Philippians 3:12-16 “Essentials of winning your race”
Oct 07 2019
“Essentials of winning your race”
You may not think of yourself as competitive, but I believe we all ought to desire to be “winning Christians”; fulfilling that for which we have been called. Paul writes about this in Philippians 3:12-16 as he says we should be “pressing on”; leaving behind religion and according to verse 14 moving towards the “prize” he calls the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. Did you notice that the prize wasn’t at the end of the journey? Paul says that the prize is the journey. Oh, saint’s what a great revelation this is to us: The prize is the call itself and not the benefits that come from the call. The prize isn’t heaven, the prize is the journey with Jesus that will never end! That means that we don’t have to wait to start enjoying the prize we can start enjoying the prize today and each day after. In verses 12-16 Paul gives five essentials of winning our race in the upward call in Christ Jesus:
- Vs. 12-13a Dissatisfaction: Paul says, “Not that I’ve already attained!” Nothing will inspire a person who is competitive more than not attaining the goal they sought after. Paul’s dissatisfaction wasn’t with his salvation, it was with his sanctification as he was driven to lose more of his religion that he may gain more of Christ. Saint’s, there is one thing that we should always covet more of… JESUS!
- Vs. 13b Devotion: Paul says, “One thing I do” and that one thing was to specialize in devotion to Jesus not to work on religion. One of the differences of religion verses relationship is that religions focus is multidirectional, and relationship is single in nature.
- Vs. 13c Direction: If you have ever been involved in a race then you know NOT to look back, you want to keep looking forward. If we are going to lay hold of that which Christ has laid hold for us then we will need to be “forgetting those things which are behind”. It doesn’t matter if those things were positive or negative as we can’t allow anything to affect our race to the prize. The sin we’ve committed in the past can place us in paralysis in the present and the good we’ve done in the past can puff us up in the present with pride
- Vs. 14 Determination: The phrase “I press” carries the idea of an intense endeavor and the Greeks used the word to describe a hunter pursuing his prey. A person doesn’t become a winning athlete by listening to lectures or watching “how to videos”. No, they become a winner by getting into the game and being determined to win. Some folks I’m afraid have miss understood “dying to self” as they have never come back alive!
- Vs. 15-16 Discipline: In the Greek games a runner who was not disciplined and disobeyed the rules was disqualified in the competition and thus forfeited his opportunity for the prize. Church history is full of folks who began their race well but failed because they didn’t remain disciplined. We need to keep looking to the author and finisher of our faith until we are looking at Him at the finish line face to face!
Hey saint’s, come and join me in “pressing in to press on”!
This has been Pastor Dale