TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE
Leslie M. John
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9)
A person’s efforts to gain salvation and imputation of righteousness by good works and by being obedient to the Old Testament laws and commandments would be futile. Failure to keep one law is tantamount to breaking all the laws. The law points guilt of a person and never saves him. That does not mean man is free from keeping either Biblical Laws or Secular Laws. Indeed, Lord Jesus Christ set us on a higher plane of observing the law; such as the one in Matthew 5:28 or 5:44 or many more.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”. (Matthew 5:28)
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44)
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40)
However, man surely fails to keep Biblical Laws and it is, therefore, God sought us first and loved us.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20)
God Sent His only Son into this world to die on behalf of us bearing our sins upon the cross in order that we may confess Him by mouth as Lord and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day. Lord Jesus Christ is the true manifestation of God in flesh.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1)
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)
Confess your sins to God and not to any human being on this earth, because it is by Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only mediator that we can have access to the Almighty God. It is the blood of Lord Jesus Christ alone that cleanses a sinner of his/her sins.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
Apostle Paul repeatedly wrote this fact in his epistles. He was happy that the righteousness that was imputed to him was not through the good works that he did, but through the faith in Jesus Christ. He was happy that the Old Testament law did not provide him the blessedness of being called as righteous. Also, his own good works could not provide him salvation. He was happy to know the truth that he was righteous because it was bestowed on him though faith in God. He was also happy to know the fact about his resurrection.
In the epistle to Philippians 3:13-14 Paul says that he does not want to count himself as having become perfect. He realizes that the purpose of his calling to serve Lord Jesus Christ was not fulfilled. There was always something short of expectation in him, and the need was always there to go beyond what he has already achieved.
There was always still some area where he needed to be perfect. His message to us is clear that it is not possible for any man to become perfect, but his message is that one can do oneï¿½s best to become perfect. It was just as he failed in his venture that he desires that everyone should press on further, just as he did, to achieve goals to please God who called him through Lord Jesus Christ.
It is, therefore, apt for every child of God not to grumble when he/she faces any suffering, but rejoice in God because every child of God will be heir of God and joint-heir with Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said that he did not reckon his sufferings could be compared with the abundant blessings he would receive in eternity. He goes on to give us the blessed hope that our sufferings are not so intense when they are to stand in comparison with the glory that would be revealed to us.(Romans 8:17-18)
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14)”;