Striving to be Christlike

Key Verse: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 3:14

Selected Scripture:
Philippians 3:1-21

STRIVING TO BE MORE Christlike is a quality sought earnestly by the Lord’s people. Every child of God should endeavor to become more like our Lord Jesus in all of life’s affairs, whether in action, word, or deed. This means the necessity of resisting the worldly spirit of selfishness and unrighteousness, and focusing our attention on obtaining a greater measure of Christian grace and holiness in our daily lives.

There was a special bond of love between Paul and the brethren at Philippi, and the apostle shared his feelings and intentions with them in this epistle. He deeply appreciated the invitation to set aside his own ambitions in life, and to follow our blessed Lord by pressing forward in seeking the grandest prize that the world has ever known. He brings this to our attention again in another of his epistles, where he said: “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.”—Rom. 2:7

He tells the Philippian church about the High Calling which leads to the great prize of the Divine nature offered by God during the present Gospel Age. It is for those who appreciate and strive to be Christlike. The apostle put aside his own will and preferences to obtain the spiritual inheritance to which he had been called. All earthly interests and considerations were counted of no value when compared to the hope that was set before him.

The heavenly calling, together with all of its precious promises, is so glorious that all other things fade away into insignificance. He said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Phil. 3:8) Paul considered it a privilege to suffer and die for the Lord. He wanted to share in the fellowship and sufferings of Christ, and to be conformed unto his death, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”—vs. 11

The apostle continues: “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.” (vss. 13,14) It takes effort and diligence on the part of the Lord’s people to continue on in full assurance of faith, but we can trust that our Lord will be with his people all the way.

Those who are faithful hold onto these spiritual promises in full assurance of faith. “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”—vss. 20,21

Let each child of God continue to strive diligently to be more Christlike, in order to gain the prize of the High Calling.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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