(A loose and modern-day paraphrase of Philippians 3:4 – 9)
“Years ago, I had my confidence in all the wrong places. I assumed that I could know God and go to heaven on the basis of what I had done. For instance, I was extremely religious. It came naturally. My grandfather was a deacon and my father was too. My parents baptized me right after I was born and took me to church every Sunday. In fact, we never ever missed. Ever.
“Yes, even as a young person, I was very ‘into’ God. I prayed every day…I read the Bible…I almost never sinned. Almost.
“But then I came to understand the impossibly high standard to get into heaven: PERFECTION – God required that there be no sin whatsoever in His presence. And I knew I had a momentous choice to make. I could make plans to present my personal record of ‘righteousness’ to God on Judgment Day, which, though it was pretty good, still had a few holes.
“Or I could make a trade. I could give up all my own so called ‘holiness’, my prayers and church attendance and all around nice-guy behavior, counting it all worthless so that I could grasp the righteousness of Another.
“So…I did it! I gave it all up. Every last good deed. I began to consider all my so-called goodness as totally useless, so that by faith I might count Christ’s perfect record as my own. And glory to God, He was as good as His word…and made me fit for heaven. Hallelujah!”
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. Philippians 3:8-9 (ESV)
For tomorrow: Friday, August 7th: Philippians 4