So it does. Modern men have said this, and prophesied dire results from setting up of power instead of hand looms, sewing machines instead of needles, locomotives instead of coach horses. how civilization leans on morality? There is a circular movement in which all motions turn on themselves, and return to the point from whence they first set out, and then there is an onward movement, as when the whole system is borne upward into infinite space. There were many things by which his spiritual life was nourished and guarded — which had to be blotted out if he would go on to perfection. Deadness to all human ambitions and merely earthly good. He sought —1. And so it will be in the eternal summer above. Difficulties and dangers: David thought he would one day fall by the hand of Saul.3. Multitudes of Christians are content just to be saved — to get inside the heavenly gate. He arrogates no particular saintship. "Forgetting," etc.1. These winter leaves must fall off, when the vernal season of grace has come, and we who were dead in trespasses and sins are made alive unto God.2. D.I. )The racer as runnerProfessor Eadie.The picture is that of a racer in his agony of struggle and hope. )Pressing forwardA. Martin. A. The errors and doubts that marked his first approach to Christ. The whole man gathering himself up to a point — oneness of being, body, soul, spirit — the will, judgment, energy in unity. Such is only the case when a kind of sickness has come over human speculation. Continued and ever improving mutual service. And though he did other things, yet the one great thought, moving as a glorious dream through all his chambers of imagery, was something that would float upon stormy and shoreless seas! A man cannot run with his eyes over his shoulder; he is sure to knock against somebody, and so be delayed and hindered. And as the young green leaves within expand in the genial atmosphere, the services of the bud scales, or covering leaves, are no longer needed, and by and by they roll away, and fall one by one from the tree, strewing the ground beneath till it looks like a threshing floor. Nothing can now be altered. 1. In our conversion we must separate ourselves from the associations of our unregenerate state, and count those things that were gain to us, loss, so that we may be found in Christ. But though these things cannot in this sense be forgotten, they should not be allowed to hang around us to impede our efforts at improvement, any more than the development of the tree is impeded by its scars. He replied that he took care to press home the one principal point of the case without paying much regard to the others. Then my heart was cleaving to the Lord, and filled with His fulness." "(5) And therefore that habit of living in the future should make us glad and confident. He had a large congregation — as large a one as any of us need want; but he said to his people, "Now, it is of necessity that the New Testament should be translated; you must find another preacher. )Forgetting the things that are behindW. Shall we ever reach it. THE GLORY OF GOD IS THE RIGHT END OF MAN, because —1. Maclaren, D. D.There may have been floating in the apostle's mind, combined with the image of the racer, some remembrance of the old story in the Book of Genesis about Lot's wife. (4)Wandering minds.(R. W. Alexander, D. D.We are like one sailing down rapid stream, intensely anxious as to the issue of our voyage, and fearful of the dangers which await us, and yet turning our backs on both, and trying to derive encouragement from gazing at that portion of our course already past, and every moment growing less and less visible. —I. He who would be a great artist must not follow low models. When the sense of the eternal, and all the finer sensibilities have been crushed out by the worship of matter, man sinks in the creation of God, even though he should learn year by year to wield more and more power over the dead atoms around him. Life cannot break itself from the past. )The great prizeG. Budgett.The famous De Witt, one of the greatest statesmen of his age, being asked how he was able to dispatch the multitude of affairs in which he was engaged, replied that his" whole art consisted in doing one thing at a time.(S. His idea was an ark! )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. )Pressing forwardA. "Forget the things that are behind." W. Robertson, M. A.Perfection is being, not doing — it is not to effect an act but to achieve a character. To win Christ was not to gain His favour simply, but to be conformed to His image.