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Every couple months Adam has to write an article for the church newsletter so I thought I’d share his thoughts with you!

The Beginning of the End (Phil. 3)

This is it. No more excuses. No more exceptions. It’s time to start being a people of our word. It’s time to let our “‘yes’ be yes and {our} ‘no’ be no (Matt. 5:37; James 5:12).” It’s time to live the thing we talk about all the time. The world has enough hypocrites. The name “Christian” has been soiled in so many ways and yet we gladly continue living the way we always have, dragging the image of Christ through the mud of our disgusting sin-filled lives. Let right now be the beginning of the end.

Philippians 3 tells us to “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” These are all around us. These ARE us. WE are the dogs, the evildoers, those who mutilate the flesh. We are the ones who are rampantly serving other gods all while stamping the name of Christ on our lives and our actions.

Let it stop here! We must kill the pride! We must kill the ego! We must kill our desires for our own gain! Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that we must lose all for the sake of the Gospel. We have nothing to boast of, nothing of our own doing. Because of Adam all sin. Because of us, becauseof our sinful nature, we do not desire God apart from the working of the Holy Spirit.

But the work of the Holy Spirit, if He HAS worked in you, must shine out of you! Why? Because “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” When we serve ourselves we serve the devil and the same disgusting pattern of this world. If anyone could brag it was Paul. He was (strictly according to the law of Moses) the closest to perfect that a human could be apart from the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:4b-6). And even Paul says “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for
the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” When Paul became a follower of Christ he finally had something that was truly worth anything. Knowing Christ Jesus far surpassed anything Paul could deem as “good” in this world.

Paul did not stop there. He did not simply attend church from time to time when it was convenient and drop a pittance in the offering plate when he felt like it. He suffered. He became exposed and vulnerable. He laid down his life for the sake of Christ’s glorious name. “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish.” Paul desired to “know {Christ} and the power of his  resurrection” by “{sharing} his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” in order to be with and to know Christ for eternity (Phil. 3:8b-11).

We must forget the old way and press ahead toward being like Christ (Phil. 3:13-16). We can’t continue to “walk as enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18).” We can’t serve our bellies, glory in our shame, or set our mind on earthly things (3:19). We must be citizens of heaven and glory in Christ our Savior (3:20), because He has made us his own (3:12).

This year, lay yourself wide-open for the Gospel. That IS the Gospel. Jesus sacrificially gave of his life and his perfection for us all. Let us follow the example of Paul, who followed Christ, and lay down our lives for Christ. Let us crucify the flesh daily. Don’t give the flesh another moment but lay your entire life at the foot of the cross. Let this year be the beginning of the end.

January 2013

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