Read: Philippians 3:12-15
This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Christian Perfection But A “More Perfect” Christian
Here is the aspiration of a saint. In this passage we see the only kind of Christian perfection that is worthy of the name. Paul was a sanctified Christian when he wrote the Philippian letter. He was also a mature saint nearing the close of his active ministry. But still he was keenly aware that there were spiritual graces which he had as yet only partially developed.
Here, as elsewhere in his Epistles, Paul has in mind two aspects of perfection which we must carefully distinguish. The perfection of verse 15 is what we call evangelical perfection or entire sanctification. It may be obtained in this life. It is a glorious provision of grace that helps us in our pressing toward that other perfection of which Paul speaks in verse 12 — a character and manner of conduct which are always becoming more akin to the mind of Christ.
Dean Bertha Munro has described these perfections clearly and helpfully. “The first perfection (v. 15) is of the crisis; the second (v. 12), of the process. The first is gift; the second, attainment. The first is experienced; the second is goal. The first is of heart motive; the second, of developed character. The first is received in a moment of faith; the second, completed in a lifetime of choices. The first is of disposition; the second is of habit. The first is of love; the second, of all Christian graces. The first is of Christ-loyalty; the second, of Christ-likeness. The first is grace; the second is glory.”
Prayer For Today
O Jesus, give me a heart that is perfect in love toward Thee in order that my life may evermore perfectly resemble Thy life. This I ask in Thy name. Amen.