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Philippians, Chapter Three, Lesson Three

REACHING FOR THE GOAL           Page 3

V.13 ** As Paul reminds His readers that he does not think he has arrived spiritually, he lays out for us a two step plan for victory in our efforts to be "Reaching for the Goal". What is the first step?

1) "...forgetting what lies behind..." This is the first critical element that will keep us "Reaching for the Goal" of Christlikeness.

** There are two forms of remembering what lies behind or "looking back" into our former lives. Let's consider each one.

The first is to "look back" with a longing to regain our sinful patterns. cf. Genesis 19:23-26 - nabat lit. "to look", Lot's wife disobeyed God in looking back with a desire for that which she had given up.

Luke 9:61-62 - Those who want to be saved will loose their opportunity by "looking back" to the elements of their former sinful lives.

The second is to "look back", once we are saved, to our failures in such a way that we become hopeless or discouraged from effectively serving the Lord. cf. Hebrews 8:12 - "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more".

Psalm 103:12 - "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us".

Isaiah 43:25 - "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins".

Paul refused to let either form of "looking back" to hinder him from "Reaching for the Goal" of genuine Christlikeness in this life.

** What is the second step Paul is willing to take in his victorious pursuit of "the Goal".

2) "...reaching forward to what lies ahead..."

** Do we always know "what lies ahead"?

No, in fact we most often do not!

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