Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-eight through forty-eight of the nineteenth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find Jesus preparing for the week of what would become known as His passion. As you draw near and approach the words found and contained within this portion of scripture you will encounter Jesus ascending up toward Jerusalem in order that He might fulfill a very specific portion of His mission upon the earth. The interesting thing to note concerning that which we find in these verses is that Jesus has been preparing for Jerusalem for quite some time now. If you read the words which the beloved physician Luke has been writing in recent chapters you will quickly discover that there cane a specific point within and during the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ when that which was before Him was the city of Jerusalem and everything that would befall Him there. You will no doubt have already noticed how Jesus made ready and prepared His disciples for the journey He must take and the journey He must make unto and into the city of Jerusalem. On more than one occasion Jesus deliberately and intentionally spoke unto His disciples concerning His need to journey unto the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that you will find that Jesus made ready and prepared His disciples for the suffering He would encounter at the hands of the chief priests, elders and religious leaders of that day. Jesus spoke unto His disciples and declared unto them that He must needs be betrayed by one from among them, and as a direct result of that betrayal He would find Himself suffering at the hands of the religious community of that day. Jesus made it perfectly clear that He would be spat upon, that He would be scorned and would in fact be ridiculed at the hands of the religious community that was present at that time. What’s more, is that Jesus would even make ready and prepare His disciples for the fact that He would also suffer at the hands of the Gentiles and would suffer at the hands of sinners at that time. Jesus spoke very clearly and declared unto His disciples they the time was coming and fast approaching when He would find Himself in the absolutely center of the divine will of God as He would fave and endure tremendous suffering and persecution at the hands of those who vehemently opposed Him.
What’s so incredibly interesting and intriguing about the suffering which Jesus faded and experienced within the city of Jerusalem is that it was precluded by an incredible and tremendous amount of persecution and opposition. If and as you read the words which describe the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find that before the suffering was ever manifested there was first the persecution. Before the suffering would ever be manifested within the city of Jerusalem there would be the continued persecution that would follow and find Him whenever He would go, for the chief priests, the scribes: the elders of Israel, and even the Pharisees and Sadducees would vehemently oppose and persecute Him. If you study the words which are found within the four gospels you will quickly find and discover that throughout the ministry of Jesus the religious community took great offense to and with Him, for they could not handle His operating outside their rules, outside their traditions, and outside their ore defined borders and boundaries. The religious leaders and system during that day took great offense with Jesus and His app at disregard for the Sabbath as He healed on more than one occasion on that particular day. We dare not miss and lose sight of the fact that before the suffering of Jerusalem ever took place within the life of Jesus there first cane the persecution and opposition of religion, and those who vehemently hated Him. Please do not miss the incredible and tremendous significance of this, for although Jesus faces persecution and opposition, the persecution and opposition was not the suffering. The persecution and opposition which Jesus faces and endured was not the suffering she would face and endure within the city of Jerusalem and would merely be the precursor to the suffering which she would face once entering into Jerusalem. We would like to think that the persecution and opposition Jesus faced was in fact the suffering spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, however, the truth of the matter is that this simply not the case. The persecution and opposition was no more the suffering of Jesus the Christ than the actual suffering was the cross upon which He would die. As you will discover through reading the gospels, the suffering Jesus experiences and endured in Jerusalem was not the cross, for the cross would be manifested after the suffering had been completed.
