by Stephen F. Olford
Text: "But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me" (Phil.3:12; read vv. 9-17)
Thoughts: Out of his personal experience, the Apostle Paul tells us how to attain a mature life in Christ. He admits that he has not attained, neither is already perfect, but he commends some helpful guidelines.
The Fulfilling of Life's Purpose. "But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me" (v. 12). Looking back to that memorable moment when he was apprehended by Christ Jesus, he recalls that he was arrested for a purpose. Stated simply, that purpose was and is conformity to Christ (see Rom. 8:28,29). Any doctrine of holiness which does not expound and encourage this purpose is unbiblical.
The Forsaking of Life's Preoccupations. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind" (v. 13). Using the language of the race track, Paul speaks of leaving behind the previous stages of the race. Only one thing is important: running to win! If we are going to run the race of holiness and victory, we must forget and forsake all that hinders and hampers us in the race of life (Heb. 12:1,2).
The Foreseeing of Life's Promotions. "Reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (vv. 13,14). The picture is still that of the racer whose eyes are on the finishing post. What greater promotion in life can any believer foresee than to be crowned at the judgment seat of Christ? This was certainly Paul's ambition (2 Tim. 4:7,8). Oh to be included in the "all who have loved His appearing!"
Run the straight race through God's good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
John S. B. Monsell