“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:16
The verse above can help us have the right perspective as we approach the future and as we endeavor to live effectively today. It’s an exhortation from the Apostle Paul and serves as a summary statement for the verses preceding it.
Paul says he doesn’t rely on his own effort or standing to live effectively despite very impressive credentials and training. Rather, he counts his own accomplishments and heritage as less than nothing compared with the significance of knowing and following Jesus. Consider verses 7-11: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
His desire to follow the Lord continues in verses 12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
While our promised eternity with Christ still lies ahead, we have already received salvation, the forgiveness of sins. Paul’s goal is to live up to this amazing work of God. It should be our goal as well.
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.