Are You Willing?

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“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.”

Philippians 3:7

Philippians chapter 3 is one of the most challenging chapters in the Bible for me as it calls me to evaluate my heart and what I cherish in life. Often times, we get caught up in our pursuit of things here on this earth, but rarely do we ask the question “why?” I can say for myself that there are many things that I may have pursued, or do pursue, in which my purpose and meaning of why I pursue them may get lost in what may seem to be this status or grandeur that I feel like I will possess once I obtain a goal, but is this my heart behind the pursuit, or is it just a side road that I am prone to wander down.

I’ll say this, Philippians 3 brings all of my life into perspective. Paul had everything. Given the context and the culture that surrounded him, he was moving up the Jewish ladder and was on his way to being the elite of the elite. He was being discipled by the elite, he was talking with the elite, he was rubbing shoulders with the elite, he was what he referred to himself as a “hebrew of hebrews.” Culturally and contextually speaking, Paul would have been looked at as someone that had it all. This was until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus that radically changed his life.

Upon meeting Christ his life was completely changed. It was then when he walked away from everything. He walked away from the riches. He walked away from the status. He walked away from his secured retirement. He walked away from his 401k. He walked away from his house in a nice neighborhood, his kids going to a good school, and so on and so forth (obviously I am saying these things to put it into our context). Yet, he says that it is all worth it for knowing Christ.

What am I willing to set aside and walk away from if Christ calls me to? What I am willing to give up because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord? What are you willing to walk away from and be perfectly content in doing it? I would ask you to ask yourselves these questions as I am asking myself these questions as well. How much do I really cherish my relationship with Christ and to what lengths am I willing to go for that relationship? I know what the answer should be, but in reality is this what the answer actually is?

Start To Finish

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Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

As a believer, I can assure you that this is one of the most comforting verses, chapters, and books within all of the Bible. As Paul is writing to the Philippian church in this letter, he is writing from a prison cell, awaiting whatever fate might be awaiting him. With this being the case, this sheds great light on this verse and upon this chapter. You see, what Paul is saying here is that God is the author of salvation. God is the perfecto of salvation. God is the initiator of salvation. This is true because it was God’s plan to send Jesus to save a lost and dying people. Jesus was not plan B, Jesus was plan A from the beginning. With this being the case, it is God who brings about salvation within one’s life.

Despite one’s theological position on soteriology, it is safe to say that all would say that God is indeed the author of salvation and from what Paul is communicating within this text, it is God who begins the good work of salvation within a person as it only comes by God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. So the words that Paul communicates are profound. If God has begun the work of salvation in you, GOD will bring it to completion. You see, it’s not up to you or I or anyone else to complete our salvation, it’s up to God. This means that you and I are to seek the Lord, stay connected to the Vine (John 15), and God will bring to completion our salvation. This means that no matter what, if God has begun the work within you, He will bring it to completion.

We are all prone to do some really dumb stuff in life, even after we are born again, but what Paul is saying is that there is nothing that we could do in this life that would make God remove His love, or HIs salvation from us. If He has begun the work, we can be confident that HE will bring it to completion. This is freedom. This is freedom in Christ knowing that You and I can live a life that is not under condemnation but under freedom. This is what it means to truly live knowing that tGod will never let you go. Knowing that nothing can pluck you from His hand. What boldness this gives you and I to live for Christ. This is exactly what this teaching would do for Paul and for the Philippians. The rest of Chapter 1 proclaims, because of this truth, that no matter what, whether Paul or the Philippians were to live or die, Christ would be magnified. We see the believer’s empowered by this truth knowing that God would complete their salvation and it gave them a boldness to proclaim Christ even if execution awaited them. This is power!

Do you believe this? Do you believe that nothing can separate you from the love of God if you are Christ’s? Do you live as a free person knowing that it is God that began the work in you and it is God that will complete the work in you? Do you understand that the fruit that you are called to bear comes only through Christ and not of your own power? Live a life of freedom in Christ! Understand this powerful truth and let it empower you to share the glorious Gospel with others and live for this glorious Savior and glorious God!