When Paul says –
“…let us live up to what we have already attained.”
– Philippians 3:16
he seems to be referring to right living or living righteously.
We are already perfect, holy and righteous in Christ – however our actions sometimes fail to reflect this.
So we pray and ask God to help us live up to our righteousness.
This seems to correlate with Philippians 1:11
“I pray that you may be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.”
Our righteousness comes through Jesus, and the fruit of that is to be sincere and without offence (some translations say ‘pure and blameless’).
We are only able to live up to what we have already attained because it has already been attained. If it were up to us to attain righteousness, we would be under the law, modern day Pharisees, striving to please God, to attain his moral perfection in our own strength – with our own energy.
However, God is already pleased with us, not because of anything we have done or not done, but because of the obedience of His son on The Cross.
This is why Paul says “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
“We are transformed into His likeness as we gaze on Him – this comes from The LORD, who is The Spirit.”
We can do nothing ourselves, as Jesus says. “Without me you can do nothing.”
So, yes, let us live up to what we have already attained. However, not in our own strength, but rather…
“Struggling with all His energy which so powerfully works in us.”
Grace and Peace