Philippians 3:10-14 "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
I have read this passage several times in the past and always thought it was talking about our life and making it until the end. But while studying the other day, the Holy Spirit revealed to me what I believe the passage is talking about (It was like a light bulb came on!). It did not help that in my Bible some of these verses were separated with a chapter break and new title.
What I now believe is that Paul is talking about being resurrected. Resurrection is his goal. Yes we are to press on in this life and live in a manner worthy of the gospel, but that is not all of what this passage is talking about. It is talking about being found in Christ and when He returns, being resurrected with Him. Paul wants to be like Christ in every way possible- that includes resurrection. When we are resurrected we will be perfect, we will be with Christ, and we will be finally complete. This type resurrection is not for all, but for those who by faith believe and are found in Christ.
With resurrection being Paul's goal, he presses on to make it his own, because Christ has made him His own. He is staining forward, pressing on, and forgetting what lies behind. These all seem to be things that help you to focus on the future, not the past. They are also all verbs. Obtaining this resurrection is something we have to work towards.
Paul is not saying that we have to do something to earn God's favor or that we have to earn salvation. He has already said in Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." But what I believe him to be saying is that we do have to work out our salvation. Believing in Christ is not the first and last step in our journey of faith. We have to persevere and press on through this life so that we will obtain the final goal- being resurrected from the dead and living forever with Christ in the new heavens and the new earth!
We need to "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."