STOP — Philippians 3:11-4:1
Paul’s goal was to experience the resurrection of Jesus. After he explained his lofty goal Paul wanted to make sure the Philippians wasn’t saying he had achieved it. He considered himself still in progress, forgetting his past and moving for forward. This is the attitude Christians should have in discipleship, to not believe you have attained it, but to keep making progress towards maturity. Part of it progress is following the example of those who have more mature than we are. This is important to have good examples because there are false teachers who are motivated by their flesh rather than the spirit. Instead, Christians should remember that their citizenship is in heaven and that they have their hope is in the Resurrection and when Jesus returns to make everything right.
Be intentional about spiritual maturity.
- Paul is not passive in his spiritual formation. He said he made every effort to take hold of the resurrection life that was available to him. His motivation was because of the love Jesus had showed him.
- We are not to be held back by our past. God has forgiven us, and so we need to move on from the sins we have done. We do that by focusing on the hope that we have in Jesus. The promise of resurrection, justice, and restoration provide us with hope to keep moving forward with Jesus.
- It is crucial to have examples of faith in our lives. Paul urged the Philippians to follow his example. Seeing something done is much more helpful than just reading about how something is done. Real life examples help us to know that a life of faith is possible and provides us with ideas of how we are to respond to the various issues that come up in our lives.
- We need to be on our guard against false teachers. These false teachers are more concerned with life in this world and meeting the needs of the flesh than they are about Jesus and his kingdom. This is why it is crucial that we have good solid people that we can look to and who can encourage us through life.
- We are citizens, first and foremost, of heaven. This means Jesus and his kingdom are to have our allegiance and loyalty above all else. United States citizenship is a distance second to the reality that We are citizens of heaven, and this should be seen in our actions.
- Jesus will return and transform us into the people God created us to be. People who are led by the Spirit rather than the flesh. This is our hope, to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
Father, transform my hope so I long for the coming of Your Kingdom and resurrection of Your people. May I continue on the path of spiritual formation until that day arrives.
Tomorrow: Philippians 4:2-9