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Daily Reformation, Philippians 2:12-21

From the Reformer

“Who will change”   By this argument he stirs up the Philippians still farther to lift up their minds to heaven, and be wholly attached to Christ—because this body which we carry about with us is not an everlasting abode, but a frail tabernacle, which will in a short time be reduced to nothing. Besides, it is liable to so many miseries, and so many dishonorable infirmities, that it may justly be spoken of as vile and full of ignominy. Whence, then, is its restoration to be hoped for? From heaven, at Christ’s coming. Hence there is no part of us that ought not to aspire after heaven with undivided affection. We see, on the one hand, in life, but chiefly in death, the present meanness of our bodies; the glory which they will have, conformably to Christ’s body, is incomprehensible by us: for if the disciples could not endure the slight taste which he afforded in his transfiguration, (Mt 17:6) which of us could attain its fullness? Let us for the present be contented with the evidence of our adoption, being destined to know the riches of our inheritance when we shall come to the enjoyment of them.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians

Pulling It Together

Confess it and move on. Christ died for your sins—even the one you just committed. You can forget it, believing in his continuing, glorious mercy, or you can wallow in it, which only glorifies the sinner by focusing your attention on you, the sinner, instead of on Christ, the One who forgives. Look at yourself as God sees you—dead to sin and alive to Christ. It is as though you are a transfigured being but cannot yet see the change.

He died so that you could be adopted into the Family. He will not now nullify his death by kicking you out of the house. Instead, when God absolves you in confession, you are reminded of the assurance of your adoption and Christ is glorified in your sinful flesh.

Yes, this flesh is a low and loathsome thing but he will be glorified even in your sinful flesh. He who was so capable of transfiguring his own flesh, may be depended upon to transform your low estate.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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