In the previous post we looked at the tendency of some Christians to coast, as over against Paul’s determination to “press on” to “what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:12-14). Continue reading . . .
In the previous post we looked at the tendency of some Christians to coast, as over against Paul’s determination to “press on” to “what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:12-14). Here is the passage once more.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14).
He begins this portion of his letter to the Philippians with an immediate disclaimer. He does not want us to think that his suffering the loss of all things to gain Christ means that he has fully arrived, that he has already achieved or obtain everything that God has in store for Christians.
So, to what does the word “this” in v. 12 refer? Or again, in v. 13, to what does the word “it” refer? Paul denies having obtained “this” and having made “it” his own. What’s he talking about?
There are several possibilities, all of which may be true! He may have in mind the “resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:11). There were some in the early church (see 2 Tim. 2:16-18) who argued that our spiritual resurrection or coming to life through faith in Christ is the only resurrection that will ever occur. Or he may also have in mind the claim of some to have achieved sinless perfection in this life.