The Christian Mindset EGP Blog post from January 12, 2013

Philippians 3:12–16 ()

[12] Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. [13] 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 what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [15] 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; [16] however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

Philippians 3:12a Lit if I may even
Philippians 3:12b Or because also
Philippians 3:15 Or mature
Philippians 3:16 Lit following in line

Many people have the idea that when people become believers, that they are supposed to have obtained perfection. Perhaps this is because many of those who claim to have Christ carry that air about them (it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out), or perhaps it’s so they can find any fault in them and therefore discount Christianity. Even some believers doubt their own faith when they mess up or don’t have it all figured out.

Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament books, says here that he hasn’t “laid hold” of perfection yet. But just because he hasn’t reached it yet (nor can we this side of the resurrection), he doesn’t just give up and say, “this is the best I can give.” Instead, he lets go of the things that were important to him in the past (self-righteousness, other’s approval, etc; see ) and “presses on toward the goal” which is the higher calling of Christ. ()

The word translated “attitude” (φρονεω phroneo [], pronounced fron-eh’-o), means “to set one’s mind on.” So, what this last statement is saying is, “All us ‘perfect’ people need to set our minds on living out what God has already given us, and if our minds are set on something else, He will let us know.” Therefore, be faithful in what God has given you, listen for His voice, and obey what He says, in order to stay on track.

1 Corinthians 9:25–27 ()

[25] Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. [26] Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; [27] but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27 Lit bruise