1. Read Philippians 3:12-21. The Greek word “perfect” in verse 12 implies a “state of completion, no more development needed.” In these verses, Paul makes two admissions that he has not attained perfection. What have we already learned about this in Philippians 1:6 and 2:13?
2. For what purpose did Christ “take or lay hold” of Paul?
3. What was Paul’s response to God’s call, even though he knew he was imperfect? Refer also to Romans 7:15-8:2.
4. Look at Philippians 3:13-14. What “one thing” did Paul say is his goal? See 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 as well.
5. Forgetting in this context does not mean losing all memory of his sinful past but leaving it behind him as done with and settled. What did Paul need to “forget”?
6. Your Joy Journey: What do you need to “forget”?
Think About It: “But one thing I do…”How would you finish this statement, dear friend? The famous preacher D. L. Moody wrote these words from a scholar named Gannett in the margin of his Bible beside Philippians 3:13: “Men may be divided into two classes—those who have a ‘one thing’ and those who have no ‘one thing’ to do; those with aim, and those without aim in their lives… The aim in life is what the backbone is to the body: without it we are invertebrate.” How frightening it would be to be “invertebrate”—to be spineless, weak, and weak-willed—especially in the Christian life! But thanks be to God for these cherished-yet-instructive verses about the process whereby you and I may know and accomplish our “one thing”—attaining the great prize of the Christian race. (Elizabeth George, Experiencing God’s Peace, p. 95)
7. Read Philippians 3:12-21. In Philippians 3:15, Paul uses another Greek form of the word “perfect” meaning: relative development, maturity. What do you think are some of the characteristics of a maturing Christian? (See also Hebrews 5:13-14.)
8. What part do you think perseverance plays in Christian maturity? (See also Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4.)
9. How would you advise another believer to press on to Christian maturity?
10. Your Joy Journey: Do you think you are following your own advice? Explain.
11. Paul says in Philippians 3:17 to follow his example as he follows Christ. From the following verses, what are the advantages to those who pattern their lives after wise counselors and persevering believers?
· Proverbs 19:20—
· John 13:13-17—
12. Your Joy Journey: Now consider taking the challenge to be one who models Christlikeness to others. What would Christlikeness uniquely look like in you?
13. Your Joy Journey: Have you discovered an area of passionate interest in God’s service yet? Explain your answer.
14. Read and re-read Philippians 3:20-21. Don’t miss a thing!! Summarize these verses in your own words.
15. Your Joy Journey: Paul can rejoice in all things, see death as gain, press on to maturity, and stand firm because of the truth of these two verses. How do these verses motivate you to persevere and mature (and even have joy) in your walk with Christ?