LET’S OPEN OUR BIBLES TO PHIL. 3- AND VERSES 12 – 16
12Not 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. 13Brethren, 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, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
PAUL OFTEN USED ATHLETICS …TO ILLUSTRATE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
AND HERE WE HAVE THE ILLUSTRATION OF THE ATHLETE …. RUNNING ON ..TO THE FINISH LINE …
THE ILLUSTRATION ….OF ..MAXIMUM EFFORT .. AS THE CHRISTIAN MOVES ALONE … TOWARDS THE FINISH LINE.
AND THE HEART OF THIS PASSAGE .. IS V14..
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
IT IS TALKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN EFFORT TOWARDS GROWTH ..
IN V4 – 11 PAUL HAS GIVEN US HIS CREDENTIALS AS A JEW ..
LET’S JUST GO BACK AND READ THOSE..
4Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8Yea 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,
9And 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: 10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
SO HIS JEWISH CREDENTIALS::
OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL …
THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN ..
A HEBREW OF THE HEBREWS …(NOT A PROSELYTE ..OR A GENTILE CONVERT . . TO JUDAISM)
AS TO ZEAL … A PERSECUTOR OF THE CHURCH ..
TOUCHING RIGHTEOUSNESS ….OF THE LAW .. .BLAMELESS ..
HE HAD LIVED AS A GOD-FEARING JEW …AND HE HAD LEARNED TO PUT HIS TRUST IN WHAT HE HAD ACHIEVED ..
AND SO .. .PAUL HAD THIS .. . CREDIT COLUMN ….
AND AS HE LOOKED WITH PRIDE AT THAT CREDIT COLUMN …. HE ASSUMED HE WAS RIGHT WITH GOD ..
BUT THEN .. ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS … HE WAS CONFRONTED WITH THE LIVING CHRIST …
AND HE SAW THAT ALL HIS …CREDIT COLUMN … CRUMBLED …
AND HE HAD TO .. ABANDON THAT …TO RECEIVE CHRIST ..
AND SO …
HE IS SAYING IN VERSES 4 – 11 …. (SOMETHING LIKE THIS)
‘WHEN I SAW THE VALUE OF CHRIST … AND WHEN I SAW THAT SALVATION WAS ONLY IN CHRIST …