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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Attaining the Out-resurrection, #9
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
We do not seek to acquire the likeness of God in our life, or fruitfulness, or dominion, so we may become spiritually proficient or a powerful person. We seek to acquire union with God through the Lord Jesus Christ so the Divine image, fruitfulness, and dominion, which are the true goals of every person, may be given to us lawfully and enable us to please the Father.
No human being ever finds rest and joy until he finds it in the heart of God.
This is what Paul was seeking—to be found in Christ, not having any accomplishments, any righteousness of his own. All that is of gain to Paul must come as a result of his union with Christ.
Divine union, Divine Life, Divinely ordained image, fruitfulness, and dominion are an upward calling. The call comes down to us from the throne of the almighty God and draws us upward toward that throne.
The call to union is the call to the Bride of the Lamb. Response to the call of Divine love requires that every other interest and affection be regarded as secondary and that all previous accomplishments and experiences be laid aside and forgotten.
The Bride of the Lamb turns away from every entangling relationship so that Christ may have undisputed first place in her heart. He will allow no competitors.
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him (Psalms 45:10,11).
Paul was stretching toward the fullness of relationship to Christ, a fullness that the Lord caused to appear on the horizon of Paul's spiritual consciousness. He was pressing forward in single-minded pursuit of this perfect, complete relationship.
Such pure devotion to Christ is admirable under any circumstance. The fact that Paul was seeking Christ with such intensity while he was in prison, with the zeal of one newly saved, should give us a different orientation to the Christian discipleship than the current "decision for Christ."
Our standard of discipleship is far below that presented by Paul. We may believe in one or two "works of grace" that give the seeker membership in a particular group. But the Scriptures point toward a lifelong pursuit of total union with Christ: with all He is, all He does, all He inherits.
"To attain the first resurrection from among the dead." What a challenge! What a departure from our traditional thinking! Will our complacency, our indifference, force the Lord God to lower His standards?
Or will we be held to this Word?
If we are being held to the written Word of the Apostles of the Lamb, how many of us actually will attain the first resurrection, the out-resurrection from the dead?
At the time of his writing to the saints, overseers, and deacons in Philippi, Paul had not as yet attained the first resurrection.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ (Philippians 3:12).
Given the spiritual stature of Paul at this time, it becomes clear that the rewards of the overcomer can be gained by nothing less than total devotion to Christ.
To be continued.