This morning I led a little bible study in Philippians 3:1-11. We went away feeling that we shouldn't build or glory in our spiritual CVs. Instead we should count them as loss - dung even.
So we resolved once again to be anti-works-of-law, anti-flesh, anti-the-circumcision-sect, anti whatever is anti-grace.
But of course that's not really Paul's point is it? Paul's not interested in going from circumcision to anti-circumcision. Anti-circumcision is also rubbish (Gal 5:6; 6:15). You can be a determined opponent of works righteousness and still know nothing of Christ. All you've done is erect another basis for your right standing with God (understanding grace).
The opposition Paul makes is not between works-of-the-law and anti-works-of-the-law. Instead it's the difference between works-of-the-law and knowing Christ (which is a synonym for faith).
Paul doesn't compare his legalistic righteousness with an abstract ideal called "grace". He compares it with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord, in Whom he is hidden. That's what made him consign the spiritual CV to the dung-heap.
If we try to consign our own boasts to the dung-heap by will-power we'll never achieve it. Being 'anti-works' never works. The only solution is, v7 - the sake of Christ, v8 - knowing Him and v10 - continuing to want to know Him.
I walked away from our study thinking, Why didn't I ask the most obvious question when considering Philippians 3? The most obvious question is, What's so great about knowing Jesus?
In answering that, the rest falls into place.