Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. ~Philippians 3:1
The word “safe” implies something free of harm, danger, and unnecessary risk. Embedded within all of us is a sense of preservation from endangerment. We take precautions, and try to always be aware of our surroundings. We are careful not to expose ourselves from bacteria that can make us sick. We are careful to invest our money where our exposure to risk is minimized. Paul writes to us that it is better to be safe than sorry.
We are safe when we are saved.
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” The most important thing for us to be is to be saved! “Saved” means that we are safe from condemnation to hell for our sins. “Saved” means that we have placed our entire faith and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation. There is no righteousness in any of us to be saved. True righteousness comes through faith in Jesus. Are you saved? If so, thank the Lord this morning that you are safe! If you are not saved, there is no safety for your eternal security unless Jesus is your Savior.
We are safe when we are separated.
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” The doctrine of separation instructs us to keep a safe distance from beliefs, practices, and people that could be injurious to our faith and testimony. We should be separated from false doctrine. Dogs, evil workers, and the concision refer to false teachers. They are spiritual predators, seeking to beguile you from your faith. Whenever I approach a home with a “Beware of Dog” sign, I am always cautious not to open the gate or come within the perimeter where a dog could consider me a trespasser and attack me. The same idea applies to false teachers and their doctrine. We should also be careful of fleshly desires. Paul said to put no confidence in the flesh. Our carnal desires can get the best of us, and lead us into sin we will regret. Keep a distance from these risks, and instead get close to God and His Word.
We are safe when we are in submission.
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” “Submission” means to acquiesce and follow. We are in submission when we desire God’s Word and will for our lives. We cannot know the Lord Jesus closely unless we are in His Word. Paul said, “to write the same things to you.” God’s Word was written so that we might know the Lord. We are doing God’s will when we let go of our reservations, and live for Him even if it means suffering. Doing God’s will brings us into conformity with His holiness. Are you doing God’s will? Then, you are someone who is in submission to the Lord.
We are safe when we are strategic.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The goal in life is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the pearl of great price. He is the prize at the end of our faith journey. “Pressing toward the mark” means that we are running the race with Jesus as our goal. The most strategic thing we can do with our life is to glorify God. As an athlete who competes in the Olympics to win the gold for his country, we are pressing forward in faith to exalt Christ. Is the vision of your life advancing Jesus? Is the strategy you are pursuing advancing His gospel and winning souls? Be strategic about Jesus, and you will be safe.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Don’t take any chances with your life. Obey God’s Word, keep a safe distance, and make Jesus the goal of your life.
Have a safe God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 16-18