Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reflections on Philippians 3

Yesterday I had lunch with an area Young Life staff person, and as usual when I talk with other leaders, we asked each other what we were reading. He had been working his way through Christ-driven life, a sequel (not to be confused with a "squeakwal" like the Chimpmunks movie we just took Connar to this week) to Christless Christianity by Michael Horton.

I've never read either book, but apparently Horton's main point is that much of American Christianity has moved away from the central theme of life being centered around Christ's life/death/resurrection. 

The cool thing is that I'd just been reading in Philippians in 3:8-16 and came across a passage that really sums up so many components of the Christian faith. The passage simply expounds what it means to live a Christ-centered life and includes all kinds of great doctrine and applications.
  • It has just justification, the act of being declared righteous before God: "not having a righteousness of my own.....the righteousness from God that depends on faith...."

  • It has sanctification, the process of being made more like Jesus: "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."

  •  It has assurance as well as perseverance of the saints (that true believers will demonstrate their faith by persevering till the end): "Only let us hold true to what we have attained."
  • It has the promise of both suffering for the gospel and power of the gospel to change life and world. Our Christian experience constantly involves both. When we forget one over the other we become prosperity minded or defeatist self-fulling prophets: ....that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 

I could really go on and on about this passage and its richness, and I'm sure you could as well. 

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