Recently, I had comments from someone who believed that Paul was a false teacher who was a self appointed apostle, who contradicted Jesus’ teachings and who always wanted to lift himself up. He used the book of Acts to point out that Matthias was appointed, not Paul, but would not accept my argument that Luke wrote (also in Acts) that Paul was appointed by Jesus and accepted by the apostles to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. You cannot pick and choose which part of the Bible you believe and accept. If there is any doubt in some of it, what does that say about the rest of it? Read through the gospels and through Paul’s epistles (particularly Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians) and see if you see contradiction to Jesus’ teachings. Does Paul point us to himself or to Jesus Christ? Paul was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ and proclaiming the gospel. Paul says he is the least of the apostles and the chief of sinners. He says he is wretched and undeserving and only by grace was he saved. Now that I put that distraction behind me, let us move on and look at the scriptures.
Continuing from the previous daily scripture, let us discuss the next scripture:
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.
Paul always seeked to grow in Christ and to know Jesus more deeply. Sanctification, which is “making one holy” or setting apart for the purpose that God has planned for us, is an ongoing thing throughout our lives. This is what Paul talked about in Philippians 2:12 when he says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” As a believer, we should continue to “press on” to draw near to God, “to gain Christ” for He continues a good work in us; He wants to lay hold of us. Jesus wants our love and affection and wants us to grow. There needs to be growth in the Lord, not indifference. If there is indifference, if there is no growth, we should be concerned. Are we really saved? Salvation comes with change. Do we see change in our lives?
What is it that stirs your affections for Jesus Christ? Follow them. What is it that robs us of that affection? Ask God to reveal those and to remove them from your life so that you can have a close, more intimate relationship with Him. We should always strive toward that.