A human being lives, but he is given life.
Philippians 3:17- 4:1
New King James Version (NKJV)
Our Citizenship in Heaven
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Thought of the Day
What cannot He do? From the dust of mother Earth He was able to build up man in the image of God, in the first creation; and from the dust to which death shall again reduce us He will build up again our bodies in the likeness of his resurrection body. The formless clay shall be obliged to yield to his voice, his touch; and if He can do this, what can He not do?
There may be sins within your heart that have long resisted control. Do with them as you will, they still defy you. So long have they been entrenched within the citadel of your soul that, like the Jebusites in the days of David, they laugh you to scorn. But if you will hand over the conflict to Jesus, He will subdue them; He will bring them under his strong, subjecting hand. Be of good cheer. What you cannot do, He can. Whenever the old temptation arises, directly you are aware of it, lift your heart instantly to Jesus, and reckon on Him to cope with it in your behalf. The Lord will fight for you, whilst you shall hold your peace.
So with other difficulties in your life. The raising of a noble nature and character within you; the calling of souls, by your voice, from the death of sin to a life of righteousness; the bringing forth of a fair and well-ordered work from one which seems mere chaos and ruin-all such things are within the scope of this wonderful text. They must be easy to Him who from the dust of death can raise a body ethereal enough to be the home and vehicle of the new celestial life, which shall unfold into perfect beauty in his presence. Repeat the words until the rhythm charms away your doubts, “He is able to subject all things unto Himself.”
Personal Reflection and Discussion
So many times we ask forgiveness and then beat ourselves up remembering what we have done. Paul is saying look to Jesus. Verse 20 says our citizenship is in heaven not on this earth. We should eagerly be waiting for Him to come and change us and take us home. I long for the day when I will be able to see without my contacts or glasses. I long for the day when my body will be made perfect. Not just my body but my mind as well.
Rosi, thank you for your insight. I agree with you about how we beat ourselves up. I often find myself asking forgiveness and then continue to act as if I have not been (or “cannot” be) forgiven for it. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest lies that Satan has set forth, as if there is sin that Christ’s blood cannot cover. Psalm 103:11,12 says:
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
I am so thankful for this, and pray that I can continue to have the faith to accept it! Thanks again for your words.
I do this also, but when I do, I stop and ask myself; what does this say about my faith? If I truly believe that Christ can forgive me of my sins then I must allow him to do so.
Remembering that our sin are forgiven and then leaving then with God is the hardest thing we can do. and like you I would like to live without my glasses, I never carry them so I cannot read when I leave the office or my house.
It seems Paul is trying to teach them how to distinguish a true Chrisitian and on whom they should set their eyes. A good way to test where their heart is, is if they’re selfish…their belly being their god. Like the verses in the begining of this chapter Paul makes note that he has given trust in the flesh and “suffer the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that he may win Christ”. Our eyes and hearts need to be set on “heaven from where also we look for the Savior…who is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Our example and eyes need to be set on Jesus, our Savior, and our hope on the promises of change; a better world and a better self.
It’s so easy, especially as baby christians to look at others as our example and guide. This could be a good thing, only if we find sincere christian, like Paul, who themselves acknowledge not fully attaining perfection but stiriving for perfection only in Christ and show the fruit of a heart that is devoted to the love of Christ in service gladly giving up all including himself for the love of God and mankind. The Bible makes this standard clear; Micah 6:8 “He (God) has shown you, O man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” The walk has been made clear, let us walk and show others the Way.
I love reading Micah and verse 8 tells me that we need to not only learn but teach others as well. Setting the example in the way we live our lives.