Nov. 27, 2020

What Does Philippians 3:13 Mean?

What Does Philippians 3:13 Mean?

Philippians 3:13 (NIV): 13 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

Discover the vivid image that Paul is painting in the original Greek language when he writes of "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."

Once you understand Paul's original intent in this verse, you can easily apply it to your own life today. 

Listen now!

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Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.

If you’ve ever wondered what ONE thing God has called you to do in your life, today’s message is for you. 

In Philippians chapter 3, Paul writes that everything he ever strived for in his past is pure garbage. Get this, Biblical scholars say if Paul hadn’t surrendered to God’s calling, his name would be in the Jewish history books today. 

Paul says all of that striving to attain notoriety and worldly pleasures was worthless. All that effort to be perfect and in right standing with God by doing it himself was senseless, because there’s only one way to be in right standing with God, and that is faith in Jesus Christ alone. The only thing that mattered to Paul was to know and experience Christ on a deeper, more intimate level. 

Paul writes in Philippians 3:13, “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.”

So, Paul’s saying there’s only ONE thing I do. There’s only one simple, clear goal I run towards, and that is to pursue Christlikeness. 

Paul says he’s “straining towards what is ahead.” And in the original Greek language, he’s giving us this incredible image of a runner racing coming towards the finish line. He sees the tape. He’s going flat out for the finish. He feels every muscle, every fiber within him being pushed past their limits to finish the race a victor. He never looks back. In fact, the word that Paul uses for “forgetting what is behind” indicates leaving it all behind and never thinking about it again because looking back only causes you to slow down or worse, fall. Looking back at your past failures or sins, or even looking back at your past achievements, none of that matters here in the present. All that matters is keeping your eyes on Christ. 

So, your simple Truth for today:  No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’re doing, your one purpose in life is to become more like Christ each day. 

One way to help you towards that goal is to continue being a student of God’s Word. So be sure to hit that subscribe button, join in every day and you will be on your way. 

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you soon.