Wednesday, July 20, 2011
“Brethren, 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, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14 KJV).
Soul salvation is instantaneous. The Christian life, however, is a process. We have to die daily to the old thinking patterns and the former lifestyle (Ephesians 4:20-24). Our minds have to be continually renewed and transformed by the washing of God’s Word (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 5:26).
Positionally, in Christ, we Christians are “sanctified” (set apart) (Acts 26:18). God wants to transform our conduct so that it reflects our sanctified position in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7). This is spiritual maturity (“perfection”): “Not 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” (Philippians 3:12).
In today’s Scripture, Paul explains that he is “pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We Christians have a goal! Our goal is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:8-10). Furthermore, our goal is to understand why God saved us and get a firm grasp of what He will do with us in the ages to come in the heavenly places.
We all need spiritual growth, some more than others. Every Christian grows at a different rate. We all, however, should be focused on the same goal that Paul had: spiritual maturity. Our desire should be to have a greater understanding of who Jesus Christ is, what He did for us, and our role in God’s purpose and plan for the ages. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18).
Study God’s Word rightly divided, believe it, and you will be pressing toward the mark!