As many as be perfect - As many as are thoroughly instructed in Divine things, who have cast off all dependence on the law and on every other system for salvation, and who discern God calling them from above by Christ Jesus; be thus minded; be intensely in earnest for eternal life, nor ever halt till the race is finished.
The word τελειοι, perfect, is taken here in the same sense in which it is taken 1 Corinthians 14:20; : - Be not Children in understanding - but in understanding be ye Men, τελειοι γινεσθε, be ye perfect - thoroughly instructed, deeply experienced. 1 Corinthians 2:6; : - We speak wisdom among the perfect, εν τοις τελειοις, among those who are fully instructed, adults in Christian knowledge. Ephesians 4:13; : - Till we all come - unto a perfect man, εις ανδρα τελειον, to the state of adults in Christianity. Hebrews 5:14; : - But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, τελειων, the perfect - those who are thoroughly instructed and experienced in Divine things. Let us therefore, says the apostle, as many as be perfect - as have entered fully into the spirit and design of the Gospel, be thus minded, viz. Forget the things which are behind, and stretch forward along the mark for the prize.
If in any thing ye be otherwise minded - If ye have not yet entered into the full spirit and design of this Gospel, if any of you have yet remaining any doubts relative to Jewish ordinances, or their expediency in Christianity, God shall reveal even this unto you; for while you are sincere and upright, God will take care that ye shall have full instruction in these Divine things.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect - see the notes at Phlippians 3:12. Or, rather, those who would be perfect; or who are aiming at perfection. It can hardly be supposed that the apostle would address them as already perfect, when he had just said of himself that lie had not attained to that state. But those whom he addressed might be supposed to be aiming at perfection, and he exhorts them, therefore, to have the same spirit that he himself had, and to make the same efforts which he himself put forth.
Be thus minded - That is, be united in the effort to obtain the prize, and to become entirely perfect. “Let them put forth the same effort which I do, forgetting what is behind, and pressing forward to the mark.”
And if in anything ye be otherwise minded - That is, if there were any among them who had not these elevated views and aims, and who had not been brought to see the necessity of such efforts, or who had not learned that such high attainments were possible. There might be those among them who had been very imperfectly instructed in the nature of religion; those who entertained views which impeded their progress, and prevented the simple and earnest striving for salvation which Paul was enabled to put forth. He had laid aside every obstacle; renounced all the Jewish opinions which had impeded his salvation, and had now one single aim - that of securing the prize. But there might be those who had not attained to these views, and who were still impeded and embarrassed by erroneous opinions.
God shall reveal even this unto you - He will correct your erroneous opinions, and disclose to you the importance of making this effort for the prize. This is the expression of an opinion, that to those who were sincere and true Christians, God would yet make a full revelation of the nature of religion, or would lead them on so that they would fully understand, it. They who are acquainted with religion at all, or who have been truly converted, God will teach and guide until they shall have a full understanding of divine things.
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 130.2Read in context »
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 374.1Read in context »
It is not God's will that we should seclude ourselves from the world. But while in the world we should sanctify ourselves to God. We should not pattern after the world. We are to be in the world as a corrective influence, as salt that retains its savor. Among an unholy, impure, idolatrous generation, we are to be pure and holy, showing that the grace of Christ has power to restore in man the divine likeness. We are to exert a saving influence upon the world. CH 592.1
“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. The world has become a lazar house of sin, a mass of corruption. It knows not the children of God because it knows Him not. We are not to practice its ways or follow its customs. Continually we are to resist its lax principles. Christ said to His followers, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. It is the duty of physicians and nurses to shine as lights amid the corrupting influences of the world. They are to cherish principles which the world cannot tarnish. CH 592.2Read in context »