40708Walk by the Same Rule, (Part 2 of 4), By Gregg Bing,,,, ~Grace Daily Inspirational ~, May 24, 2014
- May 24 12:33 AM
~Grace Daily Inspirational~
Walk by the Same Rule
(Part 2 of 4)
By Gregg Bing
What does it mean to "gain Christ?" Paul elaborates in verse 9-14.
Position—To gain Christ begins with our position, spiritually: "to be found in Him" (vs. 9). We are born into this world "in Adam" where we are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1-3). When we trust in Christ as Savior, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ. God now sees us "holy and without blame," not because of any goodness in us or good works on our part (the works of the flesh), but simply because of our position in His Son (Eph. 1:4).
Personal Knowledge—To gain Christ continues as we personally experience Him living in and through us: "that I may know Him" (vs. 10). The word "know" means to get to know through personal experience. Paul wanted to experience Christ in three areas: 1) "the power of His resurrection" (walking in newness of life by the power of the resurrected Christ living in us—Gal. 2:20). 2) "the fellowship of His sufferings" (suffering for the name and cause of Christ, who is our life, knowing that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution—2 Tim. 3:12). 3) "being conformed to His death" ( recognizing that we have been crucified with Christ to the things of the world, that our old sin nature, the flesh, is to be reckoned as dead, powerless—Rom. 6:11-13).
Purpose—To gain Christ centers on fulfilling His purpose for our lives: "that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me" (vs. 12). The words "lay hold" mean to lay hold on, to seize, to take possession of. Christ "laid hold" of us and saved us by His grace for a reason. He desires to use us in His service and for His glory. Paul desired to "lay hold" of Christ's purpose for His life and see this purpose realized in his daily life. This should be the mindset of every believer.
Pursuit—To gain Christ requires us to pursue one thing—Him: "to press on ... forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark ..." (vs. 12-14). The word "press" in verses 12 and 14 is translated from the Greek word "dioko" which means to pursue or to follow hard after. This same Greek word is also translated "persecute." All the zeal, time, and energy Paul once expended in persecuting Christ and the church, he now redirected in pursuing the excellence of knowing and serving Christ.
Prize—To gain Christ means that we keep our eyes focused on the ultimate goal: "to press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (vs. 14). As he lived and served the Lord, Paul was continually "looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2:13). Paul looked forward to Christ's coming for His Church with great expectation, knowing he would stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be rewarded for his service (2 Cor. 5:10). Having a mindset that values eternal things more than our temporary time here on earth has a powerful impact on our daily walk for the Lord.
"Therefore," Paul says, "let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind" (vs. 15-16). "This mind" is characterized by the things Paul describes in verses 7-14, things that are present in the mindset of a mature believer, things that enable a believer to grow into spiritual maturity. We are to exercise our minds in this direction, regardless of the level of our spiritual maturity. We are instructed to walk (order our steps) by this same rule, to think, reason, and purpose with this same mind. In brief, to growing, mature believers, Christ is our life (Col. 3:4); He is our "all in all." Paul expressed the essence of this mindset in chapter 1: "To me, to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21).
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2Co 5:16-21 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, andhath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; Towit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
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