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: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Paul had every reason to boast in the flesh, to boast in the good works which he had performed in the religion which he had pursued for so long before his conversion to Christianity. Paul had every “good work” mastered, he pursued his religion with the utmost zeal, he had a very noble bloodline from which he had descended, he was circumcised on the eighth day and came from the tribe of Benjamin which was one of the two tribes who did not revolt against God centuries earlier. Everything about Paul’s life was perfect, or so he had thought. So often in our Christian lives we tend to act like Paul did prior to his conversion. We have a confidence in the flesh, thinking that our duties and relationship with God is dependent upon our own performance. Should we have a bad day where we sin and fail to live as we should, we view our relationship with God as broken and view ourselves as a failure and worthless to God. Instead we should remember what Paul reminds us here in this passage; our standing and position with God is not determined by our own works of the flesh, which even our best attempts are unclean and unfit for God, but our standing with God is determined by the finished work of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross. It is in this we stand as followers of Christ, reminded that our position and relationship with God is never determined by our works by the work of Jesus Christ. As you go throughout your day and week, meditate on what Christ has done for you and be thankful for this wonderful truth we have to live by.