Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Apprehending and apprehended by Christ
I have used the King James here because of the multiple use of the words apprehend and apprehended. I would like to unpack that word a bit and look at the Greek word translated as apprehend and apprehended. The Greek word is katalambano. It means to *take eagerly* *seize* *apprehend.* I like the word apprehend and I think that it is very descriptive of how we participate in our salvation. When one is apprehended by the police it means that they are taken into custody and cannot get away even if they want to. By the same token, the apprehender seizes and will not let go. Christ provided reconciliation to all and it can be apprehended by faith. So then, there is a double action. We apprehend Christ’s provision by our faith, and Christ Jesus apprehends us and will not let go. This is what the writer of Hebrews meant by persevering to the end.
The double apprehension provides security because we realize that Christ will not let go of us. Once we apprehend we are apprehended. How is katalambano used in other places? That is a very good question. Paul uses it in Romans chapter 9. (Rom 9:30-31) “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained (apprehended) righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; (31) but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained (apprehended) the law of righteousness.” I inserted the word apprehended because it fits just as well as attained and shows definitely what I am positing. It must be remembered that the word is katalambano in both Philippians and Romans.
The Gentiles had apprehended righteousness by faith… do you see that? --- apprehended by faith. The Jews had been trying to obtain/apprehend righteousness by the works of the law. It should be so obvious by this post and yesterday’s post that orthodox-evangelical doctrine and dogma is grossly off the mark. This eliminates the possibility of self-righteousness and it assures the perseverance of the saints. Holding on, persevering, laying hold of, apprehending is all accomplished by faith. This is a promise that even the chief of sinners can rest in. --- Remember, Paul, the Pharisee that was blameless according to the righteousness found in the law, said that he was the chief of sinners.
The point of all of this, is simply that one must rest in their apprehension by faith of the provision of Christ Jesus. Do not try to rest in behavior and law obedience… you cannot apprehend Christ that way. It is sad that so many evangelical teachers and preachers are emphasizing the law and law obedience as if one could apprehend Christ by obeying the law.
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