June 30, 2022
“Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Messiah and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law...”
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“Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Messiah and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Messiah – the righteousness from God based on faith.” Philippians 3:8b-9
To be “known” is a basic human need. To be “found out” is a basic human fear.
While some strive to project an image of perfection, I don’t think any sane person actually believes they are perfect. It reminds me of the proud man who stated, “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.” Now, that’s denial!
Much of the anxiety in our culture is based on being “known” without being “found out.” Here’s how it works. We are all insecure, so we buy into an image of how we should look, dress, or act. This image is always slightly bigger than life. It is the “us” we want to be. By the way, we get the image(s) from three sources: the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.
If the image is cast well, it is never fully attainable; it is ever elusive, always barely out of reach. So our whole lives are focused on obtaining the impossible. Even if we could obtain the image, we couldn’t sustain it for long. It is constantly morphing. The moment you finally get in fashion, the trends change!!
This is a hurdle for the contemporary church. “Contempo” means “With the times.” The moment a congregation gets “with the times,” the times have already moved on. We must base our ministry on something more solid than a passing social, musical, or style trend. We must build on the solid foundation of Scripture, which never changes.
Deep inside, we know the image is a lie, but we continue to strive for it. This is because we are so afraid of being rejected that we hide in the World under the mask of the image. We simply want to be accepted and valued. That is also why, when people find God’s unconditional love actually determines their worth, they quickly start abandoning their Worldly image pursuits.
Having excelled in non-Messianic Judaism, Paul made it his goal to be known ONLY as a follower of Jesus. He had once tried to live up to the image of a P’rushim (Pharisee). Compared to others, he was outwardly righteous, but inwardly, he was not at peace. Paul counted that former “image” of righteousness as rubbish because it was rooted in lies and fueled by vanity.
In short, we should be “known” as people who were formerly in need of salvation, and we should be “found out” to now be righteous by faith in Messiah, Jesus alone.