“That I may know
Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10; NKJV).
Paul says that his goal in life is to know Christ
and the power of His resurrection. Think what power (Greek Dunamis) was needed
to raise Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:20)!
We get our English word dynamite
from the Greek word Dunamis! That same power dwells in us (Ro 8:11), brings
life to our mortal bodies, empowers us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8) and in
fact, makes us like Jesus (2 Cor 3:17-18)! Wow and double Wow!
Eph 1:18 also
indicates that Gods power (Greek Kratos) in us is the power of dominion or
authority. As born again believers in Jesus we walk in the authority of Jesus
over the devil, authority which Jesus took back from satan through His (Jesus) death and
resurrection (Eph 1:21-22).
What a victory we have in Jesus! But Paul does go
on to say, in Phil 3:10, that we also must be willing to fellowship in Christ”s
sufferings and death. We have to die to self and live for Christ, no matter how
much persecution or difficulty this may bring; are we willing?
I am always struck by the story of the
woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). There we see the stark contrast between
the cold, cunning of the unforgiving Pharisees and Jesus’ consummate wisdom, compassion
and forgiveness. However, Jesus did not overlook the woman’s sin but told her
to sin no more!
Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus
paid the price for our sins through His sacrifice on the cross (Rom 5:8). As
Christians we are forgiven (Col 1:14), given new life (2 Cor 5:17) and
righteousness in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). As Christians we do still sin (1
John 1:8) as our spirit (spiritual heart or conscience) is made new but not our
body or soul (1 Thess 5:23). However, we should not habitually or willfully sin
(1 John 3:6) as God has made us new spiritual creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor
Our spirit is to govern our soul and
body. When we gave our lives to Christ we were born again spiritually (John
3:1-6) and our spirits were made new (Ezek 11:19). When we do slip and sin,
because we allow our souls to get the upper hand, we can repent and ask God’s
forgiveness. God forgives “us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness” (1 John
What an advantage we have over the
woman caught in adultery; how God loves us, in that He has placed His Holy
Spirit on the inside of us to enable us to change and help us not to sin (John 14:16-17). All
we have to do is cooperate and walk in obedience!
Luke 16:16 (NKJV) “The law and the prophets were until
John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is
PRESSING INTO it.” Matt. 11:12 (Amp) “And
from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven
has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force (as a precious
prize; a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent
zeal and intense exertion)". So who are the
“violent men”? We are!!! These verses speak of an urgency and a
passion in following after God and I believe this urgency is birthed in prayer.
The apostle Paul also talked about "pressing in" in Philippians 3:12
and 14 - he tells us that he is pressing in to win the prize and he then
encourages us to do the same thing. People
who are seriously training for any kind of athletic event will give it all
they've got to win the prize and that is how we need to be about pressing in to
God. If we are going to make an impact on our society, our Christianity cannot
When it comes to humility, Jesus is our example. In Phil. 2:5-9 (Amp) we have the description of how Jesus gave up all the privileges of heaven and came to earth, "assuming the guise of a servant". In verse 5 of that chapter we are told to let Jesus be our
example in humility.
We have another great example of Jesus humbling himself and becoming a servant in John 13:14 (Amp): "If I then your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought (It is
your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it) to wash one another's feet". We also learn from this verse that we need to do the same thing for our fellow believers.
If we want to be like Jesus and be obedient, then we must serve one another. For some people serving comes naturally; they have a "servant's heart", others of us have to work at it a little harder. Nevertheless, there is great blessing in serving others, because "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to me" (Matt. 25:40; NKJV). Let's obey God, humble ourselves and serve each other. What a witness to the world around us this will be.
"For God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life" (John 3:16; NKJV). We associate this scripture with
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. But it is
also important to remember that Jesus came to earth, born of a woman and under
the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He is not a distant deity that cannot
identify with our earthly, fleshly, struggles. He surrendered His deity to
become a man on earth with flesh and blood just like us (Heb 2:14). The word
says He had to made like us so He could minister to us in our earthly state
(Heb 2:17). He was tempted in every way but without sin (Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15).
To minister on this earth, Jesus had to be filled with the power of the Holy
Spirit, just like us (Luke 3:22).
Isn't it encouraging that Jesus knows what we go though in our lives; He knows our struggles. God is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9) and is always there to help. He calls us to be holy, godly and perfect as He is perfect (1 Pet 1:16; 1Tim 6:11; Matt 5:48). The word perfection used in Matthew 5:48, has the sense of maturity. What God calls us to may seem like a tall order to keep. However, He gave us His word to guide and enable us and His power to achieve that maturity (John 14:26). He never leaves us alone, He is always with us and
in us and nothing will ever separate us from His love (Rom 8:39). Remember, not
even Paul the apostle claimed perfection (Phil 3:12); it is a process of
growth that we will still be involved in to the day we depart this earth! Be
encouraged today, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil