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Philippians 3:14

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I press toward the mark - Κατα σκοπον διωκω· I pursue along the line; this is a reference to the white line that marked the ground in the stadium, from the starting place to the goal, on which the runners were obliged to keep their eye fixed; for they who transgressed or went beyond this line did not run lawfully, and were not crowned, even though they got first to the goal. See the concluding observations on 1 Corinthians 9:27.

What is called σκοπος, mark or scope, here, is called κανων, the line, i.e. the marked line, Philemon 3:16. When it was said to Diogenes, the cynic, "Thou art now an old man, rest from thy labors;" to this he answered: Ει δολιχον εδραμον, προς τῳ τελει εδει με ανειναι, και μη μαλλον επιτειναι ; "If I have run long in the race, will it become me to slacken my pace when come near the end; should I not rather stretch forward?" Diog. Laert., lib. vi. cap. 2. sec. 6.

For the prize of the high calling of God - The reward which God from above calls me, by Christ Jesus, to receive. The apostle still keeps in view his crown of martyrdom and his glorious resurrection.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I press toward the mark - As he who was running a race did. The “mark” means properly the object set up at a distance at which one looks or aims, and hence the goal, or post which was set up at the end of a race-course, and which was to be reached in order that the prize might be won. Here it means that which is at the end of the Christian race - in heaven.

For the prize - The prize of the racer was a crown or garland of olive, laurel, pine, or apple; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:24. The prize of the Christian is the crown that is incorruptible in heaven.

Of the high calling of God - Which is the end or result of that calling. God has called us to great and noble efforts; to a career of true honor and glory; to the obtainment of a bright and imperishable crown. It is a calling which is “high,” or “upward” - ( ἄνω anō) - that is, which tends to the skies. The calling of the Christian is from heaven, and to heaven; compare Proverbs 15:24. He has been summoned by God through the gospel of the Lord Jesus to secure the crown. It is placed before and above him in heaven. It may be his, if he will not faint or tire or look backward. It demands his highest efforts, and it is worth all the exertions which a mortal can make even in the longest life.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This simple dependence and earnestness of soul, were not mentioned as if the apostle had gained the prize, or were already made perfect in the Saviour's likeness. He forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content with past labours or present measures of grace. He reached forth, stretched himself forward towards his point; expressions showing great concern to become more and more like unto Christ. He who runs a race, must never stop short of the end, but press forward as fast as he can; so those who have heaven in their view, must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God, but it is in Christ Jesus; through his hand it must come to us, as it is procured for us by him. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way. True believers, in seeking this assurance, as well as to glorify him, will seek more nearly to resemble his sufferings and death, by dying to sin, and by crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts. In these things there is a great difference among real Christians, but all know something of them. Believers make Christ all in all, and set their hearts upon another world. If they differ from one another, and are not of the same judgment in lesser matters, yet they must not judge one another; while they all meet now in Christ, and hope to meet shortly in heaven. Let them join in all the great things in which they are agreed, and wait for further light as to lesser things wherein they differ. The enemies of the cross of Christ mind nothing but their sensual appetites. Sin is the sinner's shame, especially when gloried in. The way of those who mind earthly things, may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. The life of a Christian is in heaven, where his Head and his home are, and where he hopes to be shortly; he sets his affections upon things above; and where his heart is, there will his conversation be. There is glory kept for the bodies of the saints, in which they will appear at the resurrection. Then the body will be made glorious; not only raised again to life, but raised to great advantage. Observe the power by which this change will be wrought. May we be always prepared for the coming of our Judge; looking to have our vile bodies changed by his Almighty power, and applying to him daily to new-create our souls unto holiness; to deliver us from our enemies, and to employ our bodies and souls as instruments of righteousness in his service.
Ellen G. White
The Sanctified Life, 86

