Philippians 3:13-14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The reality of our imperfection is not where we stop. In fact, we who are Christ’s are very dissatisfied and saddened by this reality of our sinfulness. It is simply impossible to resign ourselves complacently to this imperfection. With the apostle Paul, we “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). We struggle on in the battle of faith, pressing forward in our expression of gratitude to God, so that with a sincere resolution we begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God. Does this characterize your life?
The life of those who have been converted to God is not a stagnant pool, but a flowing stream. There is no standing still, but progress. So the Holy Spirit of the exalted Christ works. We who are in Christ are partakers of the life of Christ. We are one plant with Him. A living plant germinates and buds forth in all directions and grows, bringing forth the fruits that are fitting to that plant. Such life is the driving force behind that sincere resolution that we begin to live not only according to some, but all the commandments of God. Our life must be characterized by the new obedience, the obedience of love, love for God and the neighbour. Spiritual growth is the characteristic of one who is converted, even though his new obedience remains but a small beginning.
That love for God’s law and desire to walk in the way of His commandments in thankfulness to Him, is a love and desire that has been instilled in our hearts and awakened by the Holy Spirit. So even while we lament our sinful nature, we thank God for the wonder of His grace in our salvation. We confess with the inspired apostle in Rom 7:24-25: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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