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Devotional - week of October 26, 2003


A MESSAGE TO THE MATURE

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind … Philippians 3:15a

Some believers are more spiritually mature than others. They express great faith in God, talk much about the Lord, the church, and the Kingdom. They joyfully serve the Lord, the church, and others. It is to this mature group Paul address his admonition:

… have this mind …

To understand the statement, one must know the context in which it is made. In earlier verses Paul wrote that faith in God and not in himself is the way to righteousness. In verse 11 Paul expresses his ultimate goal for experiencing righteousness by faith.

… if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Since Paul uses the words “if” and “attain” in his statement of desire, he is not speaking of the resurrection of his body.

He writes of his spiritual resurrection—which, according to Ephesians 2:5-6, has three features: God has entered his life, he is raised from the spiritually dead, and he is seated with Christ in the heavenlies.

Because Paul had already experienced the first two features of his spiritual resurrection, it is the third feature to which he refers. He desires that living out enthronement in the heavenlies will be a continuous experience.

Following the expression of his desire in verse 11, Paul admits that he has not arrived. He then writes that he has reduced his life to one thing—an unbroken experience of life in the heavenlies.

Paul then exhorts the mature to “have this mind.” Restated, Paul writes that even the mature Christian should know they have more growing to do and should reduce their desires to that of experiencing life in the heavenlies.

Paul knows that life in the heavenlies is the best position for one to grow in faith and righteousness. He also knows it is the best position for receiving guidance and power from God. He knows that life in the heavenlies puts believers to work in the Kingdom.