The apostle himself was endeavoring to reach the same standard of holiness which he set before his brethren. He writes to the Philippians: “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: ...that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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” (Philippians 3:7-14). There is a striking contrast between the boastful, self-righteous claims of those who profess to be without sin, and the modest language of the apostle. Yet it was the purity and faithfulness of his own life that gave such power to his exhortations to his brethren. SL 86.1

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 311-2

Writing to the Philippians, he describes his experience before and after his conversion. “If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh,” he says, “I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:4-6. SR 311.1

After his conversion his testimony was: SR 311.2

“Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” Philippians 3:8, 9, A.R.V. SR 311.3

The righteousness that heretofore he had thought of so much worth was now worthless in his sight. The longing of his soul was: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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.” Philippians 3:10-14. SR 311.4

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 54.6

When we stand the test of God in the refining, purifying process; when the furnace fire consumes the dross, and the true gold of a purified character appears, we may still say, with Paul, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.... 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.” Mar 54.6

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 130.2

Christ presents before us the highest perfection of Christian character, which throughout our lifetime we should aim to reach.... Concerning this perfection Paul writes: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.... I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-15).... TMK 130.2

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 483

He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character, he who would be a well-balanced Christian, must give all and do all for Christ; for the Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily he must learn the meaning of self-surrender. He must study the word of God, learning its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the standard of Christian excellence. Day by day God works with him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the time of final test. And day by day the believer is working out before men and angels a sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings. AA 483.1

“I count not myself to have apprehended,” Paul wrote; “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.” AA 483.2

Paul did many things. From the time that he gave his allegiance to Christ, his life was filled with untiring service. From city to city, from country to country, he journeyed, telling the story of the cross, winning converts to the gospel, and establishing churches. For these churches he had a constant care, and he wrote many letters of instruction to them. At times he worked at his trade to earn his daily bread. But in all the busy activities of his life, Paul never lost sight of one great purpose—to press toward the prize of his calling. One aim he kept steadfastly before him—to be faithful to the One who at the gate of Damascus had revealed Himself to him. From this aim nothing had power to turn him aside. To exalt the cross of Calvary—this was the all-absorbing motive that inspired his words and acts. AA 483.3

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Ellen G. White
Conflict and Courage, 353.1

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. Philippians 3:13, 14. CC 353.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 58-9

Foremost among those called to preach the gospel of Christ stands the apostle Paul, to every minister an example of loyalty, devotion, and untiring effort. His experiences and his instruction regarding the sacredness of the minister's work, are a source of help and inspiration to those engaged in the gospel ministry. GW 58.1

Before his conversion, Paul was a bitter persecutor of the followers of Christ. But at the gate of Damascus a voice spoke to him, light from heaven shone into his soul, and in the revelation that there came to him, of the Crucified One, he beheld that which changed the whole current of his life. Henceforth love for the Lord of glory, whom he had so relentlessly persecuted in the person of His saints, came before all else. To him had been given the ministry of making known “the mystery” which had been “kept secret since the world began.” [Romans 16:25.] “He is a chosen vessel unto Me,” declared the Angel who appeared to Ananias, “to bear My name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.” [Acts 9:15.] GW 58.2

And throughout his long term of service, Paul never faltered in his allegiance to his Saviour. “I count not myself to have apprehended,” he wrote to the Philippians; “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. [Philippians 3:13, 14.] GW 58.3

Paul's was a life of intense and varied activities. From city to city, from country to country, he journeyed, telling the story of the cross, winning converts to the gospel, and establishing churches. For these churches he had a constant care, and he wrote many letters of instruction to them. At times he worked at his trade to earn his daily bread. But in all the busy activity of his life, he never lost sight of the one great purpose,—to press toward the mark of his high calling. GW 58.4

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 470

The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to “go on unto perfection;” to grow up “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Says the apostle Paul: “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.” Philippians 3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.... If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:5-10. GC 470.1

Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One. GC 470.2

The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man “greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: “We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.” “We have sinned, we have done wickedly.” He declares: “I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.” And when at a later time the Son of God appeared, to give him instruction, Daniel says: “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.” Daniel 9:18, 15, 20; 10:8. GC 470.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 276.1

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. Philippians 3:13, 14. HP 276.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 516

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. MH 516.1

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Revelation 2:17. MH 516.2

“He that overcometh, ... I will give him the Morning Star,” “and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God: ... and I will write upon him My new name.” Verses 26-28; 3:12. MH 516.3

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 371.1

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. Philippians 3:13, 14. OHC 371.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 905

6 (John 1:1-3, 14; see EGW on John 1:1-3; Revelation 12:10). Equality Between Christ and the Father—Christ's position with His Father is one of equality. This enabled Him to become a sin-offering for transgressors. He was fully sufficient to magnify the law and make it honorable (Manuscript 48, 1893). 7BC 905.1

7. See EGW on Matthew 26:42. 7BC 905.2

7, 8. See EGW on Hebrews 2:17. 7BC 905.3

9. See EGW on Matthew 27:21, 22, 29. 7BC 905.4

10, 11. See EGW on Romans 3:19. 7BC 905.5

12. See EGW on Galatians 5:6. 7BC 905.6

12, 13. See EGW on Romans 12:2; 2 Peter 1:5-11. 7BC 905.7

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 966

18-21 (Philippians 3:12-15). The Conflict Is for Us—The true Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in His name. He declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” 7BC 966.1

These are the words of our Substitute and Surety. He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point His followers to His life, His toils, His self-denials, His struggles and sufferings, through contempt, through rejection ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood, up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience. 7BC 966.2

Let us make an application of the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Are we poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then let us seek the gold and white raiment that He offers. The work of overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. The conflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness, false doctrines, and immorality of life (The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888). 7BC 966.3

(Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 1:16-19.) A Hope of Reform—The church must and will shine forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” God's servants must, by laboring together with Christ, roll away the curse that has made the church so lukewarm. [Revelation 3:15-19 quoted.] The chastening reveals a hope of reform [vs. 20, 21 quoted] (Letter 130, 1902). 7BC 966.4

Laodicean Call Brings Fruitage—I saw that this call to the Laodicean church will affect souls. A becoming zeal is called for by God on our part. We must repent, throw away our whole feelings, feel our destitution, buy gold that we may be rich, eyesalve that we may see, white raiment that we may be clothed (Letter 2, 1851). 7BC 966.5

(Matthew 25:1-12.) Hope for the Laodiceans—[Revelation 3:15-17 quoted.] Yet the case of those who are rebuked is not a hopeless one; it is not beyond the power of the great Mediator. He says: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance. 7BC 966.6

But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (The Review and Herald, August 28, 1894). 7BC 966.7

There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message given to the Laodiceans (Manuscript 139, 1903). 7BC 966.8

20 (ch. 22:17; Proverbs 1:23-33). Will You Squander God's Talents?—Says the true Witness, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world's care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond. 7BC 966.9

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 18

But it is not only upon those who preach the word that God has placed the responsibility of seeking to save sinners. He has given this work to all. Our hearts are to be so filled with the love of Christ that our words of thanksgiving shall warm other hearts. This is service that all can perform, and the Lord accepts it as offered to Himself. He makes it efficacious, imparting to the earnest worker the grace that reconciles man to God. 8T 18.1

May the Lord help His people to realize that there is earnest work to be done. May He help them to remember that in the home, in the church, and in the world they are to work the works of Christ. They are not left to labor alone. The angels are their helpers. And Christ is their helper. Then let them labor faithfully and untiringly. In due season they will reap if they faint not. 8T 18.2

The Christian pilgrim does not yield to his desire to rest. He moves steadily forward, saying: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” This is his motto: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.... 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.” Philippians 3:12-14. 8T 18.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 64

