Philippians 3:12-14. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
A Worthless Life Without Christ
Paul figured out early in his Christian life that everything he did to try to live blamelessly, according to the law, was worthless. He counted it as dung. He knew the only thing that was worth anything was faith in Christ. That is what gave him true righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He knew that a life of faith involved a life of being made conformable to Christ’s death. That meant suffering for Christ. That is what he spent a lifetime trying to attain.
A Life of Suffering for Christ is What We Should Try to Attain
When Paul measured himself and compared himself to a life of suffering for Christ, he figured out he had not attained that and was far from perfect. He did want to follow after the example of Christ the best he could. Ultimately, he wanted to be apprehended or under the full control of Jesus Christ. It is a life of surrender to God’s will. In order to do that, he had to forget about his past life. He needed to not look back at his past failures. They would only cause him to miss out on the prize that God had for him.
Forgetting the Past and Looking to the Future
Forgetting about sin and past failures is very important in the Christian life. If we are not going to be controlled by this flesh, we need to forget about wrongs done against us. Otherwise, we will be controlled by bitterness, envy, hatred, and evil surmisings. Instead, we need to forget some things, by the power of God, and move forward by reaching or looking forward to heaven and the things prepared for us there. Memory is good when we have good things to remember. When we have bad things, it is a curse. It is those cursed things that Paul was trying to forget. It was, also, the things that caused pride in his life. It does not matter what it is, we need to move forward and look forward in our Christian life, not behind us. That is how you will attain a life of faith in Christ’s righteousness.