Reaching Forward

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 2:7-14

The new year is upon us, what can we learn from this past year that will help us move forward into the year coming in the most excellent way? We know Jesus Christ has a perfect will and plan for all of our lives, but how do I go about  discovering what it is? Let’s see if we can learn some spiritual truth to these questions from Paul’s writing his epistle to the believer’s in Philippi. The Greek word for “gain” (v.7) is an accounting term that means “profit.” The Greek word for “loss” also is an accounting term used to describe a business loss. Paul used language of business to describe the spiritual transaction that occurred when Christ redeemed him. All of his Jewish religious credentials that he thought were profit to him, were actually worthless and damning towards him. The first lesson we need to remember is that my religious background, no matter how significant does not automatically make me a Christian. Some people don’t realize yet, that God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him that comes through our faith and trust in the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. We may go through the traditions of being baptized as an infant and confirmed while growing up, all of family and church introductions are an important part of a religious life, but none of these actions makes us a Christian. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14). Jesus spoke this parable to show us that whoever is trying to live by their own righteousness is not truly justified. No, those who are truly justified before God are those who are reckoned righteous before God by means of an imputed righteousness.

So as we step into the new year, make sure that your not just “playing church,” to enjoy the best God would have for you, is to have that authentic relationship by being born again, and the Spirit of God washing away and cleansing us from all sin. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7). Salvation has never been by works, but rather a gift from God. So we see that Paul was describing all of the profitable benefits that accrued to him, when he finally let go of his past achievements of obtaining a righteousness of the law, apart from the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Nothing in yours or my life should ever come close to being more important to us, than our relationship to God through Jesus Christ. As we begin a new year let us not let anything hold us back from wanting to know our Lord through the teaching and studying of His Word. Hold your church you attend accountable to Biblical truth that is accurate, rightly divided, and without hypocrisy. Our nations youth is suffering tremendous loss of personal accountability and integrity before God, because parents are not leading by example. The greatest truth we can ever learn, or teach to anyone, is our ever present need to be forgiven our sins and trespasses against God, and towards our fellow man.  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (v.10)—To “know” Christ is not simply to have intellectual knowledge about Him; Paul used the Greek verb that means to know “experientially” or “personally,” Jesus said to His disciples: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) It is equivalent to a shared life with Christ: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). When a person puts their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, he or she spiritually participates with the Lord in His crucifixion and in His victory over sin and death by the power of His resurrection.

Beloved friend, As we move ahead into this new year, remember that none of us has arrived in that state of sinless perfection. The working of the Holy Spirit of God inside every believer is to conform us everyday into the likeness of Christ. It is called our sanctification. While we work, while we sleep, God is always at work in us. Paul uses the analogy of a runner in a race to describe the Christian’s spiritual growth. The believer has not reached their goal of Christlikeness, but like everyone who runs a race, we must continue and persevere through all of life’s triumph’s, trials, and temptations that is trying to get us to give up! But the best news is that God doesn’t give up on us: being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ (Philippians 1:6), one of the greatest promises of all Scripture, When God begins a work of salvation in a person, He finishes and perfects that work. Thus your life, and my life are all under construction. We are on our way to be in that same state of Christlikeness and one day, we will see Him face to face. Forgetting those things which are behind— The believer in Christ, must refuse to rely upon past virtuous deeds and achievements in ministry or to dwell on sins and failures of our past. Neither of these is helpful, to be distracted by your past debilitates one’s efforts in the present. Satan’s strongholds as the accuser of the brethren, is to get us feeling all of the guilt and shame of our past failures and sins, Christ has forgiven us of all such deeds. But also, Satan would love to have us worry over our future and what lies ahead. These two places can be combatted daily when we present ourselves to God as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). Live in the victory of forgiveness, and let your gentleness be made known to all man, God is for you. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32) Praise the Lord! and Happy New Year!

May the Lord bless your walk thru out the New Year!


Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

2 thoughts on “Reaching Forward”

  1. Oh, my dear brother Ron……..Happy New Year…….I so needed to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me thru these words you penned…….so comforting & reminding & True……Thank you once again :^) You are such a Blessing to me & to a whole world out there hungry for the Bread of Life……I am refreshed & hopeful for whatever comes in 2014 :^) Love in Christ, Lesley

  2. Thank you Lesley, Happy New Year to you and Ed, And the Lord reward you openly for your obedience to Him.

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