Christ is the greatest Teacher that the world has ever known. And what is the standard that He holds before all who believe in Him? “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in His sphere, so man may be perfect in his sphere. 8T 64.1

The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. There is opened before us a path of constant advancement. We have an object to gain, a standard to reach, that includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be continual striving and constant progress onward and upward toward perfection of character. 8T 64.2

Paul says: “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.” Philippians 3:13, 14. 8T 64.3

This is the will of God concerning human beings, even their sanctification. In urging our way upward, heavenward, every faculty must be kept in the most healthy condition, prepared to do faithful service. The powers with which God has endowed man are to be put to the stretch. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27. Man cannot possibly do this of himself; he must have divine aid. What part is the human agent to act? “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13. 8T 64.4

Without the divine working, man could do no good thing. God calls every man to repentance, yet man cannot even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon his heart. But the Lord wants no man to wait until he thinks that he has repented before he takes steps toward Jesus. The Saviour is continually drawing men to repentance; they need only to submit to be drawn, and their hearts will be melted in penitence. 8T 64.5

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 374

Do not allow anything to turn you aside from the path of self-denial. Of those who in ancient times engaged in contests of physical strength, we read, “Every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25, A.S.V.). As we engage in the great struggle, let us think of what we shall lose if we fail. We shall lose the eternal life purchased for us by the blood of the Son of God. Shall we, then, grudge the toil of eternal vigilance? If we do all in our power to resist evil and surmount obstacles, we shall gain the victory. Vigor will reward the efforts made to press toward the prize of our high calling in Christ. TDG 374.2

Worldly attractions will be presented to draw the attention from the Lord Jesus; but laying aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets, we are to press forward, showing to the world, to angels, and to men that the hope of seeing the face of God is worth all the efforts and the sacrifices that the attainment of the hope demands.... “I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14, A.S.V.). TDG 374.3

“One thing I do.” Paul allowed nothing to divert him from the one great purpose of his life.... In the busy activities of life, he never lost sight of his one great purpose—to press on toward the prize of his high calling.... TDG 374.4

Let the great purposes that constrained Paul to press forward in the face of hardship and difficulty lead you to consecrate yourselves wholly to God's service. Whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might. Make your work pleasant with songs of praise. If you would have a clean record in the books of heaven, never fret or scold. Let your daily prayer be: “Lord, help me to do my best. Teach me how to do better work. Give me energy and cheerfulness. Help me to bring into my service the loving ministry of the Saviour.”—Letter 1, December 31, 1903, to “My Dear Brethren and Sisters.” TDG 374.5

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 91

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1. MB 91.1

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 102.1

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. Philippians 3:13, 14. UL 102.1

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 374.1

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. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Philippians 3:13-15. UL 374.1

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Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 166.1

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14. FLB 166.1

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 235

For His own wise purpose the Lord veils spiritual truths in figures and symbols. Through the use of figures of speech the plainest and most telling rebuke was often given to His accusers and enemies, and they could find in His words no occasion to condemn Him. In parables and comparisons He found the best method of communicating divine truth. In simple language, using figures and illustrations drawn from the natural world, He opened spiritual truth to His hearers, and gave expression to precious principles that would have passed from their minds, and left scarcely a trace, had He not connected His words with stirring scenes of life, experience, or nature. In this way He called forth their interest, aroused inquiry, and when He had fully secured their attention, He decidedly impressed upon them the testimony of truth. In this way He was able to make sufficient impression upon the heart so that afterward His hearers could look upon the thing with which He connected His lesson, and recall the words of the divine Teacher. FE 236.1

The teaching of Jesus was of an entirely different order from that of the learned scribes. They professed to be expositors of the law, both written and traditional. But the formal tone of their instruction would indicate that they saw nothing in the doctrines of the sacred oracles which possessed vital power. They presented nothing new, uttered no words that reached the longing of the soul. They offered no food for the hungry sheep and lambs. Their custom was to dwell upon the obscurities of the law, and the result of their reasoning was a jargon of absurdities, which neither the learned could fathom nor the common people understand. FE 236.2

