What is the Goal of YOUR Religion?

Philippians 3.10 claims, my aim is to know Him, to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings, and to be like Him in His death.

What is the goal of your religion? To get to heaven? This was not the goal of arguably the greatest Christian who was not also God. Perhaps the secret to his Christianity was the fact that he made his understanding, practice and experience of God now, not future.

Perhaps the reason so few Christians have so little passion for God now is because their goal for experiencing Him is not now but later, after we die. What if that is too late? Interestingly, God, when He lived among us as one of us, spent nearly all of His time teaching us how to live now.

Jesus taught we are to obey God today, He modeled pursuing God daily, He made the work of God in this world the priority of His people. It explains why Jesus spent so little time and gave almost no description of heaven or what awaits those who finally pass from this life into the next.

The daily goal as the Apostle Paul outlined in our verse begins with knowing God. Daily our prayers should be lifted to God while we daily hear from God through the Scriptures. It is the Bible that reveals the will of God and the ways of God so that we can engage the work of God today.

Second, Paul wanted to experience today the power of baptism. Not the water part but the Spirit part. In baptism we proclaim the burial of our past life and the resurrection of our new life in Christ. It is this new life that is to be lived powerfully with God and before men. What does a powerful life look like? It looks like the life of Jesus focused on His objectives with His character.

This leads to part three which is the result of living like Jesus: suffering. Imagine being God but having to tolerate the disrespect, the dishonor, and the disregard of people who are disinterested in the fact that God is with us.

Jesus suffered in holding back all that He is, was and deserves in order to serve, love and sacrifice for those who were supposed to worship, love and obey Him. Jesus suffered the humiliation of being God but living as a Man, a humble, life-giving, servant. To share in His sufferings is to not claim our rights, titles, or possessions as anything but gifts to be given for the welfare of others.

Finally, to become like Jesus in His death. A life laid down for others so they can live. Who is gaining, who is living, who is succeeding because we are giving and we are sacrificing. That is what it means to be like Him in His death.

So what is the goal of your religion? To get to heaven where you hope to experience its value, or to live it now, like Jesus did, where you experience His promise that only those who lose their lives truly find them?

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