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Forgetting Things Behind

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I.        10 “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him,”

A.  “To know” (V 10) means “to know by experience” It also has to do with a sense of intimacy, learn to know, come to know.

1.   The noun (gnōseōs) is used in verse 8. The “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ” is now elaborated in verses 10-11. [1]

B.  V 10 b Says, “…Perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly],”

C.  He goes on to say in verse 10c “And that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers],”

1.   To experience the power of His resurrection was also the apostle’s goal. [2]

2.    (Rom 8:11) Says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” [3]

a)      What has it done for us? Col 2:13-15

b)     (Rom 8:37) Says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” [4]

c)      (2 Cor 2:14a) says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ”[5]

3.   Paul wanted to know “The power which brought Christ forth from the dead now operates in every believers since they have been “raised with Christ” (Col. 3:1).

a)      “Power” dynamis, also used in Acts 1:8; [6]

b)     It is the miracle working power of God, and Paul wanted to see and to know this power, But it wasn’t appointed to them.

c)      For this great power is going to take place in the last days which we now live.

d)     The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to see the power of God like never before.

e)      Miracles are going to start happening in you home, in your work place, in the market place.   

D.  Finally at the end of verse 10d paul says, “and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

II.      11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].


12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

     16 Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. AMP

     I. There are 2 things (from Verses 13 & 14) that I want you to notice about this passage Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi:

              A. 1st Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind,”

              B. And the 2nd thing he said was “Reaching forth unto those things which are before.”

                        1. Before you can go on with God, you must forget about the past.

                                  a. Paul, who once was Saul of Tarsus, had to forget about his past as a persecutor of Christians in order to minister effectively.

                                           i. Just a little side thought about that but not only did Paul have to forgive himself, but the Christian world had to forgive him.

                        2. Let's look at something that Paul wrote about himself to Timothy.

                                  a. 1TIM 1:11-16

                                  b. Paul had to forgive himself before he can step out and do what the Lord wanted Him to do. But also, from these Verses we see that the Lord also forgive Paul and counted him faithful and put him in the ministry.

                        3. The Word of God tells us that Paul or Saul was present at the stoning of Stephen.

                                  a. Stephen was appointed one of the seven to oversee the daily ministration of the people. Really, he was one of the 1st deacons of the Church.

                                  b. Acts 6:1-13

                                           i. Most definitely, this was a man of God.

                        4. In (ACTS 7) we find that Stephen was stoned and Saul was there.

                                  a. ACTS 7:58

                                           i. But not only was Saul there, he was also consenting to it.

                                  b. ACTS 8:1

              C. Even in this same chapter, we can see some more things about Paul that the HS inspires Luke to write.

                        1. ACTS 8:3

                        2. ACTS 9:1-2

     II. Thank God for the Mercy of God.

              A. I don't think that we understand fully the Mercy of God.

                        1. Look at GEN 18:20-32

                                  a. Look at the Mercy of the Lord. He would not destroy the most wicked city for the sake of ten righteous.

                                           i. I believe that if Abraham would have asked the Lord to spare the city for 1 righteous. The Lord would have said, “If 1 shall be found there, I will not destroy it for one's sake.”

                                  b. But if you know the story God did destroy the city.

                                           i. Abraham stopped at 10, because he thought that there must be at least 10 righteous in Sodom.

                                           ii. But he was mistaken; there was only 4 righteous in all of the city.

                                  c. But God's mercy was still great.

                                           i. GEN 19:1, Look at what the angel said in V 12-13.

                                           ii. Go down to V 15-16, 24-26

                                           iii. God would have saved the city for only 10 righteous, but only 4 were found so the city was destroyed. But God in Him great mercy saved the righteous from destruction.

              B. Look at DEUT 4:31

                        1. Even though there will be a great destruction on this earth during the tribulation, God will not forsake you, He will not destroy you, and He will not forget His covenant that He has with you.

                        2. EXO 20:6

                                  a. Some translations add the word “generations” here. And it could mean that but I also see from the Word of God that many unrighteous are going to reap benefits because of the righteous.

              C. Thank God for His Mercy. His mercy is far greater then we ever thought.

                        1. If God had mercy on Paul then he surly will have mercy on us when we blow it.

                                  a. Don't beat yourself over the head for your recent or past failures.

                        2. That's one of the things that Paul was talking about when he said, “Forgetting those things which are behind & I press toward the mark.

                                  a Paul had to learn to forget to be an effective minister.

                                  b. If we want a successful Christian life and/or ministry we have to learn this lesson: Forgetting those things which are behind.

     III. You could even look at this in another way.

              A. Paul said, “Forget those things which are behind.”

                        1. Before Paul became a Christian he was very success man.

                                  a. Paul was a Jew, a Pharisee, from the tribe of Benjamin. He was also a Roman.

                                           i. The main way for someone to become a Roman is to buy their citizenship or be born a citizen.

                                           ii. To buy a citizenship cost a great deal of money.

                                           iii. Paul was born a Roman, so apparently his parents were very wealthy.

                        2. When Paul made that statement, “Forgetting those things that are behind.”

                                  a. He was also talking about forgetting those successes that he had in the world.

                                  b. PHIL 3:3-14

                                           i. The key for a successful Christian life is to forget the things that you have received through the flesh & put your trust in the Lord.

                                           ii. And # 2 Forgetting your failures. (Isaiah 43:25) Says, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. ”

                                           iii. If God doesn't remember those things, why should we?

                        3. Did you notice that when I read (ISA 43:25) God said that He forgives our transgressions for HIS SAKE.

                                  a. God doesn't remember our sin & iniquities for our sakes (even though we reap the benefit for it) He did it for His sake.

                                           i. Why? So He could bless us.

                                           ii. So He could demonstrate His love and mercy toward us.

              B. Look with me to one more scripture. HEB 8:12

                        1. Paul needed to forget his past in order for him to fulfill the call God had on his life.

                        2. You need to forget your past failures so you can go on with God.

                                  a. Doing what Paul said. “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. ”

WOLCC SUN AM 1/17/93 and W. O. L. C. C. Sunday, September 09, 2001 & WOLCC Sunday AM

Forgetting Things Behind


[1]Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985.

[2]Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985.

[3]The New King James Version, Ro 8:11. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.

[4]The New King James Version, Ro 8:37. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.

[5]The Holy Bible : King James Version., 2 Co 2:14. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

[6]Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985.

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