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Philippians 3:12-14

Philippians 3:12-14
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Philippians 3:12-14, “…I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

I’m not reading in Philippians right now, but I was praying through this passage this morning (starting in 3:7, through to 3:16), and was freshly reminded and convicted about the call to press on in our pursuit of the Lord.

Sometimes the call to “press on” and “make war on sin” and “seek first Christ and the kingdom” can land on our hearts with a legastic tang…as if we need to prove ourselves or earn more favor from God…..but the unique thing about this passage is that it is shot through with ferocious repudiation of legalism and self-righteousness and looking to anything in ourselves to be right before God. Paul uses some of the most searing language in all of his letters to decry self-righteousness…..and then he says, “Press on with everything that is in you to lay hold of Christ!

Absolute, desperate, whole-souled dependence on God’s grace in Christ for ALL of our righteousness and ALL of our hope is not at odds with zealous, vicious, joyful pursuit of more of God in Christ. Paul presents this gospel-united dichotomy most clearly in 3:12, “I press on to make it (resurrection life in the presence of Christ) my own BECAUSE Christ Jesus has made me His own.” That’s the key….because we are His, because our sin is slain, because His righteousness is counted to us by our grace-forged union with Him, because we are His, we press on with all that is in us to make Him ours, as it were.

So….this is the daily battle. And I was reminded today how crucial it is. Our hearts and minds are like little boats traveling up stream on a powerful river….when we stop rowing, we start drifting, that’s just the way the physics works….Yet, our rowing muscles are grace-fueled, and we are bound by crimson cords to the ship that went before us and is now anchored immovably to the white shores at Journey’s end, and He won’t let His own be finally lost to the current.