Saturday, August 05, 2017

LIVING FOR JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOPE OF HEAVEN

Living for Jesus Christ and the hope of heaven
 
The Apostle Paul is really stressing knowing Jesus Christ so our faith in Him must be very important. Did you ever just talk to a person about this issue and watch them a couple days later forget about what you told them and get really entrenched in the world. It happens all the time. What I'm going to write about "Might" seem complicated but all this boils down to is come to know Jesus Christ, live for Him and look forward to heaven. Stay with this article because Paul makes some great points. 
 
Believing in God is a discipline that must be practiced or exercised every day. It does not just happen by being passage or forgetting about our walk with Jesus Christ. It is a conscious effort on our part to," And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." 3:9. We are righteous in Jesus Christ but it is through our faith in Him.
 
This is what Paul held onto, not his gains or loses which he counted both as nothing in comparison to truly knowing Jesus Christ. The desire of Paul was to win in Jesus Christ. He was not interested in some temporary situation which is subject to change in a matter of seconds. If you will notice the very first part of this verse says, "And be found I Him" ... which is the most favorite expression of Paul in every one of his epistles. First Paul got saved through Jesus Christ and was positionally ..."Found in Him" ... but he realized that on an experiential level Paul had to strive for this everyday in his earthly life to be living for Jesus Christ.
 
Paul knew his good deeds were not going to atone for his bad ones. That is sort of the same principle as his earthy profits atoning for his loses which Paul went over in great extent in the previous verses.
 
God has seen all kinds of sins, profits and loses throughout the history of mankind and He had the wisdom to give us many Bible passages on this subject. Placing our faith in Jesus Christ is the ordained way for us to option salvation and as a result we receive the saving benefit of the purchase of His blood. This is why so many Christians sing songs about the precious blood of Jesus really hard because they understand that if it were not for this truth they would not be redeemed from their sins.
 
If our righteousness is not in Jesus Christ we will not be able to stand before God the Father. This is why Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could accept Jesus Christ by faith because the repenting of our sins allows us to stand before the Father some day because the Lamb of God became our perfect sacrificial atonement. If one truly comes to salvation through Jesus Christ God does not even see our sins. They are washed in the precious blood of His Son.
 
If you are one that has not accepted this precious invitation I would be on pretty safe ground to say "Wow." My sins are no longer held against me so I don't have to pay for them. One might ask,"Are people paying for their sins"? and the answer is yes because there are billions of people in hell. I know for many people what I just went over is theological review but I hope we never forget the fact that people are burning in Hades for all eternity because they never took care of the sin issue inside of them through Jesus Christ. 
 
(10) "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. (11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended of Christ Jesus." 3:10-13. Obviously Paul had many truths to convey to the Philippian church.
 
Knowing Jesus here is the same thing as believing in Him but Paul was talking about an experiential knowledge because Paul desired to be sanctified just like he was justified from all his sins. He wanted to be conformable to Jesus Christ. He understood that this only happens if we die to sin as Christ did for us then we become crucified with Jesus Christ because at this point the world is crucified to us.
 
Here we see a classic example of Paul tying in his justification of Jesus Christ with his sanctification to His Lord because the two are very much connected with each other. He chose not to separate the two truths but to incorporate justification and sanctification together as one because if he did not do this a double life would have been present as he went through his daily routines.
 
He says ... "If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead." The joy of heaven is referred to as the resurrection of the dead. This Apostle was looking at the afterlife scenario and he knew he would inherit Paradise. He very much had a joyful and glorious countenance in his heart. First of all he was going to escape the judgment of the unjust. This is horrible but Paul was "Living" for Jesus Christ. He pressed toward this and had a holy fear for God. Paul had perseverance in his faith for Jesus Christ.
 
The first outlook in his Christian life was his justification and sanctification not only because it was very close to his heart but it is only logical to get right with God before the second part which was his hope to go to heaven. This is a place of joy and no sin is present in this planet. Of course Paul did not desire anyone to miss the good resurrection and if you will notice I urge people to get right with Jesus Christ all the time. It is hard to watch people not take their relationship with God as their number one priority. This is a settle process but I see it go down to two, three, four and then the conscience becomes seared to the point where they don't even care about their own soul. 
 
Paul made it clear that he could not get to heaven on his own but through the merit of Jesus Christ. In verse twelve he confesses his imperfections in his flesh. There is character in confessing we fall short in our present state but God desires us to walk perfect in His way. It's not that we will be without flaw before Jesus Christ while we are down here on earth but the bent desire of our heart should be that way. If we are not in that place we probably have Jesus Christ second or third on our priority list. This is not good because, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. If we put the Lord even second then were putting in our hands to ... " All these things shall be added unto you." This is not even to mention (I will be nice) that Jesus Christ is second in our life. He might be third for all I know. 
 
In verse thirteen he says ... "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended" ... because when we receive grace from God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire more. Every once in a while I will hear this whole idea that you have to much grace from God but I believe this is impossible.
 
The Holy Spirit will measure the grace He gives us based on where we are in life but whatever we receive a thankful heart is always present and we want more. This is how God fills the void that He made us to be as people (Christians) so of course a pursuing of this love should be very active in our lives. If we are not being filled with some measure of the grace and peace of God in our hearts then start to question where we are in our walk with Jesus Christ. In this case more than likely some sort of anxiety and fear has taken hold of us to some degree and we need to get back into the yoke of Jesus Christ. 
 
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord then please understand in context what I am writing about to internet land. God created you with a void in your heart so in one way or another it has to be filled. The bad news is most people try and fill that emptiness through some sort of sin. The good news is you don't have to be one of those persons. At this juncture you should repent of all your sins and invite Jesus Christ into your life. Live for Him. If we sin then repent, if we are not in the yoke of Jesus Christ then just start abiding in Him. The Christian life is exciting but not without hardships. At least we serve an All Knowing God who has our best welfare in mind for us but we have to do our part and meet Him halfway because this is a relationship.
 
God Bless until next time,
Bob D.                      
 

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