of the flesh’ (v.2) – almost the equivalent of 1st century swearing!
He claims instead in v.3 that all those who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and who put no confidence in the flesh (their own human nature) are the true circumcision.
He then writes of his pure and impeccable Jewish credentials (vs.4-6), but would discard them all (consider them rubbish – v.8) for what is REALLY important, a relationship with Jesus Christ through faith, the One who is Saviour and Lord (vs.7-11).
A personal testimony like this makes his position very clear.
Most of you will know the worship song written by Graham Kendrcik a few years ago, All I once held dear, which is based on this passage, and reminds us today that our own heritage or possessions, our skills and talents, the things that the world around us thinks important, are nothing compared to knowing Jesus and being found in Him.
For 2 different versions, one in the studio with lyrics, and one live at the Royal Albert Hall, hopefully will inspire you for the day ahead!
In our extended church address list let us pray today for those former church members who have been joining us via Zoom during this lockdown period,
– Vikkie & Robbie
– Champa and family