Bible League: Living His Word (8/27/21)


We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.
— Philippians 3:3 NLT


Here’s the main issue of life: We are sinners and we need salvation. We are sinners and we need to be righteous before God. How shall this issue be resolved?

Our verse for today says that there are two possible ways to resolve the issue. You can rely on what Jesus Christ has done for us or you can rely on human ability and effort. The latter way maintains that there are certain things that must be done in order to attain salvation and in order to be righteous before God. The latter way also believes that it is possible for human beings to do the things that are required for salvation and righteousness.

The former way, in contrast, maintains that the only way to attain salvation is to believe in Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. The former way also believes that it is not possible for human beings to do anything to earn salvation from God. Although those who truly believe in Jesus Christ start to serve Christ in life, there is nothing they can do through human effort that will make them righteous before God. Only the blood of Jesus can save us and make us righteous.

The Apostle Paul rejects the latter way and embraces the former way. He says he and the Philippian church “put no confidence in human effort.” From Paul’s point of view, it is not possible for mere human effort to attain salvation and righteousness apart from Jesus Christ. From Paul’s point of view, human effort is a poor substitute for Christ.

However, we live in a world that places a lot of confidence in human ability and effort. We live in a world that teaches people how to be self-reliant, self-sufficient, and self-confident. Paul’s biblical point of view, in contrast, places no confidence in the abilities and efforts of human beings. We don’t need self-reliance, we need Christ-reliance. We don’t need self-sufficiency, we need Christ-sufficiency. We don’t need self-confidence, we need Christ-confidence. Instead of learning how to rely on ourselves and believe in ourselves, we need to learn how to rely on Jesus and believe in Jesus.

The main issue of life will not be properly resolved until we realize that we can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ (see John 15:5).

© 2016 by Bible League Internationa




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