15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
Paul encouraged us to press on, to pursue after Jesus, run closely after Him, follow in His footsteps, letting Him pace us.
15 Let us therefore,
Now Paul presents the life application of what he has just said. And he starts with an encouragement to all the Philippian Church.
as many as are perfect,
Many translations use the word mature here.
In this context, maturity does not refer to chronological age.
The mature have devoted themselves to running the race.
According to Hebrews 5:14-6:9, this maturity has effects:
- Prepares for the solid food
- Allows God to minister to us
- Strengthens our hope and faith as we run our race God’s way.
- Have our senses trained to discern good and evil.
- Realize the full assurance of hope until the end
- Not be sluggish
- Through faith and patience inherit the promises.
So in these New Testament passages, we come to understand what Paul means by “mature” here, and what a “mature” Christian life looks like.
When Paul uses this word, in this context, it is a call to self-examination.
The mature have embraced this point of view, and Paul encourages them to keep on embracing the view that life is about running their race, deepening their relationship with Jesus.
and if in anything you have a different attitude,
We still have the flesh to contend with. There’s always something in us that wants to raise itself against God and say, “but I want my own way”.
God will reveal that also to you;
More revelation from God is needed.
Sometimes our tendency to let the flesh rise up is difficult for us to see.
Jerimiah 17:9-10a The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?10“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind,”
God is able to search our hearts.
We should want God to search our hearts. It’s to our advantage that God search our hearts.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
16 however, let us keep [k]living by that same standard to which we have attained.
We run in humble obedience!
So running our race has everything to do with this marvelous relationship with Christ within us being strengthened as we run.
Our race also has to do with extending this marvelous relationship outward toward each other by our actions.
And remember that Paul, in Philippians continually ties this inner transformation as we walk with Jesus, and the outward expression of this transformation as we minister to each other in unity and humility to the super-over-flowing Joy that it brings.
to which we have attained
Paul is encouraging us to keep up the pace
Paul is urging us not to fall behind.
Paul is warning us not to fall away.