Tag Archives: the book of Philippians

“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”  (Philippians 3:16, NIV)

We are accountable to God only for what we know, not for what we don’t know.

If we thought only for 60 seconds of all that we’ve been “taught,” whether formally, or through life experience; first-hand, or through the experience of others: we should be amazed how much we already know.

All of us — to some degree — have attained knowledge of what is right, good, true, and edifying.  We have attained knowledge of how good it feels to be treated with love and grace; and we have opportunities every day to live up to that knowledge — and the knowledge we’ve acquired beyond such basics.

Are you living up to the knowledge you’ve attained?  – Luther

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“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”  (Philippians 3:17, NIV)

Every person is a “model.”  Some people are examples of what to do; and others are examples of what not to do.

Paul encouraged the disciples in Philippi to follow his own example, and to follow others in the community who live similarly.

Righteous living needs to be encouraged because it often requires making choices that are contrary to the culture; such as, eschewing the love of money, loving our enemies, and being kind to the poor.

If you are discouraged because it seems that you’re alone on the narrow path of righteous living, look around!  When you find a fellow-traveler, keep your eyes on him or her, even if from afar.  – Luther

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“But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 3:20, NIV)

Today’s verse is taken from a larger scripture passage (Philippians 3:1-21) where Paul addresses the challenges — and the frustrations — in aspiring to live a holy life in the midst of corruption.

We tend to think of “corruption” as a synonym for “evil.”  It is not.

Corruption occurs in any instance where some thing’s (or someone’s) true form or function is shaped or used for a lesser purpose. For example, using a kitchen knife as a screwdriver is a corruption of the design and purpose of the knife. The knife will do the job of driving a screw, but often with permanent damage to the knife tip.  Better to just use the correct tool for the job, right?

We bear the signs of “corruption” in our body and mind.  We are in physical decline, although we are eternal beings.  We dream of heaven’s glories while toiling for the trinkets of earth.  We are citizens of heaven living under the laws of earth.  We were not created for this!

The solution to our corruption is the Savior.  His advent will end our exile.  In the meantime, wait — and work — in faithfulness toward that day.  – Luther

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