(E. Men forget it is with us as it is with our planet. We can only be cheerful while we forget. MAY FOSTER SELF-SATISFACTION AND PRIDE.1. The sun was just rising. Thoughts fly on wings toward the tomorrow. Be the past and future what they may, I cannot reach the one nor forget the other except by setting myself with all my might to present duties and by reducing all duties to various forms of one life purpose.2. It becomes your special habit, which is all right, but it also tends to become your limit, which is wrong. He died to his former self and all its experiences, and lived a new life in Jesus. The mark is reached by the runner's effort, the prize is the reward given for victory. Nor would it be well if it could. (a)Extirpation of sin;(b)Attainment of the Divine likeness.Sin may be extirpated, and yet the second process may be in its infancy. You see him! To win Christ was not to gain His favour simply, but to be conformed to His image.(E. The sharp stones in the path do not stay him, nor the flowerets in the grass catch his glance. LIVE IN THE FUTURE.1. But all these natural qualifications of the man belonged to the winter or unregenerate state of his soul; were winter leaves that hid and confined the germ of spiritual life.2. There must be a double leaf fall from the soul as well as from the tree. It is the spirit in which, not the work at which, we work that makes life one. Shame then on us poor dwarfs if we are so vain as to account ourselves as having apprehended. Let us, with eye and hand flung forward, "stretch out towards the things that are before," and imitate that example — not in the fierce whirl of excitement, indeed, but in fixed regard to, and concentrated desire of, the mark and the prize.(A. Wadsworth.Paul's experience teaches us that one unmutilated and entire idea is as much as a man can entertain in his soul, or actualize in his lifetime. The whole soul, purpose, and trend of life must be in the direct line of daily striving.3. Why? Among those who travel constantly on foot, have you ever observed any who run? Deadness to all human ambitions and merely earthly good. (2) That is eminently true of "growth in grace." Yet he teaches me that I must practise if I would be perfect; must exercise myself unto godliness if I would be skilful; must, in fact, make myself familiar with the Word of God, with holy living, and saintly dying. M. Whiton, Ph. Vaughan, M. A.You have stood upon our shores, and seen a ship under full press of sail making for her destination. (4) This grand future should draw our thoughts all the more to itself, because it is not only grand, but certain. He might have attempted other things, and did, but all with reference to this one purpose.2. His fellow disciples are not left to infer that his path is accessible to no traveller but himself, He preaches to sinners as the chief of sinners, to Christians as a fellow citizen; the race and fight were his no less than theirs.I. But we must not permit them to obliterate the appreciation of present mercies. Maclaren, D. D.)LinksPhilippians 3:14 NIVPhilippians 3:14 NLTPhilippians 3:14 ESVPhilippians 3:14 NASBPhilippians 3:14 KJVPhilippians 3:14 Bible AppsPhilippians 3:14 ParallelPhilippians 3:14 Biblia ParalelaPhilippians 3:14 Chinese BiblePhilippians 3:14 French BiblePhilippians 3:14 German BiblePhilippians 3:14 CommentariesBible Hub, (1)Idle scruples which are as dust thrown in the eyes of runners, and temptations which are as stones to their feet. So of all things physical and intellectual. The exhibition of new phases of character is before him. II. Then in working there has not been much demand made on patience.3. He not only never repented these sacrifices, he forgot them. Our highest condition is not the attainment of perfection, but the recognition of heights above us as yet unreached. )Devotion to a single purpose essential to successC. Both are past; why remember them? "This one thing I do."1. Falls and failures: no use trying any more.2. Both are past; why remember them? You say, "I shall never be any better. If the aim of life were to do something, then, as in an earthly business, except in doing this one thing the business would he at a standstill. "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." The summer leaves that are cherished must drop off as well as the winter leaves that cherished them. Mark the confidence of his personal feelings when he finds occasion to impart them — "I know whom I have believed." He, too, did other things; he trained his servants, commanded his household after him, etc. D.Trees have their winter as well as their summer foliage. Oh, there is something more and higher than all this and these. There are dark days and bright faces that will never die away.2. Do you not see how every good thing takes hold of and leans upon a higher thing? Life cannot break itself from the past. But not the means of growth and formative processes of the Christian character only, must be left behind and forgotten; the very ends, the growths themselves, must also be superseded. THERE ARE THINGS BEFORE EVERY CHRISTIAN towards which he is proceeding. Every mineral is not a diamond. By a course of prosperity our souls are made to unfold in gratitude to God and beneficence to men. As long as you are in the world forget what you have done, and go forward — individuals, churches, denominations.III. D.)The racer as charioteerArchdeacon Farrar.St. The apostle is not leaving, he is forgetting the things behind; he is not merely looking, he is reaching forth unto the things before; not only does he run, he presses toward the mark; nor was he occupied, weakened, or delayed by a variety of pursuits — "This one thing I do. The rain fell on the young spring wheat when you and I were boys; will that do anything towards this year's harvest? D.Trees have their winter as well as their summer foliage. — every muscle strained and every vein starting — the quick and short heaving of his chest — the big drops gathered on his brow — his body bending forward, as if with frantic gesture he already clutched the goal — his eye, now glancing aside with a momentary sparkle at objects so rapidly disappearing behind him, and then fixing itself on the garland in eager anticipation. That complacency can be reached by many roads. There are certain things we shall never be able to do, but it says nothing about the limits in our line of things. The type for us is the express image of God in Christ. Oh, let us remember that hate is transitory, is temporal, like the sear on the bark of a tree; but love, goodwill, is eternal, like the grey old firmament, which, old as it is, was never younger than it is today. Yes, and you ate your dinner twenty years ago; will that serve to strengthen you for today? So is it ever: singleness of aim, oneness of effort — the gathering of thought, feeling, heart, soul, life into one intense absorbing passion — is the secret of all greatness. Lot's wife looked back and perished. Even when the glory is given to God there is apt to be a ring of self-satisfaction, "I am not as other men." Yet there are those who prate of having reached a higher life than this. Not once merely at conversion, but often in his converted state, had he to form and to drop the winter leaves in the process of spiritual growth. Forgetfulness of what is behind is an essential element in the progress of every believer. The far, high, gathering point, high enough to sustain life, is only one — the glory of God. It becomes your special habit, which is all right, but it also tends to become your limit, which is wrong. Oh, surely it is then time to forget what is past, and to bend forward to reach forth to that which is before.(J. His fellow disciples are not left to infer that his path is accessible to no traveller but himself, He preaches to sinners as the chief of sinners, to Christians as a fellow citizen; the race and fight were his no less than theirs.I. So of trials.4. In his unconverted state, there were many things on which he prided himself — the scenes and associations of his youth, the eager sympathies of his opening intellect, and his ardent affection for the polity and religion of his fathers. When a man thinks of his moral condition, he says, "I am as good as the average of my neighbours." )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. His spiritual life from the beginning to the end was a series of fresh beginnings. Nor of regenerated men only is the thought true — of all men who retain amid their moral ruins some lines of the mutilated Divine image — is this a characteristic. These figures are the very opposite of idleness. The mind must contemplate it, the heart be fixed upon it, until the power of it shall overmaster all other objects and passions.2. Job spoke up for his innocence till the Lord revealed Himself. And so was it with St. Paul. Not mere deliverance from future misery. H. After the Lord has shown Himself to the eye of faith, they seem unable to let this matter rest. Forget past circumstances, whether sorrows or joys. But take the injunction more specifically.1. So is it ever: singleness of aim, oneness of effort — the gathering of thought, feeling, heart, soul, life into one intense absorbing passion — is the secret of all greatness. Such is the true life of the spirit conformed to the Divine law of progress — not a drift, but a race; not a dream, but a study; not self-contentment, but self-criticism and self-improvement, with the eye on the Divine model, and constantly saying to itself, "This one thing I do."(J. This morning I’d like to listen to what the Apostle Paul tells us about going the right direction.Look at what Paul writes in verse 14 of chapter 3 about THE prize: I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We may all be trying to be like Jesus Christ, whatever may be the material at which we toil.