Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…
I. THE PURPOSE OF PAUL: What is involved in it?
1. Supreme love to Christ and consecration to His service.
2. Deadness to all human ambitions and merely earthly good. So absorbed is the soul in this one idea that it becomes the master passion of life; and the world, the flesh, and all things else cease to have any attraction.
3. Not satisfied with any measure of past attainment, or service, or consecration, but continually reaching forth with ever-growing ardour. There, in full view, is the "goal," and the racer's eye is fixed on it.
II. PAUL'S MEANING AS TO THE PRIZE WAS A PERSONAL RESEMBLANCE TO CHRIST, AND A DESIRE TO BE NEAR HIM. 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. Multitudes of Christians are content just to be saved — to get inside the heavenly gate. But Paul rebukes this spirit. He had a higher and truer ambition.
III. HOW THE GREAT PRIZE IS TO BE WON. In no other way than Paul won it.
1. The mind must contemplate it, the heart be fixed upon it, until the power of it shall overmaster all other objects and passions.
2. The purpose to gain it must be single as well as supreme. Divided affection, and allegiance, half-hearted strivings, will end in disappointment and disaster. The whole soul, purpose, and trend of life must be in the direct line of daily striving.
3. To insure success, all dead weights must be thrown off, all unnecessary hindrances avoided, all entangling alliances sacrificed, and "the sins which do so easily beset" or hinder us, put away.
(G. F. Pentecost, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,