PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬-‭6‬ ‭‬‬

“For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬-‭6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is an imported virtue in modern Christian circles that states that “Christians ought to be sterile, impersonal, and dispassionate while sharing the gospel.” We have a tendency to believe that something is less believable if it appeals to personal anecdotes or relies on authority or accolade. It is important to note that Paul uses both things in tandem with each other. In one hand, he quotes numerous scriptures to give credence to his position. On the other hand, he clearly states the personal truths as well. In this culture, interweaving such things could be seen as bragging, pride or even shaming. We are told to, “let the gospel speak for itself.” Paul’s example makes it clear to us that an appropriate method for doing so is to allow the gospel’s personal affect on your life to be made known. In this context, providing history, setting and other personal details enriches the gospel narrative and is appropriate to proper exegesis, admonishment and counseling. We ought to take Paul’s example as a descriptive gateway to being an effective communicator. We need not be sterile and dispassionate with our congregants. It is not shaming to note how God has moved in your life, even as a direct comparison with others.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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