(A. E. Jenkins, LL. There are certain things we shall never be able to do, but it says nothing about the limits in our line of things. is it in the increase of knowledge, of science, of art? They are not, indeed, to be dropped as mere bud scales, as mere means to an end — for they are the basis upon which all the subsequent efforts of the spiritual life are to be made. Passage: Philippians 3:14, Pursuing the PrizePhilippians 3:14(One Lord: So Great a Salvation)March 16th, 2016. The Passage: “ I Press on Toward the Goal” (3:14) This morning I’d like to listen to what the Apostle Paul tells us about going the right direction. As soon as you begin to dwell with self-complacency on the past you lose your ideal of duty, and your right sense of the claims of the future and the present. And though he did other things, yet the one great thought, moving as a glorious dream through all his chambers of imagery, was something that would float upon stormy and shoreless seas! To join the Church is not sufficient, you must contribute to its life.2. If the aim of life were to do something, then, as in an earthly business, except in doing this one thing the business would he at a standstill. Newton was the king of astronomers, not because his eye was keener as it scanned the heavens, nor because God gave him mighty wings to sweep through the empyrean, but because, with the power of an omnipresent dream, the constellations of heaven were flashing on his soul! Every mineral is not a diamond. God gives him opportunities. Paul speaks of the past as hurtful, a hindrance. Believe in a millennium of some sort or other, because that faith is wrapped up in the confidence that God loves us all, and is shaping this earth's history to His own perfect aim, and instead of lamenting "the former days were better," let us believe that the time will come when our brethren with us will have reached the mark, and the purposes of God finished in a redeemed humanity and a perfected world.II. These are all embraced in fellowship with Christ.1. A singleness of aim and effort ever hath been — ever will be — the secret of all noble human accomplishment. So of trials.4. WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS WHICH PAUL LEFT BEHIND AND FORGOT.1. "Singleness of aim"Mr. A. often laughs at me," said Professor Henry once, in Princeton College Laboratory, "because I have but one idea. FROM THESE THOUGHTS WE MAY DRAW FRESH CONVICTIONS FOR THE REALIZATIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL CAPABILITIES OF OUR NATURE.1. Start afresh.(J. The material system of nature will some day be dissolved. Conversion, justification, and peace are the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. The fellowship of the Spirit in all its perfection.5. — every muscle strained and every vein starting — the quick and short heaving of his chest — the big drops gathered on his brow — his body bending forward, as if with frantic gesture he already clutched the goal — his eye, now glancing aside with a momentary sparkle at objects so rapidly disappearing behind him, and then fixing itself on the garland in eager anticipation. Every temptation to evil temper which can assail us today will be an opportunity to decide the question whether we shall gain the calmness and the rest of Christ, or whether we shall be tossed by the restlessness and agitation of the world. There is no time for self-elation or self-sufficiency. We may all be trying to be like Jesus Christ, whatever may be the material at which we toil.(A. )Want of applicationS. W. Alexander, D. D.We are like one sailing down rapid stream, intensely anxious as to the issue of our voyage, and fearful of the dangers which await us, and yet turning our backs on both, and trying to derive encouragement from gazing at that portion of our course already past, and every moment growing less and less visible. Maclaren, D. D.)The danger of looking backA. The two objects of hope and effort are distinct though connected. Former sins.3. But brooding is no more to be encouraged than boasting. Thus every tree has a double leaf fall every year. Then my heart was cleaving to the Lord, and filled with His fulness." But Paul rebukes this spirit. )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. Every day is full of a most impressive experience. You say, "I shall never be any better. Forgetfulness of what is behind is an essential element in the progress of every believer. A rule which God has made fundamental in the world, we must make so in individual life. The world's building was prospective. But in heaven a different law of development will prevail. The rain fell on the young spring wheat when you and I were boys; will that do anything towards this year's harvest? And so it will be in the eternal summer above. So say the theologians today; but the world and the Church move on. He also said that he know the secret of being short. These winter leaves that cherished and nourished our growth in grace must drop off from time to time, with each new attainment that we "may rise on stepping stones of our dead selves to nobler things."3. So far as relates to our worldly condition, our constant endeavour for betterment as the necessity of an undecaying life. But this is no reason why a hopeful eagerness towards the future should die out of life. A. Such has been the experience as well of all truly efficient men. Like the bud scales, they afforded protection and nourishment. His vision of Christ in the infinite attractiveness of His character, and in the glory and blessedness of His presence and reign in heaven, made him long to be like Him, and to have, not only a place in His kingdom, but a place hard by the throne of the Lamb. PLACING THE PAST IN ITS TRUE LIGHT. Abraham was of this class. Rich young ruler.1. (3)Ill and dull company. If history is philosophy teaching by example, the erasure of the remembrance of the events of our own history would strip both philosophy and religion of the power to teach at all.