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Philippians 3:15-16

  1. "All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."

    What is the view that all of us should have? In the previous verses, Apostle Paul talks about the importance of knowing Christ: "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead" (v.10, 11). Once one had met Christ, the only thing that matters is to know him more, even when this brings shame and suffering. At the time when Apostle Paul wrote these words, there was a great persecution of Christians, and in some parts of the world, there still is, making it difficult to follow Christ. However, for those living in a free country, there are other threats even more dangerous than persecution. To sum it all up, it all comes down to choosing between the prize that is waiting for us at the finish line and the pleasures of this life. While persecution can put an end to this life as we know it and bring us in the presence of God forever, the pleasures of life can distract us from what is important and separate us from God forever, and the view we should all have as followers of Christ wherever we live is that knowing him is the main priority in this life, and everything else should revolve around it. If there is something that entangles us and stands in our way, that one thing should be removed so we can run the race freely.

    Everyone has choices to make which many times will define what one believes. These beliefs have the potential to distract us from our goal by bringing confusion and misunderstanding among the believers, and they can even bring the philosophy of the world in the Church. While it is expected of us to reach out to those who are outside, we have a responsibility to guard against its teachings and not let them penetrate in. This is where we need guidance from God. How can we be of one mind when all of us face temptations and trials, and not all of us always come out victorious? Where there is the risk of failure, there is also the possibility of judgment. It is enough that the Word of God judges a person; who else can do a better job? It is the responsibility of God to judge the person, the person's job to receive the rebuke, and everyone's job to live as one in the body of Christ, knowing that we all have the same goal and running the same race. May God help us stay in this race to the end!

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