Pedigree

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Philippians 3:4-13

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (v. 7)

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had I been born in the slums of New Delhi or in the jungles of Brazil. I would undoubtedly be an entirely different person today – if indeed I would still be alive.

Where you were born, who your parents are, the type of upbringing you experienced, and the economic opportunities you have had all play a significant role in who you are today. Change any one of them and life would be greatly altered.

The apostle Paul had all the right elements in his pedigree. His lineage went back to Jacob’s son Benjamin and perhaps to Israel’s first king, Saul. He had a strict Jewish upbringing, being circumcised on his eighth day. He trained as a Pharisee under the distinguished rabbi Gamaliel. Religiously speaking, Paul had it all.

But none of these blessings, Paul says, can produce a single drop of grace that leads to salvation. In fact, Paul’s entire background he considers “garbage” because it didn’t offer one stitch of God’s mercy. It’s the same for us. We are not redeemed because of a privileged childhood. We are saved only by God’s free grace received by faith. What brings us into God’s fold is not who we are but whether we have received Jesus Christ as Savior.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I stand amazed at your freely given grace. May I look to you alone for my salvation. Amen.