Philippians 3:12

A question was emailed to me:
In Philippians 3:13 Paul says: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”
In the last part of the verse, what is he talking about? Is he talking about his past confidence in the flesh?
Also, was it possible that Paul ever heard Jesus teach? Just curious…
Answer:
In Philippians 3:7 Paul had written that he has counted whatever was gain to him as loss now. And so I think it is most likely that verse 12 is referring to his past life. In 3:8 Paul writes that he counts all things to be loss because it is so much greater to know Christ. In 3:3-6: Paul writes that he has more reasons than any to place confidence in the flesh. Paul writes about is Jewish “pedigree” or Jewish lineage. He writes about his education and background. But now in 3:12: Paul begins to say that he is pressing forward to what lies ahead. He is straining or reaching forward to what is ahead.
So, as a point of application, what do we need to put away? What do we need to forget about in our past in order to follow closer to Christ and serve Him more full?

As far as the second question is concerned. I know of no evidence that Paul ever saw Jesus teach.

blessings in Christ, Steve

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What is the deal with dinosaurs and how do they fit in?

This is a common and very good question. What is being asked really gets down to the idea of creation. Was everything created in 6 24 hour days, or millions of years, or somewhere in between? Below I have pasted something that I wrote to answer that question last year on Labor Day weekend.
5. How does one reconcile the 6 day creation in the Bible with the scientific theory of evolution?
a. A book you may be interested in is called “The Language of God” by Francis S. Collins. Dr. Collins led the human genome project. You can barrow the book if you wish. Cedarville University is strongly for a 6 24 hour day view of creation and there is now a lot of evidence for a young earth view. At the same time, many of the professors at Asbury Theological Seminary thought of the creation account in more of a literature way. They would think “Is the creation account meant to be interpreted literally?” If I don’t believe God created in 6-24 hour days it must be because the Scriptures are not to be interpreted literally in those passages. I can never change my view of Scripture because of a scientific theory. So, a thought is do the two views contradict? I believe yes, in the full form of evolution there is a contradiction between evolution and creation. The Bible teaches that God created and that God created out of nothing. However, this doesn’t mean that God didn’t use evolution in some form of another. There are Theistic Evolutionist that believe that God created using evolution. I think one can certainly be a Biblical Christian and believe that but you certainly cannot take evolution in its purest form. Also from my understanding Darwin wouldn’t even take evolution as far as it has been taken by some. I would also argue that though we see evidence of similarities and in the DNA we see evidence of evolution in the genes we have never observed it happen. So, to believe that people or a species changes for the better is different than believing that every form of life on the earth goes back to the ocean.
b. In Genesis God tells the snake that it will no longer walk but crawl and I have heard evidence that snakes did at one time have legs. So God obviously did bring about change. But this doesn’t mean through a long process of what we call evolution. However, all truth is God’s truth and so there are a lot of truth in science and we do have strong similarities and differences with other animals. At the same time people trying to understand truth without God’s Truth as the foundation will find massive problems.
c. Having said all that we don’t have to translate the Gen chapter 1-2 account literally. It can also be translated as allegory which means that we can properly translate the days to be ages and symbolic. There is also the “gap theory” which would mean that there was a gap between Gen 1:1 and 1:2. However, as stated there is a lot of evidence of a younger earth. I would be glad to discuss more of this with anyone. I love these topics.
Okay, moving on… If we are to believe in evolution to its fullest extent (I don’t) then we would believe that dinosaurs were prior to humans. However, otherwise we must believe that dinosaurs were created with the rest of the land animals which would be the sixth day. If you read Genesis chapter 1 verses 20-31 you can see this. But notice in verses 29-30 that humans were initially vegetarians and I think the animals were as well. I think at that time the world was very much more perfect than it is today. Because of this food and everything else was way more abundant and way more nutritious. It was not after after the flood in Genesis 9:1-5 that the people are told to eat meat. The flood drastically changed the world. We have seen what a local flood can do to the earth so think about a worldwide flood. Mount St. Helens erupted and created a canyon 120 or so feet deep in a day. Imagine what happened when Yellowstone erupted which is a super volcano? I did a professor when I was in college who was a geologist. He was on a dig and found carbon on dinosaur bones. Carbon can only exist for about 50,000 years. So this does show that dinosaurs had to have existed in the last 50,000 years.
There is a lot of evidence for a younger earth and I would love to talk more about this. But as listed, there are different types of literature in the Bible and so are not a heretic if we don’t interpret the creation account literally. Though I would say that evolution in its fullest form contradicts the Scriptures. God bless, Pastor Steve

Question:

The questions came to me:
Do we know from scripture if Joseph was alive at Jesus’ death?
If not, when did he die? How old was Jesus?
That is a good question.
There is no evidence of what was going on with Joseph after Jesus was 12 years old. In Luke 2:41- 52 we see an account of Jesus being left behind in Jerusalem following the Passover. That is the last mention of Joseph and Joseph is really only implied in that instance (the text simply says, “his parents). In Luke 4:22 the people asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son” as they were amazed at his teaching. So, the people apparently knew of Joseph, but no one really knows when he died. It is supposed that he died some time before Jesus began His ministry.
We also know that at the crucifixion Jesus charged John with taking care of His mother, so another instance showing that Joseph was no longer alive. (John 19:27)
God bless, Steve