The Christian Dream
We have all heard of the American dream. This is usually seen as being able to hold a good-paying job, having a family, owning your own home, possessing a vehicle or two of your choice, being able to take a vacation each year, etc. The American dream isn’t a “bad” thing in itself, but it can get in the way of the Christian dream. Did you know there is a Christian dream? Perhaps not. And therein lies the danger of making one’s focus the American dream. It can easily over shadow and supplant the Christian dream.
Paul presents this Christian dream better than anyone else in the New Testament. In fact, he had been living the “Jewish dream”! You can read in our text about his high standing, superior stock and track record in the Hebrew religion. He was “a Hebrew of Hebrews.” But he gave that all up for the Christian dream. So what is that?
Paul states that he counted “all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” This included having the righteousness of Christ through faith, sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death. This all takes on more significance when we understand that eternal life is defined by Jesus as knowing God and His Son (John 17:3). This isn’t simply factual knowledge, and it isn’t just being able to say that you’ve been baptized into Christ (although that is a must). It is experiential knowledge. Learning to think like God and to see things as God does. It is living like Christ. It is loving like Christ. This all brings a person into the relational aspect of eternal life of oneness with God (John 17:20-23).
If these aspects of the Christian dream are true in a person’s life, then the final goal will be realized - to “attain to the resurrection from the dead.” A new, never-ending life in a new body in a new place with the Lord! This is a dream which Jesus wants to come true for every person. He gave His life so it could happen.
Do you have anything you need to throw in the garbage or toss in the trash so that this Christian dream can become true for you?