This is a familiar passage; it would be telling if it wasn’t. It’s a blessing when you know specific chapters when mentioned. Even in verse 1 of chapter 3 of Philippians Paul said it wasn’t grievous to write the same thing again. Some ask how we can read the Bible over and over. It’s not like other books. You read them and you’re done. The Bible keeps teaching and teaching. Paul covers many things but focuses here on the Christian’s accomplishment. We are saved to serve the Lord and it is how we accomplish the word of God. We grow and in that bear fruit.
Philippians 3: 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
What does it take to accomplish the will of God? He doesn’t expect or require us to be perfect for we are not sinless. We can’t say “I haven’t sinned.” The Pharisees thought that and felt Jesus should just pat them on the back. There were far from the truth. We are not perfect but our Savior is. I’m thankful to have Jesus as my righteousness. We were sinful. The Lord saved us from our sins. That doesn’t give us perfection. Some denominations teach a second work of grace in sanctification as if you’re jerked out by the roots and then say you have to be filled with the Holy Ghost. If Jesus waited until we got all this done we’d be hurting. When he saves us he sanctifies us and if we don’t have the Holy Spirit, the Bible says we are none of his.
We do not live above sin. Being born again means to be born of the Holy Spirit into a new birth, filled with the Spirit of God; we seek to grow in grace by the Lord Jesus Christ. Some think they are better than others if those others haven’t sought the Holy Spirit and been set apart. We all get this at salvation. If we act like the Pharisees did we missed the mark. It’s growing in grace. We strive. We fight the good fight of faith. We are obedient to the Lord. John said if we say that we don’t sin we make God a liar. We are to confess that sin and we have an advocate with God the Father in Jesus Christ. We do sin. We will sin. It reminds us of our imperfection.
Peter tells us that Jesus did no sin. He was in the flesh as we are. He could have sinned but he did not. John said he had no sin. He was born as a child of Adam’s race. In the flesh he had the capability but he didn’t. We’re born in sin but until the age we understand we are innocent. Jesus was the same. When we knew right and wrong and became conscious of sin, we sinned. Jesus said no. At birth he had no sin. At two years old when Herod was killing the babies he had no sin. At 12 years old he was in the temple and not where other 12 years old. We have sin. Jesus had none.
Do you feel like you have accomplished little for Jesus? What we have done, he did for us. Paul said if he apprehended anything it was to be apprehended by Christ. If we do anything it has to be through him. You pray. You sing. You help out. There is much more to do, more facing the world. Paul reminds us that it wouldn’t be accomplished till the end. He said in the book of Timothy that he had fought a good fight and kept the faith. He fought and victory came through the help of the Lord. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He that began a good work in you will accomplish it. It’s not us doing it for the Lord but letting him accomplish the Father’s will through us. Paul said it is not I but Christ who lives in me. He helps us through every step in life. He’s our accomplisher.
When Jesus died on the cross he said “it is finished.” It was accomplished. It was our salvation but not just that. It was what would get us to the end. We are the servants, the vessels, he ordained. In verse 12 Paul said it’s not as though I have made it. He said I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. The accomplishment of God’s will is done by the power of God. He came into our heart to stay until we meet him. What has been accomplished we owe to his glory. The key is to follow after Jesus instead of choosing our own way. He leads and we follow after. That’s our sanity and safety. Back in verse 1 he said rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. One book. One Savior. One salvation. One victory. It is safe. It’s an unsecure, unsafe world but we have safety in Jesus.
Let’s rejoice! We’ll have the blessing of knowing Jesus has accomplished the will of the Father in heaven. Let him accomplish whatever he wants.