Thursday, June 29, 2006

Phillipians 3

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you.
16 Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.
18 For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.
19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

Vote by majority seemed not to be a concept in Paul's time. Instead, they were to be all of the same mind, holding to the rule of faith. If you think differently, you're supposed to wait until God reveals the "one mind", the mind of Christ, to you. Which implies something different than majority rule, where the majority is supposed to patiently wait for the minority to come around to their position, and in any event, majority rules no matter what.

Paul also speaks of body in collective rather than personal terms. "The body of our humiliation." This body is not atavistic, always being conformed back to the humiliated body even though it presses on, with stray anatomies of the Old Adam morphing into place. Instead, the body is eschatological, on the way to heaven, expectant of the Christ to whose body we wll be conformed. My confirmation students often happily misspell it as conformation, possibly a more appropriate term for affirmation of baptism in any event, because confirmation is not simple confirm a faith in propositional terms, but actually is conformation into a body, the bodily death and resurrection of Christ.

Implied also here is holding fast to a level, a Plimsoll line that is important not because we once attained it but have fallen back from such high waters and are again drowning, but because now having attained it, it is the new air we breathe above the waters of baptism.

As treaders of water in the power of the Spirit, we anticipate heavenly bodies glorious, and so do more than float.

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