Summary: And so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:11 Paul constantly seemed to be narrowly escaping death as he endured so many things for the sake of Jesus. His ministry life was enshrouded with persecution. Even in his i ..
And so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:11
Paul constantly seemed to be narrowly escaping death as he endured so many things for the sake of Jesus. His ministry life was enshrouded with persecution. Even in his initial calling as an Apostle the Lord says: “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16). Of course he ran from persecutors many times and even escaped in a basket down a city wall at night. Yet it seems now he learned to see suffering different and even started to seek after a greater “participation” with Christ in the death on the cross. It was not a prayer that was foreign to early believers as it was Paul’s own prayer, I am willing to suffer for you even to die for you Lord. It that Paul was saying: “Lord, if you would privilege me somehow to die for you as a martyr, I desire to finish well and hold the faith till the end.” He was sure of his salvation, yet he learnt to count his life not precious and with open eyes desired to embrace eternity as a gift and joy.
Ignatius an early church martyr wrote to the believers of Rome that he desired: “to attain to Jesus Christ,” and “It is better for me to die on behalf of Jesus Christ than to reign over all the ends of the earth. Him I seek, who died for us: him I desire, who rose again for our sake. Permit me to be an imitator of the Passion of my God.” What a moving statement to read, he was gripped by the love of Jesus Christ and in humble love and appreciation he sought at all cost to follow in his way. Ignatius was a the third Bishop of Antioch and was discipled by John the Apostle himself. The Apostle John who passed on the true faith of Jesus Christ through letters such as 1 John, passed on the faith once delivered to the saints to Ignatius. Do we have this inner desire in us to attain and follow in the way our Lord went? Thoughts of the resurrection, the great cloud of witnesses, the holy assembly worshipping in heaven should fill our minds. We are investing towards and living towards the heavenly kingdom, let us get the same vision and heart these early believers had and therefore we will be able to endure any suffering and persecution gladly.