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 342.1

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14. AG 342.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 463

The Lord wants men who see the work in its greatness, and who understand the principles that have been interwoven with it from its rise. He will not have a worldly order of things come in to fashion the work in altogether different lines from those He has marked out for His people. The work must bear the character of its Originator.—Testimonies for the Church 7:209. GW 463.1

In establishing the work in new places, economize in every possible way. Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost. The work of soul-saving must be carried on in the way that Christ has marked out. He declares, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Only by obeying this word can we be His disciples. We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different lines of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than has yet been manifested.—Idem, pages 239, 240. GW 463.2

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 122.4

The humility that bears fruit, filling the soul with a sense of the love of God, will speak for the one who has cherished it, in the great day when men will be rewarded according as their works have been. Happy will be the one of whom it can be said, “The Spirit of God never stirred this man's soul in vain. He went forward and upward from strength to strength. Self was not woven into his life. Each message of correction, warning, and counsel he received as a blessing from God. Thus the way was prepared for him to receive still greater blessings, because God did not speak to him in vain. Each step upward on the ladder of progress prepared him to climb still higher. From the top of the ladder the bright beams of God's glory shone upon him. He did not think of resting, but sought constantly to attain the wisdom and righteousness of Christ. Ever he pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” HP 122.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 183.2

At the entrance gate of the path that leads to everlasting life God places faith, and He lines the whole way with the light and peace and joy of willing obedience. The traveler in this way keeps ever before him the mark of his high calling in Christ. The prize is ever in sight. To him God's commands are righteousness and joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. The things that first appeared to be crosses are found by experience to be crowns. HP 183.2

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 263.4

A great and solemn responsibility rests upon us who profess to obey God's commandments, to show to the world around us that we are bending our steps heavenward. And as we press against the current that is bearing all down, then we should know for what we should strive. We are to press toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. We cannot remain in listless resistance and yet gain the prize.... HP 263.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 335.5

Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us—the perfection of His character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, “It is finished.” HP 335.5

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 104.4

Enemy Need Not Hinder Daily Improvement—Resolve to reach a high and holy standard; make your mark high; act with earnest purpose as did Daniel, steadily, perseveringly; and nothing that the enemy can do will hinder your daily improvement. Notwithstanding inconveniences, changes, perplexities, you may constantly advance in mental vigor and moral power. 1MCP 104.4

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 777.2

I Have Confessed to God; He Has Forgiven My Sin—It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, “I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak. I have no excuse to plead for being dwarfed in my religious life. But I am seeking to obtain completeness of character in Christ. I have sinned, and yet I love Jesus. I have fallen many times, and yet He has reached out His hand to save me. I have told Him all about my mistakes. I have confessed with shame and sorrow that I have dishonored Him. I have looked to the cross and have said, All this He suffered for me. The Holy Spirit has shown me my ingratitude, my sin in putting Christ to open shame. He who knows no sin has forgiven my sin. He calls me to a higher, nobler life, and I press on to the things that are before.”—Manuscript 161, 1897. 2MCP 777.2

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 313

Faith in God's Word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan's power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ. ML 313.2

When souls are converted their salvation is not yet accomplished. They then have the race to run; the arduous struggle is before them to do, what? “To fight the good fight of faith,” to press forward to the mark for the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. There is no release in this warfare; the battle is lifelong, and must be carried forward with determined energy proportionate to the value of the object you are in pursuit of, which is eternal life. Immense interests are here involved. We are made partakers of Christ's self-sacrifice here in this life, and then we are assured that we shall be partakers of all its benefits in the future immortal life, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Think of this. ML 313.3

