Topic: Grasping the Cross (October 7, 2016)
Read: Philippians 3:7–12
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 28–29; Philippians 3
Not that I have . . . already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – Philippians 3:12
In 1856, Charles Spurgeon, the great London preacher, founded the Pastors’ College to train men for the Christian ministry. It was renamed Spurgeon’s College in 1923. Today’s college crest shows a hand grasping a cross and the Latin words, Et Teneo, Et Teneor, which means, “I hold and am held.” In his autobiography, Spurgeon wrote, “This is our College motto. We . . . hold forth the Cross of Christ with a bold hand . . . because that Cross holds us fast by its attractive power. Our desire is that every man may both hold the Truth, and be held by it; especially the truth of Christ crucified.”
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he expressed this truth as the bedrock of his life. “Not that I have . . . already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12). As followers of Jesus, we extend the message of the cross to others as Jesus holds us fast in His grace and power. “I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
Our Lord holds us in His grip of love each day—and we hold out His message of love to others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your cross is the focal point of history and the turning point of our lives. Hold us tightly as we cling to Your cross and extend your love to others.
We hold to the cross of Christ and are held by it.
Insight: Driven, disciplined, and focused might be accurate adjectives to describe Paul’s zeal in persecuting the church before he came to Christ. But when Paul met Jesus on the Damascus Road, his life took a decided turn (Acts 9). Paul was now called to be an apostle, and many marveled that he preached the gospel he once sought to destroy. The man who had been driven by self-righteousness now preached grace-righteousness.