Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the foundation of our faith in Christ [Read Philippians 3:1-11]. It is the resurrection of Christ that literally makes Christ our living Savior and therefore our living Hope. Perhaps, you have heard that before. For many we know that Christ rose from the dead to save our souls and apply His righteousness to our lives. However, until we can really embrace the resurrection and it’s work in our lives in the face of life’s trials, it is just something we have heard but it struggles to have meaning.
This is what makes Paul’s statement so powerful. He is in prison, probably chained to guards and a wall. And, in this harsh reality. Paul is striving to deeply and personally embrace the resurrection of Christ as the major shaping tool of his life. It is in Christ’s resurrection that Paul finds his great purpose and drive to be like Christ.
It really is an amazing pursuit and perspective . Often when tough stuff is raging in my life, my concerns are for me. But, Paul’s goal is to be Christ-like.
But I Press On
So, fueled by the resurrection of Christ, he presses on. He doesn’t see the reality of his chains of imprisonment as a reason to stop or even waver in his pursuit of Christ. Nothing in his prison experience, not the cold cell or the heavy chains or just the slight of even being detained, gives Paul a reason to stop striving to be Christ like. Instead, realizing that God still has purpose for his life, the truth and power of the resurrection of Christ become even greater reason to press on toward personal ownership of the resurrection.
Because Christ Jesus Has...
Here is what Paul understands:
Christ has died for me.
Christ has risen from the dead, for me.
God hasn’t cancelled my purpose.
I am determined to pursue Christ, so as to know Him, share in His suffering, become like Him in death and likewise attain resurrection from the dead [v10].
Because Christ Jesus has made me His own.
As it is true for Paul, so it is for all who pursue Christ, to know the power of His resurrection. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the foundation of your strength. It is the resurrection that makes Christ the Shepherd and Guardian of your soul. It is the resurrection of Christ from the dead that gives you access to become a child of God.
The words and truth of this passage can be so encouraging and humbling to us all in a time of crisis. Because, we like Paul face times where our present reality wants to and by many measures should suck the desire to keep moving forward out of us. Yet, in the most trying times of life we are reminded to press on to take hold and own all of Christ as Christ owns all of us.
Press on...because Christ Jesus has made you His own.
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