The promise is, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” Maintain to the last your Christian integrity, and do not murmur against God.... Consider that eternal interests are here involved. You cannot afford to become discouraged and cast away your confidence. The Lord loves you, trust in the Lord. The Lord Jesus is your only hope. Make sure work for eternity. You must not murmur or complain or condemn yourself. Neglect no means of grace. Encourage your soul to believe and to trust in God. ML 313.4

In the Lord we have righteousness and strength. Lean upon Him, and through His power you may quench all the fiery darts of the adversary and come off more than conqueror. ML 313.5

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 8.4

Those who make a success of the Christian life will count all things as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. Only those who are abiding in Christ can know what true life is. They realize the value of true religion. They have brought their talents of influence and means and ability to the altar of consecration, seeking only to know and do the will of Him who has died to redeem them. They know that the path they must travel is strait and narrow, and that they will have to meet many obstacles and temptations, as they resist the enticements of the broader road that leads to ruin; but they will discern the footsteps of Jesus, and press onward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in their Lord and Saviour. They will choose the royal way that leads to heaven. OHC 8.4

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 150.6

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us—the perfection of His character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, “It is finished.” OHC 150.6

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 242.6

Be anxious and earnest to grow in grace, seeking for a more distinct and intelligent understanding of the will of God concerning you, striving earnestly for the mark of the prize before you. Christian perfection alone will win the spotless robes of character which will entitle you to stand before the throne of God among the blood-washed throng, bearing the palm branch of everlasting victory and eternal triumph. OHC 242.6

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 65.2

The First Business of Life—Men should be chosen to stand at the head of our institutions who have not only good, sound judgment, but a high moral tone, who will be circumspect in their deportment, pure in speech, remembering their high and holy calling, and that there is a Watcher, a true Witness to every word and act.... PM 65.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 299.1

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14. RC 299.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 318.5

It is indulgence in these things that puts us out of harmony with the harmonious life of Christ, and prevents us from becoming overcomers. We should be actuated by the noble purpose of winning daily victories, and by watchfulness and sincere prayer attain to complete control of self. When petty trials come upon us, and words are spoken that cut and bruise the soul, speak to yourself and say, “I am a child of God, heir with Jesus Christ, a colaborer with heaven, and I cannot afford to easily take offense, to be always thinking of self; for this will produce a distorted character, and is unworthy of my high calling. My heavenly Father has given me a work to do, and let me do it worthily for His name's sake.” RC 318.5

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 201.2

“This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). We have not pressed forward to the mark of the prize of our high calling. Self has found too much room. Oh, let the work be done under the special direction of the Holy Spirit. The Lord demands all the powers of the mind and being. It is His will that we should be conformed to Him in will, in temper, in spirit, in our meditations. The work of righteousness cannot be carried forward unless we exercise implicit faith. 3SM 201.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 360.3

“Each message of correction, warning, and counsel he received as a blessing from God. Thus the way was prepared for him to receive still greater blessings, because God did not speak to him in vain. Each step upward on the ladder of progress prepared him to climb still higher. From the top of the ladder the bright beams of God's glory shone upon him. He did not think of resting, but sought constantly to attain the wisdom and righteousness of Christ. Ever he pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 3SM 360.3

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 79

Satan still comes with his temptations to the children of men. He employs every means at his command to conceal himself from view, and this is why so many are ignorant of his devices. A few days since, the question was asked me, “Do you believe in a personal devil?” “I do,” was the answer. “Well,” rejoined the questioner, “I do not believe that there is any such being; our evil thoughts and impulses are all the devil we know anything about!” “But,” I asked, “who suggests these thoughts? Whence do they originate, if not from Satan?” ... SD 79.2

Just as surely as we have a personal Saviour, we have also a personal adversary, cruel and cunning, who ever watches our steps, and plots to lead us astray. He can work most effectually in disguise. Wherever the opinion is entertained that he does not exist, there he is most busy. When we least suspect his presence, he is gaining advantage over us. I feel alarmed as I see so many of the youth yielding to his power while they know it not. Did they but see their danger, they would flee to Christ, the sinner's refuge.32The Youth's Instructor, November 21, 1883. SD 79.3

