Bible Book: Philippians / Filipense
Chapter: 3
Verse: 4
Verse (to): 14


Philippians 3:4-14

In verses 5 and 6 Paul lists seven things that he counted as gains before he met Jesus. We should not underestimate the role, importance and value Paul previously attached to them. They were very dear to him. It gave him identity, worth and security. It was, however, a false sense of security that Paul trusted in. For there is one thing that they could not give him: true life in Christ.
Paul could only comprehend the limits of his previous religious life once he had met the risen Christ on the Damascus road. Then he understood the difference between trusting in false securities and depending on Christ. Now he could look back and say, “Though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!” (verse 4 NLT). But now his relationship with Christ gives him a new confidence, to “be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (verse 9 TNIV).
Is it possible for us as Christians to agree with Paul about receiving righteousness through faith in Christ and still have false securities?
Yes, it is indeed possible. Paul himself taught the Philippians the true message of salvation through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. However, it seems that they easily yielded to the teaching of others who proclaimed that they needed something more.
There are many things that have the potential of becoming false securities in our lives: depending on the stock exchange for a comfortable retirement; trusting in political leaders for a better life; believing that bad things only happen to bad people; etc.
The story of Paul’s life warns us against such false securities. Remember: He was in prison while writing this letter.
To think about (or discuss): Are there “false securities” that may put us at risk in the context of the HIV pandemic?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English