Pedigree and Performance

Some people are proud of their family and their achievements. Paul was one of them until he met Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:6)
Zeal without knowledge: Being a student of Gamaliel, Paul had memorized the first five books of the Bible. Paul was zealous for the Law of Moses. He was upset when some of the Jewish people became followers of Lord Jesus Christ. Along with the Sanhedrin, Paul also believed that Lord Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. Hence, those Jewish believers should be punished for blasphemy. So, he went ahead persecuting the church. He exhibited his passion or zeal and enthusiasm harming the people of God. Later he confesses that he was a blasphemer, persecutor, and rebellious opponent to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blameless: Paul followed the ceremonial laws, civil laws, hygiene laws, and moral laws – the Ten Commandments. Law provides provision for those who trespass to make restitution and sacrifice which Paul performed. So, he was blameless, but not sinless or perfect. He also celebrated the Jewish festivals. Paul’s conscience was clear according to his understanding of the Law.
National Privilege: As a born Jew (pedigree), Paul considered it a privilege to be a people of Law, covenant, and Promises. Paul had both heritage and status. All this righteousness was like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
Chief of sinners: Paul realized that righteousness by being ardent of Law was not enough to be in the right relationship with God. He needed a savior, who would die according to the Law, be buried, and rise again. In His Holy presence, he is chief of sinners. (I Timothy 1:12-13)
Rich Young Man: The highly accomplished young man both secular and sacred, boasted that he had kept the commandments from his childhood. Lord Jesus exposed his covetousness by his unwillingness to give away his wealth to the poor and to take up the cross, indicating complete surrender. (Mark 19:17-31) Lack of love for the Lord Jesus Christ, unwilling to surrender to His will, and reluctant to share indicates we are still sinners.
Have I taken up the cross to follow Him?

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