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The Journal

Right not wrong

Being righteous Dear Friends, We have really enjoyed a number of celebrations recently. There has been a number of birthdays including my own. We also rejoiced with Eva Jones who has reached 100 recently as well as our baptism service with Freddie and Rory. One of the distinctives of the New Testament is that we are to be people of joy and celebration. Today in Philippians 3:1-11 Paul chiefly celebrates the righteousness of Christ which means that before God because of what Christ has done and through faith in Him we are counted as right before God. God sees us as beautiful and perfect because of what Jesus has done. It is hard for us to appreciate this because we are so use to doing things to achieve our value whether in education or work but salvation is totally a gift based on what Christ has done. Paul says this gift is so much more valuable than anything else and he calls it the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. He says that everything else is a loss compared to knowing Christ. He uses quite strong language to warn the Christians at Philippi to not lose their joy and to warn about people who would change the gift of God’s righteousness into something we achieve or earn by our own merits. He calls these false teachers dogs and he reinforces this perspective by saying that his old life despite the high status he had as a Pharisee and a Jew was rubbish or dung compared to knowing Jesus. This righteousness is won for us by Jesus as we remember that he died on the cross for our sin and carried God’s judgement for our sin and conferred on us the status of being righteous. This is what actually builds joy when we remember this incredible gift of God won at the cost of Jesus’ death and suffering for our sin. This is a precious gift which brings joy to us. We must turn away from all attempts at self salvation where we justify ourselves or find value in what we do as a basis for salvation. We trust alone in what Christ has done ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara