This week I’m taking my oldest child, who just turned 14, to test for his driving permit. (Pray for me!) To receive his permit, we need to take my driver’s license, to prove that I’m an Arkansas resident, and my child’s birth certificate, to prove that he belongs to me.
Because he’s my child, my son has certain privileges and also responsibilities. He doesn’t get food, clothing, shelter, and love because he’s earned them, and he doesn’t finish his chores each week to secure his status as our child. But rather, he receives privileges and has responsibilities because he’s our child.
I couldn’t deny my son even if I wanted to—the state of Indiana made it official in 2004 when they put my name on his birth certificate. In the coming years, there might be days when he ignores me, questions my goodness to him, or strays from my instructions. But nothing will change the fact that he belongs to me.
In Philippians 3, Paul makes this beautiful statement as he discusses his striving in the Christian life:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Philippians 3:12)
The gifts we receive from Christ and our obedience to Christ both flow from what Christ has done for us—He’s made us His own. Paul revels in his status as God’s child, not because of a righteousness of his own, but because of a righteousness from God through faith (Phil. 3:9). He knows he isn’t perfect, but he’s secure in the perfection of Christ.
Because of this solid standing before God, Paul is pressing on in his faith (Phil. 3:13-14). We don’t chase after holiness as a way of proving ourselves to God. We pursue righteousness because the Righteous One has pursued and taken hold of us.
I hope this brings you comfort today, friend. Whether you’re struggling through suffering or wrestling with sin, remember that Christ Jesus died to make you His own. You can rest securely in His love for you.
No matter what you face this week, Christ Jesus has made you His own.Share