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About-Him.Com Devotional 09-20-2014
Moving On to Perfection in Christ
In Philippians 3 12-14, the apostle Paul tells us that he, as perfect as we might considered him to be, had not yet attained the goal or was he perfect (Php. 3:12-14). But he was striving for the goal of perfection in Christ. See last week’s devotional, Pressing Towards the Mark! He urged all of us to be of the same mindset.
Philippians 3:15a ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:…..
We obtained salvation when we knelt in repentance and believed on the Lord. He led us to the waters of baptism and sealed us with His Holy Spirit(Jn. 1:10, Ac. 2:4,38-39). But we have yet to attain the final prize. For this, we wage war against our flesh daily (Ga. 5:17), and seek to imitate the life of our Savior. Many times we fall, but we never fail to get up and get back in the race that is set before us (He. 12:1).
We haven’t yet arrived and we’re certainly not perfect. Perfect can be interpreted either as without fault or mature, depending on the context. 1 John 1:8 reminds me that I’m not without fault, so hopefully if I recognize my faults and seek to correct them, I can be considered to be mature?
1 John 1:8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Philippians 3:15b ……and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
If I am honest before God as I seek His perfection, He will reveal my shortcomings to me. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things and bring all of His teachings to our remembrance (Jn. 14:26).
Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
I believe that we could simply paraphrase this verse as: “You’ve been running a good race so just keep on keeping on.” It is important to hold on to the teachings and practices that were so dear to us when we first started this race. We hold dear the doctrines of salvation that brought us to the cross, but there is much more in the word of God that will guide in our quest for total identity with Christ Jesus (He. 6:1,9). Things such as continual study of the word of God. We are to study to show ourselves approved to God by rightly dividing His Word. Jesus told us to search the scriptures because the scriptures testified of Him (Jn. 5:39).
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It’s sad when we see people influenced by writers who pervert the word of God with such things as Jesus being a homosexual or being married to and having a child by Mary Magdalene. People who fall prey to these devilish ideas have never had the word of God firmly embedded in their hearts. And believers who neglect His word are in danger of falling prey to the same errors.
Philippians 3:17 ¶ Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
God has surrounded us with many saintly believers whom we can use as examples. Like the apostle Paul, they have demonstrate a life totally devoted to knowing and being like Jesus. However, we must also be able to identify false prophets and grievous wolves.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
2 Peter 2:1 ¶ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
People we should totally avoid are those who profess Christ, but whose god is their belly and who glory in shameful things, because they are enemies of the cross of Christ, no matter how loud they shout. We don’t listen to them because our antennas are tuned to a different frequency. We are citizens of the kingdom of God , and we are listening for Him who speaks from heaven.
Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:
Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
We long for the day that we will be changed. Our mortal bodies will put on immortality and our corruption is replaced with the incorruption of Christ and we are changed into His likeness (1 Co. 15:51-57).
Song: To Be Like Jesus
The letter of the scripture is a subject for intellectual study, but the inner truth of the scriptures, the knowledge of Christ, is a revelation from God.- The Pulpit Commentary
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Don and Marie Spooner
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