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Philippians 3:14– The prize of God’s calling

28-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

… toward the goal am I pursuing for the prize of God’s calling above in Christ Jesus.

We already know the metaphor of the racetrack that Paul uses here from an earlier letter of his (1Cor.9:24:27). The comparison lies in the complete focus on the target and thus the refraining from everything else. An athlete in the racetrack does not look back or look around. It would only distract him from the top performance. Whoever fixes his eye on “one thing” (:13) sees nothing but the “target”.

The runner is out to receive “the prize” or trophy after the finish. Paul calls this trophy a little later in this letter (4:1) “the wreath” where he designates his readers as his crown of honor. Isn’t that last one significant!?! Soon at the parousia it will become clear what God was able to do in Paul’s life. The Philippians, like for example the Thessalonians (1Thes.2:19), will be carried along by Paul like a halo. Perhaps literally, but in any case as a visible reminder of what God has worked through him. It is God’s achievement , in which Paul as the called one is his instrument . Hence it is also called “the prize of God’s calling”.