It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this reality and concept of persecution and opposition within the life of Jesus the Christ, for the persecution and opposition He faced and experienced was not the suffering that was spoken of and foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah. More often than not we mistake such opposition and even persecution as suffering, and yet the truth of the matter is that it is not at all what we think. Though it could have perhaps been uncomfortable and inconvenient to experience persecution and opposition, such realities were not the suffering which would befall Jesus upon entering Jerusalem. What’s more, is that there would be an entire week leading and building up to that moment when Jesus would in fact face the suffering which was promised and foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets. It was true that within the ministry of Jesus the Christ He found Himself at odds with the chief priests, the scribes and the elders, however the true suffering would be manifested within His life during that week of passion within the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that the suffering Jesus faced and endured within the city of Jerusalem was really only one night, and a portion of the following morning. When we think of the suffering which Jesus faced and experienced, we must look at it through and understand it in light of being momentary, temporal and fleeting. Although the suffering would ultimately give way to the cross, and the cross would ultimately give way to earth and the tomb, the suffering would be temporary and would not be a lasting reality within the life of Jesus the Christ. There are two distinct realities which we must carefully examine before we delve any further into that which is before us in this particular passage of Luke, and at the risk of getting ahead of myself for future writings, I am going to present you with two distinct passages which are found within Scripture. The first passage will indeed require us to look back in history and take a journey back in time to the ancient words of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, while the other passage requires us to look forward into the New Testament, and specifically to the words of the apostle Paul. What’s more, is that I would even dare say that we must also consider the words which the apostle Peter wrote in his first epistle which was written unto the saints which were scattered abroad throughout Asia major and Asia Minor. Consider first if you will the words which are written and recorded in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah, and specifically, words which are found in the fifty-third chapter of this Old Testament book. Beginning with the first verse of this particular chapter you will find the following words which were written by the ancient Hebrew prophet:
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is not beauty that we would desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; aHe was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living: For the transgression of my people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an o fearing for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travel of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I driving Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).
The words which we find in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah are words which bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that before Jesus ever took on the form of human flesh, and before Jesus every took upon Him the seed of Abraham, it was ordained by God and prophesied by the Law and the prophets that He must suffer. In fact, after Jesus rose from the grave on the third day and manifested Himself unto those whom He would show Himself alive to, He upbraided them for their unbelief and for their hardness of heart, and would speak of the Law and the prophets, and how both the Law and the prophets spoke of the suffering He must endure in this life. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of this reality, for it is a absolutely necessary to understand the focus and determination of Jesus the Christ. What so amazes me about Jesus the Christ is before the suffering was ever manifested in His life and In His physical body, He knew that He must needs suffer—and not only suffer at the hands of the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes of that time, but He must also suffer at the hands of Gentiles and sinners;. Furthermore, even after the suffering was over—after the cross had worked its perfect work within His life, and after He had risen from the grave on the third day—Jesus spoke of and declared how His suffering was not only necessary, but also ordained and predetermined by the living God and Father. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this particular reality, for to do so would be to miss the incredible importance of the suffering which Jesus the Christ experienced and endured within this life. Jesus fully recognized and understood prior to the suffering, and prior to the cross that He must needs suffer, and that it was according to the Law and the prophets which revealed the divine heart, mind and will of the Father that He must suffer. While walking upon the earth Jesus knew without a doubt that He was to suffer at the hands of the religious leaders and at the hands of the religious system of that day, and there was absolutely no avoiding it. What’s more, is that even after the suffering was finished and completed, Jesus knew that the suffering He would endure and experience would be according to the -predetermined will of the Father who sits upon the throne in heaven. Jesus recognized and knew that His life and ministry would lead Him to Jerusalem, and that it would be in the city of Jerusalem that He would face and experience tremendous suffering, affliction, agony, and the like. It would be in Jerusalem where Jesus would find Himself coming face to face with the suffering that was long foretold and long prophesied by the ancient Hebrew prophets, and even according to the Law which was given unto Moses.
With all of that being said, it’s interesting and worth noting that despite the fact that Jesus was destined to suffer and to even face the cross upon which He would die, the suffering He experienced and endured would be fleeting and temporary. The suffering which Jesus would find Himself facing and experienced would not be permanent, nor would it be lasting, but rather it would be temporary. When you think about the suffering which Jesus faced and experienced within the city of Jerusalem, you will clearly see and recognize that the suffering took place during the course of a single night, and even though it carried over into the following morning, would not last. The suffering would be short lived, and while it would ultimately and inevitably lead to the cross upon which He would die, even that too was temporary. It’s interesting and worth noting that not only was the suffering temporary within the life of Jesus the Christ, but so also was the cross. Despite the fact that both were ordained and predetermined by the divine will of the Father, neither would last and remain within the life of Jesus the Christ. It is absolutely necessary that we come face to face with this particular reality, for the persecution and opposition Jesus experienced throughout His ministry would not be the suffering He would experience on the night He was betrayed in the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that the suffering He would experience within the city of Jerusalem would not be the cross, and the cross would manifest itself within the life of Jesus the Christ after the suffering had worked its perfect work within Him. With that being said, I am convinced it is necessary to turn our attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Roman saints. Beginning with the twelfth verse of the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Roman saints we find the following words written by the apostle Paul:
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bearers witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature Waite this for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we say then to these things? If God be fore us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? IT is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, not things to come, not height, nor depth, not any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:12-39).
