From Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi we get our text,
- “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ.” (Philippians 3:12 – NASB)
Paul had this burning desire to know Christ,
- “. . . I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord . . . and may be found in Him . . . that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:8-10 – NASB)
He had been a man with many fleshly credits to his account,
- “If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more; circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” (Philippians 3:4-6 – NASB)
But then, on the Damascus Road Paul met Jesus. And after that encounter his whole intent in life changed,
- “But whatever things were gain to me, those thing I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 7-8 – NASB)
Paul was now one who had moved from being “a persecutor of the church” to a voice for the choice, an apostle (“sent one”) whose sole goal was now to serve Jesus the Christ, the Lord. And in that service He noted,
- “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (3:13-14 – NASB)
Are you of that mind also? Is this that for which you “press on?” Paul writes,
- “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17 – NASB)
My past credentials are not as lofty as Pauls’ were, but as is the case with every disciple of Christ, I have a past, one that was without Christ. It was a pretty lucrative past, one most satisfying to the flesh. But I now say with Paul, “whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ,” and “more than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” The “surpassing value of knowing Christ,” oh brethren, I am convinced this is the right goal for which to press on for, yes it is! And it involves “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead . . . and with great expectation, “following . . . the pattern,” the “example” that Christ has given us in Paul.
Pressing on to the right goal . . . . “not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold by Christ Jesus.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and keep pressing on, not for worldly rewards that only satisfy the flesh, but for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus . . . . . . pressing on for that which you were laid hold of for by Christ.
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