A Study of Philippians 3:3

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

What would it mean to you as a sinner to KNOW you possess eternal life?

I know many people live under the false assumption salvation is dependant on a combination of Christ’s death plus their fulfillment of certain conditions. When asked if they know whether or not they are going to heaven their response is usually, “I HOPE SO”.

My question is: Do the Scriptures present salvation as a wish or desire for eternal life based on a sinner fulfilling certain conditions, or do the Scriptures declare a righteousness established for the sinner by Christ’s obedience unto death at Calvary?

The way you answer this question reveals your position before the True and Living God. Many might object and say, “It’s not that I doubt God’s willingness or ability to save, it’s that I doubt MYSELF.” Find one place in God’s Word where it teaches sinners to put any faith or confidence in their ability to do anything to save themselves. The Scriptures declare the opposite: “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3)

If you read this chapter you’ll see the Apostle didn’t place ANY CONFIDENCE in anything he did before or after his conversion as a ground or hope of his eternal life. (See Philippians 3:4-14)

Now if the Apostle Paul didn’t place any confidence in his flesh, what about us?

Paul dealt with this same deadly error of adding anything to Christ’s finished work of redemption in the book of Galatians – “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, CHRIST WILL PROFIT YOU NOTHING.” (Galatians 5:3) When it came to placing NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh, all God’s Apostles were in agreement (Read 1 Peter 1:18-24 and 2 John)

Since it is clearly displayed salvation isn’t conditioned on the sinner, how can we have confidence in this life we possess eternal life?

Back in Philippians 3:3 Paul gives the answer: “For we ARE (RIGHT NOW) the circumcision.” The evidence of our being in a state of justification is we place “NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH”. (See Romans 8:38-39 and 1 Timothy 1:15) The Apostle John tells us: “These THINGS have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may KNOW (literally, to perceive) that you have eternal life, and that you may (continue) to believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

What were the things John had written?

“And this is the record, that God HATH (past tense) given us ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in His Son. He that HATH the Son HATH (possesses) life; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12) Our eternal life is as secure and certain as the Lord Jesus Christ who obtained it for us by His obedience unto death. John put it like this: “As He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

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