Captured by Christ


Prayer:  Lord God:  Send me Your light and Your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell (Psalm 43:3).

There is salvation and eternal life in no one but You, God.  We cannot find refuge from our destructive lives without Your loving, comforting arms.  Hold us captive by Your love.  Keep us protected from our evil thoughts and actions, that we might stand approved before You day in and day out, and that we might be captured and enveloped by joy.  Amen!

Main Scripture: Reread Philippians 1:6.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in You will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).

Associated Scriptures:

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (John 6:37).

Dear friends, now we are like children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:2-3). 

Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (Jude 1:21).

Correlative Quotes:

I am convinced neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38, NKJV). Nothing going to change that. The one who saved us will perfect us...the perseverance of the people of God, the preservation of the people of God, the reality that salvation or justification leads to glorification.[1] – John MacArthur

The Apostle Paul is saying you can bet your bottom dollar that God will complete His work, because God does not fail to complete what He starts; God does not do imperfect work; God always, to the fullest degree of perfection, completes the work that He begins; and so, you will be made perfect. And you can be confident or well-persuaded that God will not only not forsake you, but that one day He will perfect you, because God doesn't do second-rate work.[2] – J. Ligon Duncan III

Judging by the context, this expression seems to refer to the time of Christ’s coming for His church when living Christians will be translated and the dead in Christ shall be raised. The work, which God had begun in the Philippian church, in Paul’s mind was considered as moving majestically forward until it reached its acme in their presentation in glory when Christ comes for His own.[3] – John F. Walvoord


God has a plan for our lives: all of us corporately and each of us individually. God’s plan has a purpose.  God’s plan for the church is a general plan based on loving Him and loving each other, evangelizing and discipling the world, habitual prayer, giving, spiritual maturity, and the obedience of the believer.

God’s specific plan for the individual believer is tied directly to our spiritual gift(s).  Once we have asked God to reveal our specific gift(s), we can use those gifts to fulfill our personal plan.

  1. God’s Unchangeable Purpose:

From the beginning of time until this moment, God has had one simple plan for all believers.  God’s plan includes our salvation, loving Him and others unconditionally, spreading the gospel message, and mentoring new believers.

Our salvation began with justification and regeneration and continues with sanctification, the process of becoming holy.  God expects us to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12) through the power of His Spirit.  When we follow the Spirit’s leading, we are in fellowship with God and are moving toward this goal.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9. NKJV).

  1. God’s Unlimited Power:

We cannot understand, express, or describe God’s unfathomable power.  God’s power is not limited to creation, and we can’t even understand that aspect of God.  We may think that we are in control, but we are not.  God is in control of everything.  2 Timothy 1:7 (CSB): “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

When we are living in the will of God, we have access to Him through the power of His Spirit.  This power allows us to resist temptation and fulfill His calling for us.  When we walk in our own flesh, we are powerless to resist temptation.  Only our repentance and God’s forgiveness will return us to a state of spiritual growth. 1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us that are we kept by God’s power through faith.  That faith will be revealed at the coming of Christ in glory.

Wow, we are kept!  God protects us so that we are ready to be revealed as His bride at the end of time.  God saves us, and He keeps us through his unlimited power. It is this power, the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us, that will prepare us now and continue to get us ready in the future.  God saves us and keeps us through His unlimited power.

  1. God’s Ultimate Guarantee:

Our permanent position, as born again believers, is guaranteed by our justification and regeneration.  After all, we had nothing to do with our salvation.  It is all done by God and  God will complete it in the end.  Paul says in Philippians 1:6 (HCSB): “I am sure of this He will carry it to completion”  When we know that God is the one completing it, we can guarantee that it will happen (Romans 8:38-39).

Summary Statement:

You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10).  We are captured by Jesus.  When we were captured by Him, He made us whole.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God; nothing (Romans 8:38).

Lessons within the Lesson:

How can we know that we have eternal life in Christ?

What is the difference between God’s general plan for our lives and the specific plan that He has for each believer?

Where do we find the strength to resist temptation?

What is the guarantee of eternal life that God gives us?

[1] John MacArthur, Elements of Joy, Part 2, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, Ibid.

[2] J. Ligon Duncan III, He Finishes what he Starts, message given at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, Ibid.

[3] John F. Walvoord, Christ shall be Magnified, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law,