Which, on Which, and by Which

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4,9-10a

“Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

“I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:7-14

The gospel captivated and compelled Paul. The good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that had saved him was the truth on which he lived, breathed, stood and urged others to stand. It pressed upon him as he pressed on to know his Lord and make Him known.

The gospel saves, and holds us secure as we stand in salvation. It is also our resurrection power for endurance. Working out our salvation is a daily sacrifice of self-determination to the Lord’s will, a daily reckoning that what He has done for us is true and effective. It is working out salvation with fear and trembling, a constant acknowledgment that we no longer live but Christ lives in and through us. The gospel charges and sustains the exchanged life. (Romans 6:11-13; 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12-13)

Do I see the gospel as having worth surpassing the privacy, independence, and self-coddling I treasure? Can I count as rubbish everything that would keep me from knowing and abiding in Jesus? To what attitudes, affections, and activities do I cling that keep me from pressing forward in faith, obedience, and sanctification? Where has the upward call of God placed me to live out the gospel before others so they too can know His prize?

Lord, keep me watchful, strong, standing firm in the gospel and faith, doing all in love for Your purposes and glory. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

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