It is quite clear and quite obvious from the words which the apostle Paul wrote within this passage of Scripture that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. If you would ask the apostle Paul concerning suffering, he would undoubtedly speak and declare unto you that even though he would spend the rest of his life suffering for the cause and suffering for the name of Christ, those sufferings he experienced would be absolutely nothing compared to the glory he would receive in the coming life. If you were to speak with the apostle Paul about the sufferings He faced and experienced in this life for the name of Jesus the Christ, He would emphatically and without hesitation or reservation declare that the suffering he experienced and endured were not even worthy to be compared, nor even considered in the same conversation as the glory which awaited him in glory in the kingdom of heaven. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of this, for the suffering which Jesus the Christ faced, experienced and endured was temporary and would not last. The suffering which Jesus the Christ would experience and endure would be present within his life and within His body but for a moment, and would give way to the cross upon which He would die. Even through the suffering He faced and endured would give way to the cross, and even though it would be upon the cross He would ultimately die, the suffering He faced and experienced would not be lasting and permanent within His life. The suffering which Jesus faced and endured would be temporary and fleeting, and would ultimately give way to the cross, which would not only put an end to the suffering, but would also put an end to everything he experienced in those final hours. It’s actually quite interesting to think about the fact that the cross would actually be the instrument that would not only put an end to the suffering which Jesus would experience, but it would also be the instrument upon which He would die. The cross upon which Jesus would die, and the cross which Jesus would carry along the Via Dolorosa would be the instrument that would bring an end to the suffering which He faced at the hands of the chief priests, the elders of Israel, the scribes, and all those who opposed and rejected Him. What’s more, is that the cross upon which Jesus would die would not even manifest itself within His life until the suffering had been completed and had worked its perfect work within His life. Even the author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews writes concerning the sufferings of Jesus the Christ, and how the sufferings He faced and experienced would work a perfect work within His life, and I am convinced would even prepare Him for the cross. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the cross upon which Jesus would die would actually be an instrument which would be used to bring an end to the suffering which Jesus experienced and endured at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, and even the Roman soldiers. THE CROSS BRINGS AN END TO SUFFERING! THE CROSS IS THE INSTRUMENT WHICH BRINGS AN END TO THE SUFFERING WE FACE IN THIS LIFE!
I am convinced that we must examine the words which the apostle Peter wrote in the first epistle which was written unto the Jews which were scattered throughout Asia, for the words which the apostle Peter wrote would shine an incredible amount of light on to the reality of suffering in this life, and even the suffering which Jesus the Christ endured and experienced in this life. It is within the words which we read within this first epistle written by the apostle Peter that we come face to face with the incredible reality that the suffering we face and the suffering we endure and experience in this life is nothing more than a temporary and fleeting reality, and is not intended to be a permanent reality. Even if we must spend as lifetime of suffering as Paul did after Christ encounter Him on the road to Damascus, the suffering we find ourselves experiencing and enduring is absolutely nothing compared to the glory which awaits us on the other side of death—on the other side of the cross and the grave if you will. Jesus suffered at the hands of both the religious community and sinners alike on the night in which He was betrayed, and yet that suffering would give way to the cross, and it would be the cross which would prepare and make ready Him to rise on the third day, and even ascend unto the right hand of the Father. Please don’t miss the absolute and incredible significance of the fact that not only did the cross bring an end to the suffering which Jesus experienced in this life, but the cross would also place Him in the grave and position Him to rise on the third day, and even to ascend. THE CROSS PREPARES US TO RISE AGAIN! THE CROSS PREPARES US TO RISE AGAIN! THE CROSS PREPARES US TO ASCEND. OH dearly beloved, it is absolutely necessary that we lay hold of this reality within our hearts and lives, for it has the ability to dramatically change and transform absolutely everything we believe and hold dear to in this life. I am thoroughly convinced that the cross was not only an instrument which brought to a close the sufferings which Jesus experienced and endured, but the cross also positioned Him in the grave to rise on the third day, and even ascend unto the right hand of the Father forty days later after He was raised from the dead. With that being said, please consider the words which the apostle Peter wrote in the first epistle he wrote unto the saints which were scattered abroad throughout the region of Asia:
“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting way of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath c eased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, reveling, banqueting, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall Cover’s the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the shame one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak. Let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and for God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murder, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 3:18-4:18).
