Man’s Effort is Not Enough
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:6)
In Philippians 3:6, Paul outlined two facts to prove his personal striving for righteousness.
First, Paul explained that he was so zealous for the things of God that he persecuted the church. Paul's persecution of Christians proved to the Jews that he was committed to the Law. He put his reputation and safety at risk to go after people who were not living according to the Law.
The second proof Paul presented about his personal efforts to be seen as right with God was the fact that no one could say that he had broken one law in his adult life. That's an incredible feat! He said that no one would have the opportunity to cast blame on him. In other words, Paul was known among his neighbors to be the most morally perfect.
Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to live a morally perfect life without Jesus?
Thank God for Jesus, Who gave us His righteousness, so we don't have to rely on our own. The righteousness that believers walk in is not based on the number of good deeds that we do or the perfection with which we have followed God’s law. Instead, we are righteous because Jesus gave His righteousness to us.
Yes, we should live holy lives, but we cannot earn our way into heaven. We cannot earn favor with God. However, we can and should accept everything that Jesus has provided for us and walk in authority because His righteousness is perfect.
Practical Application – Man’s effort is never enough. If you are tempted to beat yourself up because of a mistake or imperfection, repent of the wrongdoing and then say this out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” Remind yourself that Jesus made your righteous. You are forgiven and favored in God’s eyes.
1 Corinthians 3:15; Ephesians 2:8