Paul uses the phrase “have no confidence in the flesh” in Philippians 3:3,4. It is in the context of circumcision, an outward thing done to the flesh that often substituted for any spiritual reality.
Paul talks about his own life under the law where he saw himself as blameless. Then he met Christ and saw his blame and counted all the past as dung.
People frequently point to some thing they do in the flesh to prove a hoped for spiritual reality. Although circumcision isn’t at the top of our list, I have heard the following
–I’m in full-time ministry
–I taught Sunday School for 20 years
–I was an elder/deacon/board member
–My kids turned out well
–I won the Super Bowl
The list goes on and on to greater and greater ridiculousness. We worship God in the Spirit. This worship in the Spirit will indeed effect life in the flesh, but all too often we go for some flesh proof first and skip the Spirit stuff altogether.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
That is a scary verse! These are people who did miracles and yet the Judge will declare their miracles as nothing but works of iniquity.
So, what religious hoop-jumping has your flesh done that you are clinging to in hopes of attaining heaven?
Spiritual life does not look like religious hoop-jumping; it looks like Christ. As Paul says a few verses later in Philippians 3, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
Do you want to know Christ, or are you content to know your jumping through hoop skills? Hoop jumping is infinitely easier and is the realm where most professed Christians reside. But worshiping God in the Spirit results in new life, in death to the old life and a seeking for Christ.
Read it and, if it seems appropriate, weep.