(M. And we shall not stop growing in heaven, but through the eternities we shall be growing wiser, nobler, stronger, greater, and more filled with God. What you have to do now is to throw as much heart into the new purpose as you did once into the old.III. They are therefore in danger of perishing. That purpose is the discovery of truth, for in an old library he has stumbled on a Bible. Then, as threescore and ten years later he told the tale, rose in his mind a scheme which through all the turns of his eventful career, was never abandoned. Then in working there has not been much demand made on patience.3. Such has been the experience as well of all truly efficient men. The everlasting kingdom.II. There are things before him.1. So said the English kings of the seventeenth century to the uprising spirit of liberty. The memory of things behind —I. S. Henson, D. D.Such was the language of the most masterful man that ever trod the earth, and this utterance is the keynote of his marvellously successful life.I. PLACING THE PAST IN ITS TRUE LIGHT. Thoughts fly on wings toward the tomorrow. The winter leaves or bud scales of a tree leave behind them when they drop off a peculiar mark or scar on the bark, just as the summer leaves do when they fall. Time given to such occupation is withdrawn from the actual work of life. (3) None the less does the old barbarian strain come to the surface. Let no inferior aim lull us to unfaithful indolence with its soothing prospects. Every one is familiar with the buds which tip the extremities of every branch in spring. As a lad he was bent on scholarship, and won honours at the feet of Gamaliel; as a member of the Jewish Church by his prodigal ability he soon placed himself beyond parallel. 5. He may change, but there is no life in him, and therefore he cannot advance. (Professor Hollard. "This one thing I do."1. The labourer leaves his work undone when the spade is not in his hand, and he sits beneath the hedge to rest. A man may determine to have nothing to do with anything not essentially religious.2. Do you not see how every good thing takes hold of and leans upon a higher thing? MAY CAUSE DECLENSION. Macmillan, LL. Before the Church, therefore, is — 1 The real, conscious, manifested unity of all its members. )The nobility of a single aimA. A conversation with an unbeliever, the perusal of a book, the pressure of a besetting sin, disturbs their assurance, and they go over the old ground. We must follow out his figure. Absolute conformity to the Divine character and will as immediately and specifically exhibited in Christ.4. 4. TWO THOUGHTS ARE HERE SUGGESTED.1. But whatever they are, they are as nothing compared with what is before; and inasmuch as they are all of grace, we have nothing to glory of.5. A hundred processes may go to the manufacture of a pin. As a child leans on a parent, and a wife on a husband, and a husband on a wife, and so at last all things lean on God; and well it is that it is so, for he can at any time take off the wheels of the most rapid chariot, He can break the wings of the proudest ambition, and He is, in fact, constantly saying, "Arise, this is not your rest. — every muscle strained and every vein starting — the quick and short heaving of his chest — the big drops gathered on his brow — his body bending forward, as if with frantic gesture he already clutched the goal — his eye, now glancing aside with a momentary sparkle at objects so rapidly disappearing behind him, and then fixing itself on the garland in eager anticipation. (3) None the less does the old barbarian strain come to the surface. We may all be trying to be like Jesus Christ, whatever may be the material at which we toil.(A. The Israelites fondly recollected the fleshpots of Egypt, and there are Christians who dispute with themselves whether in the sensitive jealousy of their first love they did not make too many sacrifices for their Master. THIS WAS ALSO THE PRIZE HE SOUGHT. But brooding is no more to be encouraged than boasting. The unrest born of the contrast between these two marks man off from the happy contentment of the brutes beneath him, and the happy peacefulness of the angels of God. If we have taken a gun from the enemy, let us go and take another, and not sit idly down.2. And if you stand there looking backwards instead of making the best of your way out of evil, the evil will catch you up. D.)This one thing I doConcentrationJ. )Devotion to a single purpose essential to successC. S. Henson, D. D.)Paul's view of lifePrincipal Tullock.was what it should be. That complacency can be reached by many roads. "Very well," said the general, "just let them remain where they are; the enemy's going to advance, and will spare you the trouble."