Philippians 3 v 12 - 14

Paul identifies another way in which the Christian life can become unbalanced. He had asserted that when a person receives Christ into their life they are forever changed, adopted into God's family, free from the restrictions and the obligations and frustrations which pursuit of righteousness through the Law brought. The difficulty presents itself then that if we are free from the Law and wholly dependent on God's grace, then we can becoming permanent babies, wallowing around without any sense of personal responsibility and assuming that all our misdeeds are covered by Christ's saving work on the cross. As with all mis-directions, there is an element of truth here: we can no longer depend upon ourselves to achieve salvation through our deeds-we have come to recognise how sinful and fallen we truly are. But, we still have a responsibility to follow the Law of love out of love and gratitude to our Saviour. It appears that the Corinthian church had enjoyed their freedom excessively: wives separating from unbelieving husbands, others living immorally, the rich eating the food of the poor, separation, disunity and so on. Paul makes it clear here that our salvation BEGINS with our receiving Jesus Christ as Lord: it absolutely doesn't end there. One of the life-challenges is that we show forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit as evidence of our salvation. Paul urges us to follow his example and 'PRESS ON'. When I was at Bible College we watched clips of various famous preachers giving sermons and there was this one man who stuck in my mind, because he kept encouraging his congregation to 'PRESS ON'. Our Christian lives need momentum: we are always to be learning, adapting, listening, changing. Paul doesn't allow himself to be caught up in musings over his past, colourful though it was, but hones his mind, body and spirit to reach the finishing tape. Is this your situation? Are you 'PRESSING ON'?

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