Summary: The question is how do we work out our salvation? If salvation is a free gift by God for by grace we are saved, what must I do to work out that which God is working in.
Work Out Part 2
It is God working in us, constantly. Need a bountiful supply of the Holy Spirit. Must work out that which God is working in.
The next question to try to answer is: how do we work it out?
Main theme of book of Philippians = become more and more like Christ.
Philippians 1:20; 2:15; 3:8 – 10, 21.
ALT Not that I already obtained or have already been perfected, but I press forward, if also I shall lay hold of [that] for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
GNB I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.
ISV It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by Christ Jesus.
BWE I do not mean to say that I have got there yet, or that I am perfect yet. But I am trying hard to get there, because that is why Christ saved me.
Twenty Not that I have already laid hold of it, or that I am already made perfect. But I press on, in the hope of actually laying hold of that for which indeed I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Paul is saying clearly that he hasn’t obtained or achieved perfection yet but he is pressing, pursuing after that for which Christ has saved him. What is that? To be conformed to the image of Christ.
Then vers 13. Confirmed that he hasn’t reached it yet and then tell us what he does to reach it.
ASV Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,
Words I do = in italics = not part of the original Script.
Then he makes 2 statements but he says that it is one thing. So the 2 must happen simultaneously.
Forget the past and reach out to what is ahead.
Forgetting the past is one of the most difficult things to do.
We call our memories the "past." Obviously, you can’t turn back the hands of time. What’s done is done. The mistakes we’ve made are there and there is nothing we can do to change them.
"The only thing we learn from the past is that we don’t learn from the past, we can learn from the past."
How do we handle our past? Some people relive the past. They recount the events of the past in great detail in their minds over and over again. All of the negative emotions which they felt then, they feel again. And the beat themselves up for the events that are forever gone.
Some people surrender to the past. They decide that they will never rise above the past and resign themselves to be what the past has made them. After all, the lot has been cast, and they are a product of their past.
Others defy the past and refuse to be dominated by it. They recognize that while the past is an unchangeable part of their history, they can do something about themselves and how they deal with the memories of the past.
This is the key to how we deal with the past. There are basically three things you must do to effectively conquer your past. (1) The first is that you must recognize the past for what it is, the past. It is over, done, gone, finished, ended, passed. You can’t change one thing that happened back then, whether back then was years ago or yesterday. (2) The second thing that you must do is recognize the satanic strategy in reminding you of the past. His strategy is to discourage you and defeat you. (3) The third thing you must recognize is what you can do about the past. While you can’t change the past, you can change the way you respond to the memories of the past.
But Paul, the Apostle, tells us that the way to deal with the past is to forget it. Listen to what he says, "One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind..." Paul is saying that the way to deal with the past is to forget it. We must develop what I call a "divine amnesia."
V13 but this one thing I do - Because Paul realized that the human mind can only focus on one thing at a time, he was single-minded, set his priorities in order and would allow nothing to distract his attention from achieving what he had set out to do. Too many people end up with useless "half-baked" projects - what good is a half-baked cake?