Chase the Prize--Philippians

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on August 19, 2018
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Philippians 3:10-12 Paul knows he has not yet obtained resurrection; he’s not yet been made complete. Press on = dioko: to pursue, chase, persecute. He sees the finish line of the resurrection and races toward it.

Philippians 3:13-14
Like a running, straining every muscle and nerve, he’s pushing himself forward to the hope. He’s not holding back or hedging his bets.

Philippians 3:15-17
If you’re mature, you’re like Paul--your eye is on the finish line. Rather than sitting comfortably on your laurels, you’re actively seeking to walk with God today. When’s the last time God did something in your life?

Philippians 3:18-19
Sadly, there are people who make themselves enemies of the cross of Christ. We can’t be so focused on our appetites and earthly things that we put stumbling blocks before other Christians. Rather, we must keep our eyes on the hope.

Philippians 3:20-21
Citizenship was important in the Roman Empire, especially in a city like Philippi since it was a Roman colony. Our citizenship is in heaven from which we await our Lord.

"'We are citizens of heaven,' Paul declares in verse 20. At once many modern Christians misunderstand what he means. We naturally suppose he means 'and so we're waiting until we can go and live in heaven where we belong.' But that's not what he says, and it's certainly not what he means. If someone in Philippi said, 'We are citizens of Rome,' they certainly wouldn't mean 'so we're looking forward to going to live there.' Being a colony works the other way round. The last thing the emperors wanted was a whole lot of colonists coming back to Rome. The capital was already overcrowded and underemployed. No: the task of the Roman citizen in a place like Philippi was to bring Roman culture and rule to northern Greece, to expand Roman influence there." NT Wright (Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters, p. 124)
Let’s press on towards the prize with a clear focus. Let’s chase after the hope without allowing ourselves to be distracted by what’s around us. Although our resurrection is in the future, it should affect how we live now, including how we spend our time and money, how we plan the future, and how we treat people.

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