September 22, 2023 – Friday
Philippians 3:12 NKJV
12 Not that I have already attained (or obtained it), or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Philippians 3:12 NIV
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Philippians 3:12 RGT
12 Not that I have already attained to it or been perfected. But I follow, so that I may seize that for which I also was seized by Christ Jesus.
The RGT is the Revised Translation of the 1599 Geneva Bible. I have three versions of this verse here as I seek to make sure I understand it, at least as best as I am able. I hope on Sunday to teach from verse 12 through 21 at the end of the chapter.
Earlier in the first eleven verses of this chapter Paul listed all the things he might have been proud of in the flesh, but declared they were all as rubbish or dung in verse eight compared to gaining knowing Christ. He found in Christ no righteousness of his own, but only that righteousness found only through faith in Christ, v9b the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. His desire was to rise with the saints to enter with them into heaven. That was his goal, his final goal.
Paul did not want to miss his goal. Nothing was more important to him. Then in verse 12, Paul wants his readers, first the Philippians, then the rest of us, to know that against the measure of Jesus the Christ he has not been perfected or obtained all that he seeks. He is letting us know, in spite of all his efforts there is still more to accomplish. That would hold true for all of us as well. No matter what we have done, no matter what we have accomplished, no matter what we have learned, we truly need to press on so that we may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of us.
What we have is a race of sorts where Paul is – and we should be -a runner happily running his race. The race only ends when his life ends. The key Paul is stressing is not to look back at our accomplishments, whatever they might be, but to focus on Jesus, pressing on to the finish line through whatever doors are opened by God for us.
A quick side note, there was the possibility Paul was also addressing an error that the resurrection was believed already past per 2 Timothy 2:18. Paul clearly rejects such a notion as he looks forward to the resurrection as a glorious event yet to happen.
Bottom Line: Until our race is over, we are to press on until we reach the finish line looking forward to joining that glorious resurrection!
Prayer: Almighty God, What a wonderful event we can truly look forward to, being part of Jesus’ glorious resurrection of the saints. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton