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1/11/17 - A Mature Believer

Published: Wednesday, 11 January 2017 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  Philippians 3:8-9

These two verses summarize the life of a spirit filled Christian who considers Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over everything about their life.  This Christian would be called a Mature Believer.  I do not think that God expects all Christians to reach this maturity during their life; however, He adamantly expects that all Christians strive for what is described in these verses.

It is significant that Paul (writer of Philippians) considered everything a loss or as garbage compared to the worth of knowing Christ Jesus.  The reason for this is that God expects us to become Christ-like in our attitudes, actions, and behaviors.  The only way to become Christ-like is to have an intimate and deep knowledge of Jesus Christ.  One can do this by reading the Bible, spending time thinking (meditating) on the sayings of Christ, listening to others talk about Jesus, and to listen to the Holy Spirit within them.  When we are doing these things our righteousness is not ours but is faith in Christ.

Jesus Christ was righteous because He did only what God told him.  For example, God asked Christ to innocently suffered being crucified for our sins to demonstrate His unconditional love. Christ loves everyone unconditionally.  He always considers the needs of others first.  No one could damage or dispute what He owned, because He owned nothing.  He always looked out for the outcast, the poor, and the sick.  On the other hand, most people will consider their own possessions, their own health, and their own creature comforts before the needs of others.

As the verses say above, God enables people to be righteous only through faith that comes from God.  When we are conflicted within ourselves about how to treat others, it is an internal battle between our “self” and the Holy Spirit.  The “self” is screaming to take care of your own comfort while the Spirit is gently saying God has given you sufficient grace and faith to do His will. 

As we begin a new year, let us make a commitment to trust God for everything about our life.  Let us commit to decrease our determination to maintain our own comfort so that we may be able to comfort others.  Let us spend large amounts of time learning about the attitudes, actions, and behaviors of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  With these commitments, you will make an eternal life change in another person.

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