No Confidence in the Flesh - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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No Confidence in the Flesh

 

June 3

 

Read Philippians 3:3-4 (ESV)

For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more...

 

Reflect

What works of the flesh have you placed your confidence in?

 

Do you remember the dirty dogs we discussed yesterday? They were false teachers who preached a false gospel of legalism. They claimed that our works could influence our salvation. For example, they required a literal circumcision of the flesh. But circumcision never had the power to save anyone. It was always symbolic. It was an outward sign that the Jews belonged to God. But they were to worship Him as their God inwardly—with their whole hearts.

 

The prophet Jeremiah called God’s people out on this as he warned them that they would be invaded if they did not repent and turn back to God. He said, “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem…” As Jews, these men were likely physically circumcised. But inwardly, their hearts were far from the Lord. Jeremiah was pleading with the Jews to cut out the things in their lives that were keeping them from being wholeheartedly dedicated to God. Basically, our outward, fleshly actions do not count for anything. What matters is internal and spiritual.

 

In today’s verse, when Paul says that “we are the circumcision,” he doesn’t mean that we all have to be outwardly circumcised. He says that we are the ones “who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus.” We are His people because we worship Him, not because we have been marked with an outward sign. We “glory in Christ” not in our good works done in flesh because we know that only Jesus saves us. We cannot save ourselves.

 

In Galatians, Paul repeatedly discussed the futility of being confident in a work of the flesh, such as circumcision, for salvation. In Galatians 5:6 Paul says, “For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

 

Paul told the early church that they shouldn’t place their hope for salvation in any fleshly work. Religious ceremonies and activities do not have the power to save! You probably aren’t being told to trust in circumcision for your salvation these days. But chances are, at one point or another, you have bought into the lie that your good works can influence your salvation. Maybe you’ve trusted in baptism for your salvation. Maybe you think if you just do enough good deeds, it will outweigh the bad so you can get your ticket to heaven. But Paul is clear that we should not place our confidence in these things.

 

Friends, Jesus Christ is our only confidence. Trusting in Him and His saving work on the cross is the only way we can be sure that we have been saved. No matter how much confidence we think we can place in our flesh, we are wrong. Today, do a heart check. Are you trusting in something other than or in addition to Jesus for salvation? If so, cut it out. He’s already done the work of your salvation on the cross! Turn your heart back to Him and place your full confidence in Him.

 

Pray

Jesus, my hope is in You alone! I am so thankful that I don’t have to work to earn my salvation because I know I would come up short. Thank You that I can glory in You alone. Amen.

 

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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a year ago
As Your Word has said, the flesh and the works thereof profit us nothing. So teach me to depend on You and the quickening of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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a year ago
In Christ alone.Amen.
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1 reply
a year ago
WE always put our trust and hope in God and not man.
1
a year ago
Amen
Help me to see how I can love those around me throughout my day, to see how I can love like You.
2
a year ago
When I came to the end of myself , Jesus was there with open arms. Saved me, and changed me. Christ lives inside of me. Jesus shows his love to others though me, and this too the Work, and Power of God the Spirit. Praise God !
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a year ago
Jesus is very clear how we are to live, doing all things with our hearts filled with The Love of Jesus Christ. Yes when we open our hearts accepting Jesus in, Jesus does in fact say we are to be reborn Batized in the sea of His blood. Which He gave upon The Cross shedding His Blood and life for us!
Jesus is clear no one will come to The Father without coming through Me. Jesus commandments are clear read them, We are to Love God and all people.

Jesus tells us in Mark 16:16 that “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. He goes on his way rejoicing because he has been forgiven of his sins.

Matthew 3:16-17 says, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Christians believe Jesus was baptized so that he could become like one of us. This shows his great humility. He set an example for us to follow. Jesus' baptism was also an opportunity to show his authority as God confirmed he was his Son.

All of Jesus disciples were Batized that speaks volumes itself after Jesus was.

Baptism is an act of obedience.

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28.18-20

Baptism declares what you believe. It is the action that conveys what has taken place in your heart. If Jesus really is what you say He is to you, there is an action that He asks you to take.

After repentance of your sins and placing faith in Jesus Christ, baptism is the way of giving an outward testimony to an inward work of God.

Baptism is an act of Identity.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. – Galatians 3:27

When you are baptized, you are identifying yourself with the gospel of Jesus. According to the Bible, baptism is a symbolic act whereby a Christian identifies with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Baptism identifies us as new creations in Christ. By going down in the water, we illustrate that our old life is dead to sin and buried by faith in Christ. By being raised up out of the water, we show that our new life is raised by the Spirit and made alive by faith in Christ.

I’ve heard it said like this, “Baptism is a public declaration of a new association.” You are identifying yourself as a Christ-follower. You’re going public with the fact that you’ve made a decision to follow Christ. Your identity is in Christ.

Baptism is an act of renewal.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6.1-4

Baptism is letting everyone know there is a new you. You are no longer what you used to be. Because of Jesus you are a new creation. Since your new Master is the Lord Jesus, you commit to walk in righteousness—not by your old ways and fleshly habits but by your new life in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. You’re on a new path. Through Christ, you are new!

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 1 Corinthians 5.17

Again Jesus tells us were are to be Batized through and in Him, that is whe He gave us life back through Him reborn from old to new life through Jesus Christ Amen
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