August 4th, 2014 | By admin
By Paul Holland
What we think about affects what we talk about. Where our lives are focused is what drives our lives. Too many people, unfortunately, when asked, “Where are you going with your life,” they respond, “I don’t know.” If you ask them, what is the goal of your life? They respond, “I don’t know.”
But, the apostle Paul talks to us from Philippians 3:4-14 about his aim in life, his motivation, his goal, his focus – “This One Thing.” Let’s look at Paul’s “one thing.”
IT IS NOT THE PAST - 3:4-7:
Some of the Christians Paul is writing to, having been influenced by the Jews, think that circumcision or some other kind of physical “show” is what is important to Christ. So, Paul wants to show that if anyone could“boast” in the flesh, he could as well. From the perspective of a Jew, look at what Paul says he was at one time.
Sometimes, the results of our best-aimed intentions are not what we expected them to be. Proper focus, proper goal-setting means looking beyond the obvious and checking for other possible outcomes of our decisions…
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? - 3:8-9:
In the following paragraph, Paul refers to Christ by name or pronoun nine times! “Christ fills all of Paul’s vision” (Hansen, 231).
How did Paul view those things in the past? “To be loss.” He had suffered the loss of these things for the sake of Christ, considering them “rubbish.” “Paul is using the strongest term he could get hold of to show how little he valued everything else in life in comparison with possessing Christ” (Earle, 342).
Paul had come a long way from “Jerusalem” to “Damascus” – that is, from Judaism to Christianity. Paul learned that he could not be whole, pure, holy, righteous without the righteousness that is available through faith in Christ (vs 9).
THE ONE THING: KNOWING CHRIST - 3:10-14:
Beginning in verse 10, Paul mentions three things he desired to know. 1.) Him (Christ); 2.) the power of His resurrection; 3.) the fellowship (koinonia) of His suffering, being conformed to His death. “Fellowship” and “power” have the same definite article. These are the same experience.
Then, in verse 11, Paul says the ultimate purpose of him knowing Christ is to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Perhaps Paul would have agreed with the fellow who said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy planning more important things.” The most important thing we’re “planning” is seeing Jesus! Does our life reflect that “one thing?”
Paul Holland is the minister at Swartz Creek church of Christ, Swartz Creek, MI