Philippians 3.10-14 records, my goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
In this passage, the Apostle who teaches us that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, reminds us of the effort we too must make in working out our salvation.
Our religion, because it is not a list of do’s and don’ts but a relationship with God Almighty, must continually evolve and be worked on. Like a marriage, we must continue to love our spouse, serve our spouse, connect to our spouse, grow with our spouse, work with our spouse etc., if we are to experience a life-long loving relationship.
Paul makes every effort, he makes his goal, he reaches forward and he pursues as his prize, knowing Jesus and serving Him on earth for His glory. This is the duty, the identity, of the true Christian. We are not going to heaven because we prayed to receive Jesus as our Savior.
We are going to heaven because we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are not going to heaven because we were baptized, we are going to heaven because we have taken up our cross, denied ourselves and follow Jesus into the work of seeking and saving the lost.
Certainly we are accepted by God not based upon our good deeds but by the work of Jesus on the cross. The proof of our relationship with God is made visible, it is proven, by our works demonstrating that Christ’s work was not in vain but has taken root in our souls and now appears bearing eternal fruit through our born again character and conduct.
If we are truly Christian then we are truly drawing nearer to Jesus and doing all we can to help others do the same.