Philippians 3:13, 14 - The Goal and Prize Above All Others.

Phil. 3:13, 14: The Goal and Prize Above All Others.

Phil. 3:13, 14 (NLT)  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still 
not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one 
thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I 
strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which 
God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. 

Phil. 3:13, 14 (CWR)  I certainly don't consider myself as 
having reached perfection. However, this one thing I do: I forget the 
things of the past and press toward the goal to win the heavenly prize 
God is calling me to receive through Jesus Christ.  

The word "perfect," as the Bible uses it of men, does not refer 
to sinless perfection. Old Testament characters described as 
"perfect," or "wholly devoted" were obviously not sinless (cp. Gen 6:9; 1 
Ki 15:14; 2 Ki 20:3; 1 Chr 12:38; Job 1:1,8; Ps 37:37). Although a 
number of Hebrew and Greek words are translated "perfect," the thought 
is usually either   or  or . Three stages of perfection are revealed: 
(1) Positional perfection, already possessed by every believer in 
Christ (Heb 10:14). (2) Relative perfection, i.e. spiritual maturity 
(Phil 3:15), especially in such aspects as the will of God (Col 4:12), 
love (1 John 4:17 - 18), holiness (2 Cor 7:1), patience (James 1:4), 
"every good work" (Heb 13:21). Maturity is achieved progressively, as 
in 2 Cor 7:1, "perfecting holiness," and Gal 3:3, lit., "are ye now 
being made perfect?" and is accomplished through gifts of ministry 
bestowed to "for the perfecting of the saints" (Eph 4:12). And (3) 
ultimate perfection, i.e. perfection in soul, spirit, and body, which 
Paul denies he has attained (Phil 3:12) but which will be realized at 
the time of the resurrection of the dead (Phil 3:11). [Scofield SB] 

Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with 
God. [In His Time; My Utmost For His Highest]? 

Our most important goal should be getting to know Christ better. 
Paul says that his goal is to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to 
be all Christ has in mind for him. This goal absorbs all Paul's 
energy. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything 
take our eyes off our goal--knowing Christ. With the 
single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside 
everything harmful 
 and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective 
Christians.  [Life Application SB] 

Christians are like runners who refuse to look around or look 
back but keep running with their eyes on the goal. Tb look back at 
past successes or failures, or to look around to see what others are 
doing or saying, is to invite defeat. Heed Hebrews 12:1-2....  Paul 
looked up and eagerly anticipated the return of the Lord. Christ had 
taken care of his past (v. 13), and He would also take care of his 
future. And as for Paul's present, his confidence was knowing that "He 
is able!" (v. 21). [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 

The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is 
progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the 
blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he 
is to "go on unto perfection;" to grow up "unto the measure of the 
stature of the fullness of Christ." Says the apostle Paul: "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 for 
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 
3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible 
sanctification is to be attained: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith 
virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to 
temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly 
kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. . . . If ye do these things, 
ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:5-10.  {GC 470.1} 

Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who 
associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact 
that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave 
convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The 
unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing 
sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when 
unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power 
that it is impossible wholly to resist.  {GW 59.1} 

As he that hath called you is holy, so must you be holy. If you 
are living in sin, you are not called, but if you are truly 
Christ's, you can say, "Nothing pains me so much as sin; I desire to be 
rid of it; Lord, help me to be holy." Is this the panting of thy 
heart? Is this the tenor of thy life towards God, and his divine will? 
Again, in Philippians, 3:13, 14, we are told of "The high calling of 
God in Christ Jesus." Is then your calling a high calling? Has it 
ennobled your heart, and set it upon heavenly things? Has it elevated 
your hopes, your tastes, your desires? Has it upraised the constant 
tenor of your life, so that you spend it with God and for God?... 
Unless thou art a stranger here, and heaven thy home, thou hast not 
been called with a heavenly calling; for those who have been so 
called, declare that they look for a city which hath foundations, whose 
builder and maker is God, and they themselves are strangers and pilgrims 
upon the earth. Is thy calling thus holy, high, heavenly? Then, 
beloved, thou hast been called of God, for such is the calling wherewith 
God doth call his people. [Morning and Evening by Charles H. 

We may never perfectly express Christ to others; but as we rely 
completely on Him to work through us, and as we commit ourselves to do 
God's will, we will experience something of resurrection power and joy 
in our lives today. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]