Aim to be faithful students in the school of Christ, learning daily to conform your life to the divine Pattern. Set your faces heavenward, and press toward the mark for the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus. Run the Christian race with patience, and rise superior to every temptation, however grievous it may be, that shall come to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God; and if you are desirous of taking the first upward step, you will find His hand stretched out to help you. It remains with you, individually, as to whether you walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, or in the darkness of error. The truth of God can be a blessing to you only as you permit its influence to purify and refine your soul.33The Youth's Instructor, May 30, 1895. SD 79.4

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 328

Let us, under all circumstances, preserve our confidence in Christ. He is to be everything to us,—the first, the last, the best in everything. Then let us educate our tongues to speak forth His praise, not only when we feel gladness and joy, but at all times. SD 328.2

Let us keep the heart full of God's precious promises, that we may speak words that will be a comfort and strength to others. Thus we may learn the language of the heavenly angels, who, if we are faithful, will be our companions through the eternal ages. Every day we should make advancement in gaining perfection of character, and this we shall certainly do if we press toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. Let us not talk of the great power of Satan, but of the great power of God.... SD 328.3

In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe, the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release.... We are urged to prepare for this conflict. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The warning is repeated, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” SD 328.4

He ... to whom all power in heaven and earth has been given, will come to the help of those who trust in Him.37The Youth's Instructor, January 10, 1901. SD 328.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 124

Will the Israel of God awake? Will all who profess godliness seek to put away every wrong, to confess to God every secret sin, and afflict the soul before Him? Will they, with great humility, investigate the motives of every action, and know that the eye of God reads all, searches out every hidden thing? Let the work be thorough, the consecration to God entire. He calls for a full surrender of all that we have and are. Ministers and people need a new conversion, a transformation of the mind, without which we are not savors of life unto life, but of death unto death. Great privileges belong to the people of God. Great light has been given them, that they may attain to their high calling in Christ Jesus; yet they are not what God would have them to be and what He designs they shall be. 2T 124.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 235

My brother, Jesus loves you, and He invites you to face rightabout, and take your eyes from the earth, and fix them upon the mark for the prize of your high calling, which is in Christ Jesus. Cease lightness and trifling. Let a solemn weight of the time in which we live be borne by you till the war is over. Go to work; if consecrated to God, your influence will tell. 2T 235.1

Most of the family of Brother G are in the downward road. H lives an aimless life. She is full of folly, vanity, and pride. Her influence does not tend to ennoble, does not lead to goodness and holiness. She does not like the restraint which religion imposes; therefore she will not yield her heart to its sacred sway. She loves self, loves pleasure, and is seeking for her own enjoyment. Sad, sad indeed will be the result, unless she now turns square about and seeks for genuine godliness. She might exert a softening, ennobling, and elevating influence over her brothers. God loves these children, but they are not Christians. If they would try to live humble Christian lives, they could become children of the light and workers for God; they could be missionaries in their own family and among their associates. 2T 235.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 358

But notwithstanding all their temperance,—all their efforts to subject themselves to a careful diet in order to be in the best condition,—those who ran the earthly race only ran at a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them, and take the prize. Only one received the prize. But in the heavenly race we can all run and all receive the prize. There is no uncertainty, no risk, in the matter. We must put on the heavenly graces, and, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keep the Pattern ever before us. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The humble, self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. And then as we seek to imitate Him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can, we shall certainly secure the prize. 2T 358.1

Men would subject themselves to self-denial and discipline in order to run and obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day, and which was only a token of honor from mortals here. But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. “We,” says the apostle, “an incorruptible.” And if those who engaged in this race here upon the earth for a temporal crown could be temperate in all things, cannot we, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God? When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith”? He has pointed out the way for us, and marked it all along by His own footsteps. It is the path that He traveled, and we may, with Him, experience the self-denial and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by His own blood. 2T 358.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 483-4

