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Philippians 3:13  (King James Version)
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<< Philippians 3:12   Philippians 3:14 >>


Philippians 3:13-15

We must not allow ourselves, like so many in the world, to consider that salvation is as easy as falling off a log. Did Jesus have to suffer hatred and persecution? Did the apostle Paul endure many tough trials? Certainly, each follower of Christ named in Hebrews 11 had to experience similar things in their times of service. We must adopt the mindset the apostle Paul followed to keep himself on track.

He urges us not to allow our attention to be diverted toward some earthly desire that our carnality finds appealing and soon morphs into a need. Consider Adam and Eve's example. Despite the fact that they literally saw God and walked and talked with Him, how quickly their thoughts were turned away by Satan's presence and the highly desirable allure of what he presented! We must be aware of our vulnerability given the “right” time and appeal. A person can stay focused only for himself, so Paul implores us to keep our eyes on the goal God has revealed to us.

Jesus taught us to be keenly aware of where our treasure is (Matthew 6:20), and Paul exhorts us to be focused on our heavenly calling (Colossians 3:1-4). We are all somewhat different in what helps keep us inspired, motivated, and focused and thus more willing to trust God, patiently pressing on and persevering day by day to the end of the course He has set for us.

For me, it helps considerably when I can grasp a logical progression of steps that lead to understanding. In me, this is combined with a worldview that is simultaneously vast in scope yet sharply focused so that I can see myself as a cog in a vast and wonderful plan He is directing. Not that I think I am a vital part of that plan, but I am certainly involved in it. This is such a significant and humbling honor that I do not want to disappoint Him!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Three)



Philippians 3:13-14

This is the temper of patience. It enables a person to plod determinedly on. It may not be spectacular, but such a person will go on toward perfection. This quality will have to be part of the makeup of the Two Witnesses. God has clearly prophesied of three-and-a-half years of their lives being filled with great confrontation, persecution, and at its end a shamefully undeserved and public death!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience



Philippians 3:12-15

Though Paul urges us on to perfection, he was admittedly not completely there himself. He struggled to leave the past in the past and pursue the future. He shows that part of the process is maintaining a perfect attitude—a mind ready, willing and seeking after the prize of the high calling of Christ.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: Going On to Perfection



Philippians 3:12-14

The word picture in Philippians 3:12-14 is of men straining to win a foot race. The Christian life is especially like the longer races where the runner must sustain a winning frame of mind over a longer period of time. We cannot run our race like the hare of the "Tortoise and the Hare" fable, in which the hare took a nap during the race.

Paul illustrates that after having received God's grace, our responsibility is to return full effort to God in striving to perfection in moral, ethical, and spiritual areas. He did not see the struggle against sin, fear, and doubt as being accomplished by God alone. The apostle is here urging his erring brothers to follow his example in persistently concentrating on our common goal.

Life for us now consists of discarding wrong attitudes and habits accumulated in the past. In modern, psychological terms, we must lose our baggage. For us, the past is dead, buried in the waters of baptism. With that behind us, we must diligently make unwavering progress in putting out the leaven of sin, growing in God's love, producing the fruit of God's Spirit, moving toward the Kingdom of God, and putting on Christ's perfection, His image in us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Five Teachings of Grace



Philippians 3:12-14

Clearly, Paul was not perfected at the time he wrote this, and neither have we been perfected as we read it. But God in His merciful grace has judged and now "sees" us as He would see Jesus Christ in order to give us time to become perfected through being created in His image.

Paul expresses His determination to do whatever it takes to attain this glorious goal. It is interesting that "laid hold" (verse 12) more literally means "grabbed." It is almost as if Christ grabbed him by the scruff of the neck out of the herd of humanity, jerking him out to be perfected and become an apostle. At the very least, this suggests God will take determined, even stern measures to give us this wonderful opportunity. In no way is He passively just letting things happen as He observes His creation, and Paul reflects the same sense of strenuous action to fulfill his part.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Nine): Conclusion (Part Two)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Philippians 3:13:

1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Philippians 3:12-14

 

<< Philippians 3:12   Philippians 3:14 >>



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