Everything that has been written thus far points to the reality that the persecution and opposition which Christ experienced and endured in this life was not the suffering He would face and endure in the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that even the suffering which Jesus would face and experience at the hands of religious folk and sinners alike would not be the cross upon which He would die. In fact, it would be the cross He would carry and upon which He would die that the suffering He experienced in this life would be brought to an end, and He would be positioned in the grave to rise on the third day. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think that not only did the cross bring an end to the suffering, but the cross would also position Christ in the single greatest position of victory—namely, in the grave—for it would be on the third day He would rise from the grave. Furthermore, it would be the cross which would position Him in the grave—not only that He might rise on the third day with the keys of death and hell—but it would also position Him to ascend unto the right hand of the Father who was in heaven. How absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider this absolutely wonderful reality concerning Jesus the Christ, and even concerning the suffering He would face and experience in this life—suffering which would be temporary and fleeting. Please lay hold of and do not miss this reality, for it is absolutely astounding and astonishing to think that not only was the suffering which Jesus experienced temporary and fleeting, but it would position Him to face and experience the cross. It would be the cross which would position Him in the grave in order that He might not only rise on the third day, but would also ascend unto the right hand of the Father on the third day. What we find in the nineteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke is a wonderful and powerful picture of Jesus the Christ steadfastly setting His face like flint toward Jerusalem—toward the suffering and toward the cross—for He knew that it was in Jerusalem where He would be in the center of the will of God, and it would be in Jerusalem where He would truly encounter that which the Father had purposed and ordained for His life within and upon the earth> I absolutely love how Luke wrote concerning Jesus that He ascended up to Jerusalem, for it in fact speaks of something which was pursued, and something which must needs be attained. One thing we must recognize and understand is that Jerusalem was in fact a city on a hill, and that the site of the Temple Mount might very well have been the ancient site of Mount Moriah where Abraham was ready to offer his one and only son Isaac as a sacrifice upon the altar. The very fact that we read concerning Jesus ascending up to Jerusalem speaks to the tremendous reality that what He would face and experience there in the city would be something that was to be attained and pursued, and not something that would be dreaded, avoided, or even feared.
THE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM IS AN UPWARD ASCENT! THE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM IS AN ONWARD JOURNEY AND AN UPWARD PATH! Please don’t miss this absolutely wonderful and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss the awesome importance of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. It would be Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem that would set Him on an upward path—an upward path of the high calling if you will—in order that He might fulfill and accomplish the divine will, purpose and plan of the Father. It would be the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem that would set Him on a path upward and forward, thus not giving any room or space for retreat or running away. Oh, I absolutely love how Luke wrote and recorded concerning Jesus ascending up to Jerusalem, for it speaks of the tremendous pursuit of Jesus to that which would be before Him—namely, betrayal by one of His own, suffering at the hands of the religious system, suffering at the hands of sinners and Gentiles, and ultimately death upon the cross. The journey to Jerusalem might be one that positions us in a place that is uncomfortable and perhaps even inconvenient for us, and yet the journey to Jerusalem is one that is in all reality an upward calling and an upward journey. Consider the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the twelfth chapter of that epistle: “Wherefore seeing we also are comopassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth do sexily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Consider also the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the third chapter of the epistle which he wrote unto the Philippians beginning with the seventh verse. In fact, I leave you with these words of the apostle Paul, for they directly link and directly connect the reality of Christ and His upward ascent unto Jerusalem to our own upward ascent and forward journey. Consider the following words which are found within this chapter beginning with the seventh verse:
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 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: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 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. 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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Philippians 3:7-16).