It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gains and Losses, a Reflection on Philippians 3:4b-9

We have become so accustomed to hearing that Paul renounced Judaism and the law that we may have begun to believe it. Paul here reminds the Philippians of his allegiance to law and traditions. The law was the way that faithful persons could live out the lives that God intended for them. As Allen & Williamson put it, "a person followed the law to embody the righteousness that God bestowed through grace."

Despite his own background, Paul now regards his achievements and gifts as of little value. Again, from A&W, "he is convinced that through Christ, God is fulfilling God's promises by welcoming the Gentiles."

In their People's New Testament Commentary, Eugene Boring and Fred Craddock relate this passage to 2:6-11 that describes Christ as giving up all claim to equality with God in exchange for obedient service:
Paul tells his own story here for the same reason. Giving ourselves up to God is total trust, having no claims, seeking no advantage, but in service to one another leaving our status before God entirely in God's hands.

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