Put no confidence in the flesh ...

Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reasons for such confidence. -Philippians 3:2-4 NLT

When Paul says that we are people who "put no confidence in the flesh" he is speaking directly to the false notion that the Jews were part of God's elect simply because of their ethnicity. In just a few words he dispels the idea that his fleshly relatives had some sort of a privileged position with God simply because they were circumcised when they were young. These days some might substitute having confidence in their infant baptism for confidence in circumcision.

The myth of salvation through ethnicity was fully dispelled when God revealed to Peter in Acts 10 that non-Jews are not unclean. Peter responded to this revelation by saying "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right." Paul and Peter both understood that salvation is an issue of faith and not ethnicity or tradition. We who serve God by his Spirit boast in Christ Jesus alone.

Help us to be aware Lord. Teach us to put no confidence in ourselves or the religious things that we do.

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