Q: What is a Christian?
A: A Christian is someone who has shredded his religious resume.
In Paul’s experience, in Philippians chapter three, he had a sterling resume: he was born a Jew, studied under the best rabbis, obeyed God’s laws, and was religiously zealous to the point of persecuting Christians.
Today, a religious resume might include: faithful church attendance, a daily devotional time, running a good Christian home, serving the community or the church, being a good neighbor, and loving your family.
Everybody is building a resume. This world exists on resumes. You need one for a job, to get into a prestigious school, to become a professional sports player, to join an exclusive club. It’s a way of presenting your best qualities for the utmost impact in order to be accepted.
Paul, whose pedigree outshone most people of his day, declared his resume worthless in comparison to what he gained in Christ. He said that he had only one thing on his resume: Jesus Christ and his righteousness. Everything else was spiritual bankruptcy, dung.
Stop trying to be a good Christian!
If you’re counting on your best traits, your sterling character, and your amazing accomplishments to make God accept you, you’re trusting in the dung pile. These are the very things that hinder you from embracing the all-sufficient righteousness that is yours in Christ.
Conversely, if you think you’re so depraved and worthless that God could never accept you, you’re also trusting in the dung pile. You’re unworthiness is no match for God’s grace. Christ came to save sinners just like you.
The truth is there is no righteousness outside of Christ, even if you were perfect in yourself (which you are not) or unworthy in yourself (which you are).
As a Christian, your resume is an alien resume. God gives it to you as a free gift. It’s 100% acceptable in God’s sight. You didn’t earn it. Christ did. And you don’t maintain it. Christ does.