A Commitment To Christlikeness
January 1, 2012
Introduction: In this passage Paul moves from accountant to athlete. He desires to run the race of life with diligence and devotion. He realizes that the race toward Christlikeness begins with a sense of honesty and sanctified dissatisfaction. In this text Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christian spiritual growth. Paul acknowledges that he had not yet arrived at his final goal, not yet accomplished all in his life that He was going to accomplish.
However, regardless of the failures of the past, Paul sees today as the first day of the rest of his life. It is as though he is reminding us that we can get “past our past” and we can “shake off the dust” and go on.
Charles Spurgeon said, “we have misjudged our God-given capacity.”
In this race, note Paul’s commitment:
I. THE PROCESS OF CHRISTLIKENESS. 12
One writer referred to. v.12 as the start of the race,
v.13 course of the race, and v.14 the end of the race.
A. ATTAINING. 12a
This is the statement of a great Christian who never
permitted himself to be satisfied with his spiritual attainments.
B. MATURING. 12b
“perfected” – one mark of maturity is the knowledge that he is not perfect; honest evaluation of his spiritual condition. Paul was reminding the church that in his life there was room for further development.
C. PURSUING. 12c
“I press on” – Greek word was used of a sprinter and refers to aggressive, energetic action. Paul pursued sanctification with all his might, straining every spiritual muscle to win the prize.
Heb 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
NOTE: I Cor. 9:24-27
D. APPREHENDING. 12d
“that I may lay hold of” – make one’s own possession; to ...
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