Pressing On

“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

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There is a sad notion in some Christian circles which encourages believers to think that they can arrive—spiritually speaking—in this life. Over the years different terms have been used to describe this teaching about the Christian life.

For some time (1800’s) believers spoke about the deeper life. Then there was the term the higher life. Also some Christians spoke about full surrender. These terms suggest a plateau situation. The idea is that you get to this level and now you can relax and coast the rest of the way to heaven.

Sort of like cruising altitude in an airplane. Did Paul miss something? This man wrote a large part of the New Testament, founded many churches, developed outstanding leaders in the infant church. YET he did not rest or relax for an instant!

A new vocabulary came into being and people heard cliques such as, “Let go and let God”, entire sanctification, second blessing—these terms are not found in the Bible and so we should be hesitant to use them. The best way to speak of spiritual things is to use the vocabulary of the Bible

2 Timothy 4:7, Paul says,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”

This does not sound like “Let go and let God”.

“endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”
(2 Timothy 2:3).

Here again is the notion of the military concerning the Christian life.

NT imagery is not that of vacation lounging on beaches BUT of military, weapons, battle dress warfare.

The time for lounging, being restful, without strong exertion is in heaven where we will rest from our labours. (Rev. 14:13)

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