“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” — Philippians 3:8
A Winning Pedigree
He is the most beloved college football mascot in America: Uga the bulldog! He comes from a long line of purebred English bulldogs who represent the Georgia football team. Many say he has the “pedigree” of a champion. As a University of Georgia alumni who grew up listening to Larry Munson and dreaming of playing in Sanford Stadium, I am a bit biased. Even so, it is hard to imagine many more accomplished mascots.
The term “pedigree,” usually reserved for pets, has even found its way into sports broadcasts. Commentators will often refer to the pedigree of a particular athlete, whose family members played or coached before them and thus passed on their talent.
In the Bible, the religious zealot Saul had a winning pedigree of his own — at least in the world’s eyes. Though he actually persecuted Christians in the early church, he was convinced that his standing as a Jewish religious leader made him right before God and would assure him of Heaven. However, following his dramatic conversion to Christ, that all changed.
When he wrote the book of Philippians, now as the Apostle Paul, he rejected the idea that his worldly status and good works — a pedigree — could save him from God’s judgement. He summed it up in Philippians 3:8-9:
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
— Allen Kent, Kathleen, Ga.
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