Reaching for the Prize Podcast by Dr. Pastor John MacArthur for Grace to You
Let’s open our Bibles now as we come to the study of God’s Word to Philippians chapter 3…Philippians chapter 3. We’re going to be looking at a great, great portion of Scripture, verses 12 through 16 I am sure in many ways the most familiar portion in this whole epistle.
I think it is obvious to any student of the New Testament and any student of the letters of the Apostle Paul that he must have loved athletics, as many of us do. And the reason I say that is because he so often uses athletic analogies, or athletic metaphors to illustrate spiritual truth. One of his athletic analogies is that of a runner, running a race. The runner to him is the picture of the Christian, the race is the Christian life. And frequently in his writings he alludes to this running metaphor, this…this picture of maximum effort as the Christian moves along toward the finish line. That is essentially the underlying picture of the passage before us. Look then at chapter 3 verse 12 and let me read to you verses 12 through 16.
Not that I have already obtained it or already become perfect but I press on in order that I may hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as many as are perfect have this attitude, and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you. However, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.