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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#189 – WHERE IS YOUR CONFIDENCE? (10/9/20)

What are the kinds of things that we can mistakenly put our confidence in for salvation or for God to be more favourable toward us?

Paul uses himself as an example of one who could take pride and confidence in his past and works for self-salvation. Paul writes,

‘…Though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put 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; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.’ (Philippians 3:4-9)

However, Paul has rejected all spiritual pride and has dropped everything in order to trust in Jesus alone.

None of Paul’s works or heritage were of any help in his becoming righteous before our holy God. To outward appearance, Paul could say of himself, ‘as for righteousness based on the law, faultless’. However, he came to see that he was a sinner. We read of his inner turmoil in Romans 7; he writes,

‘We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.’ (Romans 7:14-15)

The Holy Spirit through various means, convicts us - robs us of self-confidence - and brings us to the realisation that we are sinners. He reveals that we are helpless, are under God’s wrath and need salvation from Him.

Thankfully, the gospel gives us the alternative to self-salvation. God gifts us with his perfect righteousness through faith alone! Compared to this gift of grace all of our efforts are ‘garbage’ in comparison the God’s gift and the perfect righteousness that we need.


May our confidence in Jesus grow and grow. To this end, spend time meditating on Philippians 3:7-9.




It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Apart from your family members, dog/cat etc. if your home burnt down, what 2 things would you save and why?

Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday we saw that Paul, used himself as an example of someone who could have put confidence in his good works and heritage for salvation. However, he has counted all self-confidence as ‘rubbish’ compared to the gift God God’s perfect righteousness that is ours through faith in Jesus.

We are all in danger of falling into legalism (trust in our performance) for salvation. God encourages us, through this text, to rejoice in and repeat the gospel to ourselves as a safeguard.

Discuss in your group

(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)

Please read Philippians 3:1 and discuss: Rejoicing in the Lord has an emphasis on remembering the gospel. Why and from what is this a ‘safeguard’?

Please read Philippians 3:2-3 and Discuss: Being the ‘true circumcision’ is short-hand for being God’s true people. What does Paul say are the marks of God’s people?

Please read Philippians 3:8-9 and discuss:

i) How does one become righteous?

ii) How should considering Jesus to be of ‘surpassing worth’ effect our lives?

Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?

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