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Forgetting the Past

... What is ... 3:10 - 15 Weymouth N.T.Phi 3:10 I long to know Christ and the power which is in His ... and to share in His ... and die even as He died; 3:11 in the

Forgetting What is Past

Phillipians 3:10 - 15 Weymouth N.T.

Phi 3:10 I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection, and to share in His sufferings and die even as He died;
3:11 in the hope that I may attain to the resurrection from among the dead.
3:12 I do not say that I have already won the race or have already reached perfection. But I am pressing on, striving to lay hold of the prize for which also Christ has laid hold of me.
3:13 Brethren, I do not imagine that I have yet laid hold of it. But this one thing I do--forgetting everything which is past and stretching forward to what lies in front of me,
3:14 with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prize of God's heavenward call in Christ Jesus.
3:15 Therefore let all of us who are mature believers cherish these thoughts; and if in any respect you think differently, that also God will make clear to you.

We are called to a total identification with Christ. To a close personal knowledge of Him. To a life which embraces the spiritual power flowing out from His resurrection and a partnership in His sufferings and death.

Paul makes it clear that he does not consider himself to be some great avatar who has arrived at a place of spiritual knowledge beyond that which is common to man but states that his goal is to keep pressing into the things of God until he attains the prize Christ has offered. It is sobering to realize that a man of Paul's spiritual stature, one who heard and saw things in the third heaven which were unlawful to utter, should say, "Brethren, I have not yet arrived."

The humility of the apostle is tempered by his exuberance. He puts aside all else to attain his goal of knowing Christ. Some look at verse 13 and think this means forgetting the baggage of the past. Laying aside broken dreams, unfulfilled desires, and the failures of life. Nothing is farther from Paul's thought.

Earlier in the chapter he delineates the things he has left behind. His spotless heritage as a Jew, his devotion to the law, his righteousness under it. All things he had been proud of. When he met Christ he saw all his past pride of life and success as garbage and laid it aside. It was not worthy of being compared to the risen Savior he met on the road to Damascus.

He became totally focused on His relationship with the living Christ and states in verse 15 that every mature believer will feel the same way, and that if we have not yet had that revelation, our continued fellowship with Christ will draw our mind to the same conclusion as Paul. Namely, that the most important thing on this earth is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It carries rewards both in this life and in the one to come.

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49 years of life, 30 years of marriage, 22 years pastoral and missionary, 20 years as a father, two strokes and a heart attack. Hopefully I have learned something out of all that which will be a blessing to you.

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