Not that I have already obtained it…but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 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.
— Philippians 3:12–14 —
Carmelo B. Caparros II: The Expositor’s Academy | Philippines
While our position in Christ is perfect and our eternal life is secure, our spiritual life of sanctification is a continuing process. Justification is not our final stop; it is only the beginning of our journey leading to spiritual maturity and, eventually, glorification. Growth is to be unceasing; the only time it should stop is when we stop breathing! Paul’s salvation experience had taken place about thirty years before he wrote the letter to the Philippians. The testimony of [the Apostle] Paul serves as a vivid reminder to all of us that there is never to be a stalemate or plateau in our spiritual lives. He had won many spiritual battles within that time frame and had grown much during those years, but he wasn’t content. When Paul wrote, “forgetting what lies behind,” he may have been alluding to his spiritual successes or perhaps even some personal failures. Whatever the case, Paul was not going to allow any of those things to be dead weight that would prevent him from growing. Paul was continually determined to climb greater spiritual heights and march on to spiritual progress. The verb “reaching forward” in Philippians 3:13 literally means “stretching oneself in a race.” It graphically illustrates a runner who musters all of his remaining energy and propels himself toward the finish line. This is the same mindset you need to have in your Christian life! The testimony of Paul serves as a vivid reminder to all of us that there is never to be a stalemate or plateau in our spiritual lives. So press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!