â€œBrethren, 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 for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.â€ (Philippians 3:13-14)
by Henry Morris III, M of Div.
aul called his personal achievements (Philippians 3:4-6) as valuable as dung (v. 8), rejecting his own righteousness (v. 9). Now he is focused on reaching the â€œhigh calling of God in Christ Jesus.â€ He is well aware that he has not already attained Godâ€™s ultimate design for him, nor is he perfect in any sense of what he will become, but he intends to follow after and be â€œapprehendedâ€ of the Lord Jesus (Philippians 3:12).
To begin with, Paul knows that he must forget â€œthose things which are behind.â€ Not only his rather stellar reputation and achievements, but especially the awful conditions of being â€œwithout Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the worldâ€ (Ephesians 2:12). Those terrible conditions were done away with when Paul (and those of us who are twice-born) were created after God â€œin righteousness and true holinessâ€ (Ephesians 4:24).
Now, having been apprehended of Christ and forgetting those things that were part of our old lives, we can â€œpress toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesusâ€ (todayâ€™s verse). Like for an athelete, the prize is gained only by those who win, not by those who run â€œuncertainlyâ€ (1 Corinthians 9:24, 26).
Thus, we cannot win if we have â€œtwo mastersâ€ (Luke 16:13), nor can we please â€œhim who has chosenâ€ us if we entangle ourselves with the affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4). May God keep us focused on the prize. HMM III