(W. As previous to conversion the soul was in progress, going from one degree of evil to another, so it may be expected to make progress in the new direction given it. The unrest born of the contrast between these two marks man off from the happy contentment of the brutes beneath him, and the happy peacefulness of the angels of God. You see him! They lose the power of forgetting the things that are behind, because they are not reaching forth unto those things which are before. )The things that are beforeS. Smiles, LL. In our conversion we must separate ourselves from the associations of our unregenerate state, and count those things that were gain to us, loss, so that we may be found in Christ. What achievements has the world made and forgotten in achieving better. At length the wish was accomplished; and the domain, alienated more than seventy years before, returned to the descendants of its old lords, and when his public life was closed forever, it was to Daylesford that he retired to die. Others believe they have perfection in the flesh, and others yet attain complacency by the notion that they have overcome all their sins by believing they have done so, as if believing a battle won could win it.4. Then in working there has not been much demand made on patience.3. Paul has written this letter, in part, to thank the Philippians for the gift they have sent him (4:10ff.). )One point bestSir T. F. Buxton.I asked Sir James Scarlett what was the secret of his preeminent success as an advocate. This will multiply instances of His faithfulness. He has a purpose that scholar of Erfurt. (2)That he forgot the sins he had committed.2. Maclaren, D. D.You find some certain type of Christian character, or exercise of Christian grace, that is easy and natural to you, and you come to know how to do it. Then, as threescore and ten years later he told the tale, rose in his mind a scheme which through all the turns of his eventful career, was never abandoned. The bud must burst, the flower blow, the nest foul. There are things before him.1. A. Conversion, justification, and peace are the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Animal organism reads onward toward the image of God. Oh, surely it is then time to forget what is past, and to bend forward to reach forth to that which is before.(J. The apostle's principle is the very one which makes the civilized man distinct from the barbarian. For so, by just such singleness of purpose, such independence of external things, such a straight, unbending way, the great purpose of life is to be gained, heaven is to be won, and God glorified.(J. There, in full view, is the "goal," and the racer's eye is fixed on it.II. She was whelmed in the fiery destruction that filled the air; and as the shower of ashes at Pompeii moulded themselves over the forms of the poor wretches that were smothered by them, and preserved till today the print of the very waves of their hair and the texture of their dress, "salt" was crusted round that living core, and she perished, because she wasted in trembling retrospect the flying moments which, rightly used, would have set her in safety.(A. All the influences that have made our actual characters what they now are came out of the past, just as the seed sown in earlier seasons, with their sunshine and rain, make the subsequent harvest. But not at this initiatory stage merely is there to be a discarding of the things that are behind. Such practice, moreover, will be as charming as my neighbour's flute is intolerable.(C. As the season advances, the sap gradually ceases to flow to the summer leaves, which therefore ultimately fade and fall from the tree; and the last movements of it, at the end of autumn, are directed towards the buds, in order to prepare them for taking at the proper time the place of the generation of leaves that has just perished. F. Pentecost, D. D.)Life's contests and prizesP. We live on food, the blood circulates through the frame; and all these motions return on themselves; but there is another motion in man, there is an onward movement — he is a being of religious instincts; and to foster and fan their flames is the end of all religious services and exercises. There, in full view, is the "goal," and the racer's eye is fixed on it.II. Abraham was of this class. Then he must not sit down as if rooted to a place. Demosthenes was the prince of all earth's orators, not because God gave him a splendid voice, and exquisite grace of motion, but because eloquence was his one idea. 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