I was raised to be good and right.
I followed the rules.
I was sure Jesus saved me, but also believed my works kept me saved.
“We come from good stock.”
(No one is good but God.)
“But, we go to the right church. Those other churches don’t understand what it takes to truly be a Christian.”
(God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.)
“I can’t dance. It’s against my religion.”
(Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.)
I once thought all these things were so very important,
but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
Yes, everything else is worthless
when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
I have discarded everything else,
counting it all as garbage,
so that I may have Christ and become one with Him.
I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law,
but I trust Christ to save me.
For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith.
As a result, I can really know Christ
and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.
I can learn what it means to suffer with Him, sharing in His death,
so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things
or that I have already reached perfection!
But I keep working toward that day when…
I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,
but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize
for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
~from Philippians 3