Aim At The Mark

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The Greek word for "the mark" in this verse is the word scopos from which we get the English word scope.

This verse in Philippians is the only place the word scopos is used in the Bible. Scopeo, the verb form of the noun scopos, is used in six other verses and means to "aim at the mark."

Luke 11:34-35 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed (skopeo) therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

The phrase "when thine eye is single" is an Orientalism. The "eye" is the understanding. Being "single" means the believer's heart is to be centered (single) on the spiritual things of God's Word and not on the darkness of this world. We are to "aim at the mark" of making the light of God's Word the single focus of our heart rather than "aiming" at the darkness of this world. We have to be scoped in on the right target.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them (skopeo) which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

We are to "aim at the mark" of avoiding those who would cause divisions in the body of Christ and those who walk contrary to right teaching (doctrine). Our hearts' target must be the right teaching of God's Word.

II Corinthians 4:18-5:4 While we look (skopeo) not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

We are to "aim at the mark" of the spiritual nature of the new birth and the promise of a spiritual body at the return of Christ and not target the temporal things of this world or our corruptible physical nature.

Once our hearts are centered in the right teaching of God's Word and we are targeted on our spiritual nature and the hope of Christ's return we can help others "overtaken in a fault" to be restored to a spiritual focus on God's Word.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering (skopeo) thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

When helping others who have not scoped in on the target of the Word, we must also "aim at the mark" of not being tempted and drawn off of our own focus on the right teaching of God's Word and the spiritual nature of our lives.

Philippians 2:2-5 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look (skopeo) not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We are to "aim at the mark" of the things or needs of others and not be targeted on ourselves. While we must make sure our own focus on the target of the things of God is maintained, we must also be "Christ like" in our focus on the needs of others. As each individual believer gets his or her life targeted on the right teaching of God's Word and their spiritual nature, we become "likeminded," "having the same love," "of one accord," "of one mind" and are able to restore one another when tempted to put the things of this world before the truth of God's wonderful Word.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark (skopeo) them which walk so as ye have us for an example.

We are to "aim at the mark" of walking in the example of those believers and leaders who have their own lives centered on the target of God's Word and know how to hit the mark.

We have the target of "God in Christ Jesus" to aim our lives toward.

To hit that target we must "aim at the mark" of:

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Published to the Web August 1996
Michael Cortright