The Power of Grace Ministries

March 26
The greatest understanding one can have is that although they are not perfect or where God finally wants them to be, but at least they have left where they were and are moving in the right directions. 

Philippians 3:12-14
“12 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. 13 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, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.

Once again Paul is not saying he has not received salvation, remember the Greek word translated as attain, actually means “arrive”.  Paul was aware that he would not fully experience salvation until he went to heaven.  Having received salvation and God’s righteousness does not make us perfect in our flesh, but it does in our spirit man.  Here in lies the personal conflict of every Christian.  Our spirit is perfected by the blood of Jesus, but our flesh is always at war with our spirit. Knowing this battle is at hand Paul chooses to press on toward the upward call.  This is very important for us to understand.  All too often new Christians sit down after they receive salvation thinking the battle is now over.  Sometimes for a short period in a person’s early walk with Jesus the fleshly battle seems to be over.  As soon as the Devil recognizes a true conversion he begins his work of deception and casting doubt.  This battle is no different than the one Jesus went through when the Hold Spirit sent Him into the wilderness forty days for testing.  The testing was not that He should prove Himself to God, but that He proves Himself to Himself.  One comment that is fitting for this understanding is, “I may not have arrived, but at least I have left”.