The people of God are referred to in many ways in the Scriptures. We are saints, and we are His disciples. We are sheep, and we comprise His body. We are family, and we are also His bride. And this morning, reading in Philippians, I’m reminded we are also “His own.”
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. (Philippians 3:12 ESV)
Paul did what He did, not to merit favor but in response to grace. He did not consider himself as having arrived, but instead pressed on to achieve the prize. He ran the race not that men might look at him and praise him, but because he looked to Christ and sought Christ’s glory alone. And He did this, because Christ Jesus had made Paul His own.
Other translations say that Paul was “laid hold of” by Christ. I like the sound of the old King James where it’s translated that Paul followed hard after Christ so “that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Apprehended by Christ Jesus. Seized upon by the promised Messiah. Taken possession of by the King of heaven. That’s the state of every believer before ever having a thought of taking hold of Him.
The people of God are His own. That’s just who we are. Not that we deserved it, or earned it, or could ever, on our own, claim it as ours. But it’s just who we are because of what God has determined and because of what Christ has done.
We have been bought with a price, and we are not our own (1Cor 6:19). He gave Himself to redeem us and “to purify for Himself a people for His own possession” (Titus 2:14). He sought us when we were lost. He loved us when we were at war with Him. He gave all when we had nothing to give in return. And all that He might seize us to Himself. All that He might apprehend us to be a people for His sole possession. All that we might be called His own.
His own. No boasting in wearing the banner, for He claimed me long before I knew Him. No self-righteousness in taking the title, for I am only His because of the righteousness credited to my account on His behalf. No sitting back thinking that now that I am His I have somehow reached the finish line, but instead, like Paul, pressing on toward the prize that I might, through the Spirit indwelling me, make it my own. Counting all things loss and leaving all things behind for the “surpassing worth of knowing” Him who has made me His own.
His own. That’s me. Such are the people of God. O blessed thought.
By grace alone . . . for His glory alone