I have been looking over the Testimonies given for Sabbathkeepers and I am astonished at the mercy of God and His care for His people in giving them so many warnings, pointing out their dangers, and presenting before them the exalted position which He would have them occupy. If they would keep themselves in His love and separate from the world, He would cause His special blessings to rest upon them and His light to shine round about them. Their influence for good might be felt in every branch of the work and in every part of the gospel field. But if they fail to meet the mind of God, if they continue to have so little sense of the exalted character of the work as they have had in the past, their influence and example will prove a terrible curse. They will do harm and only harm. The blood of precious souls will be found upon their garments. 2T 483.1

Testimonies of warning have been repeated. I inquire: Who have heeded them? Who have been zealous in repenting of their sins and idolatry, and have been earnestly pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? Who have shown the inward work of God, leading to self-denial and humble self-sacrifice? Who that have been warned have so separated themselves from the world, from its affections and lusts, that they have shown a daily growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Whom do we find among the active ones, that feel the burden for the church? Whom do we see that God is especially using, working by and through them to elevate the standard, and to bring the church up to it, that they may prove the Lord and see if He will not pour them out a blessing? 2T 483.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 406

May the Lord help everyone to improve to the utmost the talents committed to his trust. Those who work in this cause do not study their Bibles as they should. If they did, its practical teachings would have a positive bearing upon their lives. Whatever your work may be, dear brethren and sisters, do it as for the Master, and do your best. Do not overlook present golden opportunities and let your life prove a failure while you sit idly dreaming of ease and success in a work for which God has never fitted you. Do the work that is nearest you. Do it, even though it may be amid perils and hardships in the missionary field; but do not, I beg of you, complain of hardships and self-sacrifices. Look at the Waldenses. See what plans they devised that the light of the gospel might shine into benighted minds. We should not labor with the expectation of receiving our reward in this life, but with our eyes fixed steadfastly upon the prize at the end of the race. Men and women are wanted now who are as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men and women who will work without having their way smoothed and every obstacle removed. 5T 406.1

I have described what canvassers ought to be; and may the Lord open their minds to comprehend this subject in its length and breadth, and may they realize their duty to represent the character of Christ by their patience, courage, and steadfast integrity. Let them remember that they can deny Him by a loose, lax, undecided character. Young men, if you take these principles with you into the canvassing field you will be respected; and many will believe the truth you advocate, because you live your faith, because your daily life is as a bright light set upon a candlestick, which giveth light to all that are in the house. Even your enemies, as much as they war against your doctrines, will respect you; and when you have gained this much, your simple words will have a power and will carry conviction to hearts. 5T 406.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 486

Here is your danger, in failing to press forward “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Has the Lord given you light? Then you are responsible for that light; not merely while its rays are shining upon you, but for all which it has revealed to you in the past. You are to surrender your will to God daily; you are to walk in the light, and to expect more; for the light from the dear Saviour is to shine forth in clearer, more distinct rays amid the moral darkness, increasing in brightness more and more unto the perfect day. 5T 486.1

Are all the members of your church seeking to gather fresh manna every morning and evening? Are you seeking divine enlightenment? or are you devising means whereby you can glorify yourselves? Are you, with your whole soul, might, mind, and strength, loving and serving God in blessing others around you by leading them to the Light of the world? Are you satisfied with past blessings? or are you walking as Christ walked, working as He worked, revealing Him to the world in your words and actions? Are you, as obedient children, living a pure and holy life? Christ must be brought into your life. He alone can cure you of envy, of evil surmising against your brethren; He alone can take away from you the self-sufficient spirit that some of you cherish to your own spiritual detriment. Jesus alone can make you feel your weakness, your ignorance, your corrupt nature. He alone can make you pure, refine you, fit you for the mansions of the blessed. 5T 486.2

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