Monday, July 30, 2012

Apprehending and apprehended by Christ


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.
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.

3 comments:

  1. I'd like to go a step further. In Genesis, the allegory of man in the garden with God and then man separated from God and on his own reflects the problem, the antithesis being the solution. In other words, if the problem is separation from God the solution is to be rejoined to God. Jesus represents someone who is one with God. And, as such he constantly butted heads with man's religion. There was no religion mentioned when man was either with God in the garden or when he was separated from God afterwards. Somehow we now start with religious theology and try to get to the bottom of things by proving what it isn't. Why not just drop religion entirely and be one with God? To keep going to church and listening to preachers or evangelists continues to further the problem than providing the solution to the problem. Just by they being in a church endorses going to church which has been the problem all along. If Jesus were here today in the flesh and walked into a church he might say things like: " Why do you pray into the air to be heard by God" or " How is it you think your singing is actually worship" or " Didn't you ever read what I said about the hypocrites and how that they did everything to be seen by man and I told them to relate to God in secret?"or " Who told you tithing is about money? Didn't I tell you the words I spoke were spirit and not flesh? How is it you have interpreted the things I have said to mean natural things?" or " Why doesn't each person in the congregation share what God has revealed to them? Why does the preacher only get to talk and the parishioners have to sit silently listening? Don't you know that my spirit is in them too? or, or, or, etc. Churchianity is the thing Jesus came to deliver us from and not to further entrench us into to it. Theology is the study of God. Jesus came to reveal the father to us and to make us one with the Father. This is the whole point of it. The study of anything suggests making the thing apart from itself. When I read more teachings that try to clear up scripture and leave a person without being one with God I wonder what's the point? If the Holy Spirit has entered us we are to become one with the spirit and yield to the spirit. The spirit teaches us and changes our thinking. It isn't more teaching that does this.

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    Replies
    1. You make some very valid points. I am quite sure that those would likely be Jesus words to the church. The purpose of this blog is to show that there are other equally valuable ways to look at the scripture.

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  2. Some of us have been stuck in the churchianity for our whole lives and need someone to help open our eyes.

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