Flesh vs. Spirit

Philippians 3:7-11

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Where is your confidence placed? When you think about the things you’re most confident in, what would you write down? Paul gives us a glimpse into his pre-Christ state and his post-Christ state. And what’s most striking are the things he was once most confident in, or found the most value in, he now considers rubbish. Paul realized something the day God met him on the road to Damascus: the real value he found was in knowing Christ, nothing else mattered. Knowing Christ deeply and continuing the mission were the life anthems of Paul. Could that same thing be said about you?

There has always been a great battle in Christian living—Flesh vs. Spirit. The battle has been throughout the history of mankind starting with Adam and Eve in the garden, throughout the Gospels, in the early Church in Acts, and will continue until all is made whole through the second coming of Jesus. But the battle creates an issue: it is impossible to have supreme confidence in our flesh and still follow Christ fully. For so long we have believed that following the law, doing the right things, checking off our list to make sure we are “being good,” unfortunately that puts more confidence and trust in our ability rather than who Christ is and what He did.

When Paul stepped out of himself, he stepped into the fullness of Jesus Christ. More Him, less me. There is nothing wrong, with spiritual disciplines or working to draw closer to Christ, we should be doing those things, but we can’t allow them to become the end all of our relationship. Our flesh will fail, but our faith will prosper. Our righteousness comes not from what we do or who we are, but from what Jesus did and who He is.


  1. What keeps you from placing complete confidence in Jesus and the mission of the Gospel?
  2. Why was it so important for Paul (if you don’t know much about his story look it up and read it) to consider his fleshly gains rubbish? Why is it for us as well? 


Father, may the words I read be more than words to me, help me understand and see there is another way by which my life can be lived. Open my eyes that my this life is not to be lived on my own strength, not by any confidence in what I do, but in who you are and what you did for me. May I step out of myself and step into the fullness of your son, Jesus. More Him. Less Me. Amen!

Nick Viers, May 7, 2020
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