Posted by: reformbama | October 4, 2010

“Not About Being Perfect”

12Not 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 Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.). – Phil 3:12-19
I was going to post this about a month ago but held off for some reason. Then I was going to post it again a few days ago but held off again. However, after my better half has beat me about the head last night about finding a home church, I am going to post a modified shorter version because of other stuff going on and I don’t want others to think this is something it is not. I have been writing blogs since 2006 and when it is not politics it has been apologetics. Mostly it has been apologetics here at Reform Bama.
The thing my wife gets onto me most about the church home search is she keeps thinking that I am looking for the perfect church. I AM NOT. I am not perfect and do not expect others to be. What I do expect is for people to strive and to contend for that perfection as modeled by the Apostle Paul. The same goes for a church.
A church that strives to follow Scripture is a key point in finding a church. A church that holds a high view of God. To have a high view of God the church body has got to know Who God is, know that he has more than one attribute. A church that does not hold a finger up in the air to test the wind and ride the latest fad, but stand ready to preach the TRUTH in and out of season. A church that is discerning, and tests everything to the Light of Scripture. A church where the pastor and elders protect the flock from the wolves. To do that expositional preaching must be used. Verse by verse, book by book preaching. Let Scripture do the work.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” – Hebrews 4:12
Pastor John Piper used to worry about how he would reach the needs of a 500 plus congregation in his sermons. He knew that everyone has issues and problems. He realized that faithful preaching through the bible expositionally meets all those needs because people with different issues would come up after a sermon and ask him “How did you know”. It also keeps the pastor honest and not put his thoughts into the sermon but God’s thoughts.
Those are things that are non-negotiables in a church for me. Some may think I am 100% anti youth group. I am not, yet. I am 100% against treating youth as a bunch of idiots and thinking they cannot learn about God on an adult level. I am 100% against thinking you have to entertain them to keep coming. Youth like most adults today have the same problems.
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And most youth groups try to feed that problem by looking as cool and neat and “relevant” like the world.
Keep doing all fun and games loud music and junk to keep them. All you are doing is keeping them off the streets. What do you mean? you ask. Let us go a couple a verses further.
19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. “ 1 John 1
If the Idea that Christ died a horrible death for the elect is not enough for you to come worship in TRUTH and SPIRIT and have a desire to be fed on the richness of God’s Word, then you better examine yourself.
More to come…
3:12 Not that I have already attained. The race toward Christlikeness begins with a sense of honesty and dissatisfaction. press on. The Gr. word was used of a sprinter, and refers to aggressive, energetic action. Paul pursued sanctification with all his might, straining every spiritual muscle to win the prize (1 Cor. 9:24–27; 1 Tim. 6:12; Heb. 12:1). lay hold … laid hold of me. “Lay hold” means “to make one’s own possession.” Christ chose Paul for the ultimate purpose of conforming Paul to His glorious image (Rom. 8:29), and that is the very goal Paul pursued to attain.
3:13 apprehended. The same Gr. word translated “laid hold” in v. 12. one thing I do. Paul had reduced the whole of sanctification to the simple and clear goal of doing “one thing”—pursuing Christlikeness (see notes on 2 Cor. 11:1–3). forgetting … which are behind. The believer must refuse to rely on past virtuous deeds and achievements in ministry or to dwell on sins and failures. To be distracted by the past debilitates one’s efforts in the present.
3:14 the goal. Christlikeness here and now (see note on v. 12). the prize. Christlikeness in heaven (cf. vv. 20, 21; 1 John 3:1, 2). the upward call of God. The time when God calls each believer up to heaven and into His presence will be the moment of receiving the prize which has been an unattainable goal in earthly life.
3:15 as many as are mature. Since the spiritual perfection of Christlikeness is possible only when the believer receives the upward call, Paul is referring here to mature spirituality. He could be referring to the mature believers who were like-minded with him in this pursuit or he may also have used “mature” here to refer sarcastically to the Judaizers, who thought they had reached perfection. have this mind. A better translation is “attitude.” Believers are to have the attitude of pursuing the prize of Christlikeness. if … you think otherwise. Those who continue to dwell on the past and make no progress toward the goal. God will reveal. The Gr. word for “reveal” means “to uncover” or “unveil.” Paul left in God’s hands those who were not pursuing spiritual perfection. He knew God would reveal the truth to them eventually, even if it meant chastening (Heb. 12:5–11).
3:16 to the degree … already attained, let us walk. The Gr. word for “walk” refers to walking in line. Paul’s directive for the Philippian believers was to stay in line spiritually and keep progressing in sanctification by the same principles that had brought them to this point in their spiritual growth (cf. 1 Thess. 3:10; 1 Pet. 2:2).
3:17 my example. Lit. “be imitators of me.” Since all believers are imperfect, they need examples of less imperfect people who know how to deal with imperfection and who can model the process of pursuing the goal of Christlikeness. Paul was that model (1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Thess. 1:6). note those who so walk. The Philippian believers were to focus on other godly examples, such as Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19, 20), and see how they conducted themselves in service to Christ.
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Responses

  1. Let us know when you and your wife find that church. We have been looking for a long time. Left our old church and found a small church out in Green Pond that has about 5 families – all who homeschool. It would be nice to find one similar that is closer, though.

    • Without giving away the next post. This search has been more complicated than it needs to be and longer than it should.

      These two are on my radar, http://www.gracecovenantbaptist.org/index.html I have not visited this one yet but have talked to the pastor on the phone a few times.
      This one I have been to a graduation service and know some folks that go there, http://www.dominionbaptist.org/. Homeschoolers abound here. I can’t remember from facebook which part of the world you live in. I hope these help.

    • I think we have found our home church. Dominion Baptist.


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