• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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keep-calm-and-press-on-70“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.” (Philippians 3:12, ESV)

The Apostle Paul is a Christian, but Christians are not perfect. Paul recognizes and admits to his imperfections. He has not “arrived” to the point of spiritual perfection in Christ and he knows he never will this side of heaven’s gates. (Romans 7:14-24, I John 1:8) Nevertheless, Paul is pressing on to lay hold on that for which he was laid hold on by Jesus Christ.

In the sight of God, Paul was perfect with respect to justification – being perfectly justified by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, but not with respect to sanctification. His sanctification was perfect in Christ, but not yet in himself. Thus, he continues to “press on” to obtain a measure of the perfection in Jesus Christ. Every day we have to make a decision to press on regardless of what that day may bring. Satan wants to make us think we cannot press on. We are under pressure. Life “under the sun” is made up of stress, burdens, temptation, frustrations, trials and tribulations. The Christian will press on anyway. Earl Nightingale once said, “All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” For my purpose here, I might reword Nightingale’s quote this way: “All you need is the Bible as your plan, the life of Christ as your road map, and the Holy Spirit to provide the courage to press on.”

We may often allow ourselves to be weighed down by our sins while we are seriously pursuing sanctification. Yes, Christians are called to be like Christ, but sin is still knocking at the door of our hearts. We sometimes fail. While we will never complete the process of sanctification until we stand before our Lord, God’s desire is that we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). When we sin, we must sincerely seek forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and press on.

Sometimes it is very difficult to press on. We begin to believe that we have no power against sin. Remember, it is Christ that has made you a new creature. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV) Press on!

Samuel at Gilgal

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