The goal of the apostle Paul’s Christian pilgrimage was knowing Jesus Christ and expressing the righteousness of God as a member of the body of Christ. Although Paul knew he had not yet reached his goal, he pressed on to lay hold of his calling as a son of God in Christ Jesus, forgetting what lay behind him and reaching forward, by faith, to what the Father had for him. This included the works he would do and the sufferings he would experience as he participated daily in the fellowship of Christ’s offering and sufferings. He exhorted all believers to keep living by the standard, or sanctification, to which we have attained. As we do so, the righteousness of God will become increasingly substantial in our lives, changing us from glory to glory into the image of Christ’s sonship (Philippians 3:8-9, 12-16; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
The pattern of life Paul specified as the way in which he and his Christian brethren lived and walked, and that we are to follow, is the way of the cross – the way of our fellowship in the offering and circumcision of Christ (Philippians 3:17).