Knowing and Partnering
In the beginning of the third chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians, Paul warns the recipients of those who want to infiltrate the church and force all the demands of "the law" of their religion back upon them. Paul states that there was no one who kept the laws of Judaism better than him. Not only was he born into the rich culture of the Jewish people, but he'd also trained to be a religious leader, a Pharisee, who faultlessly kept the law. He then states, in shocking terms, that all that he had done in the past to keep the demands of the law he now counts as "rubbish"...some translations: "dung"...and, if we are honest with the translation, the term Paul uses is more vulgar and harsh than "dung". You get the drift...and its stench!
Paul is saying that his religious zeal for the law is a stench compared to his relational knowing of Christ. James says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." And Paul is saying that knowing Christ...being in a deep and trusting relationship with Him...is where that pure and undefiled religion is birthed. Not the other way around. We would do well to remember that knowing Christ and partnering with him should permeate all other pursuits. You get the drift...and it's sweet!
Let us come together this weekend and be reminded of our partnership with Christ and with one another!
God's grace be with your spirit!