What we are trying to do with this new section is to present a short, simple article that can be read without consulting a large amount of Scripture, but at the same time giving ample Scripture at the end of the page, that you can view if you wish, to establish or justify our comments.
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This is a sequel to our previous page entitled, A Demonstration Of Life And Its Purpose. It may help, in our spiritual growth program – for we are all still growing or wilting on the vine - to give some consideration to the way we were raised in our childhood, and some of the people and events that influenced us as we grew-up. What were the things that developed your understanding of what life is all about and the way it should be lived?
As I began to contemplate my own person, the first thing I thought of was that the most predominate consideration of life that I entertained throughout my childhood, adolescence and into adulthood was that I should be able to and allowed to do whatever I wanted to do – as long as it was not harmful in any way. I didn’t consciously think this way, but I tried to live this way and resented anyone or anything that prevented me from carrying out my desires.
Now let’s examine how we all started and the first building blocks of life, using my personal life as an example. (1 Cor. 3:9; 1 Peter 2:5; 2 Cor. 3:18)
The above outline contains the basic building blocks of my life. I tried as best I knew how to give God an opportunity to direct my life and mold me into the person He wanted me to be; had I made different choices, I and the outcome would have been somewhat different also. Nevertheless, I believe that God was in control, watching over it all, and making His adjustments as He saw fit for, – "We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose" (Rom. 8:28).
When we look back at our life, we can all see the mistakes that marred and disfigured our person as we grew up, and then tried to adjust as we went along. How about you, can you see the building blocks that formed you, and have you ever turned your life over to Christ to make the adjustments that He sees are needful? Did you then begin to prayerfully study God’s Word to learn of Him and His will for your life? And since that time can you see the hand of God directing the course of your life?
1 Cor. 3:9-10.... For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God's garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God's building. [Isa. 61:3.] According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it, . . .
1 Peter 2:5.... [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.
2 Cor. 3:18.... And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
Phil. 3:7-21.... But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed one), and that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed one), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.
17Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed one). They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party. But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.
Ps. 119:96-100.... I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity]. [Rom. 3:10-19.] Oh, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. [Ps 1:2.] You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your words] are ever before me. I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation. [2 Tim. 3:15.] I understand more than the aged, because I keep Your precepts [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them].
Ps. 119:129-130.... Your testimonies are wonderful [far exceeding anything conceived by man]; therefore my [penitent] self keeps them [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]. The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.
Ps. 119:160.... The sum of Your word is truth [the total of the full meaning of all Your individual precepts]; and every one of Your righteous decrees endures forever.
Col. 3:1-5.... If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [Ps. 110:1.] And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory. So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).