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Pressing in, in 2010 (Philippians 3:12-16)

Pastor WadePastor Wade, January 3, 2010
Part of the pressing in, in 2010 series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Text: Philippians 3:12-16
Series: Pressing in, in 2010

Paul says in our text
“12 Not that I have already attained, 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. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

The new living translation says “12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

The amplified translation says “12Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”

Philippians is Paul’s Joy letter. This book emphasizes the real joy of the Christian life. For we find in chapter 4 verse 4-7 Paul says “Rejoice in the lord always, again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all that Christ had in mind for him to be. Paul is not speaking of moral perfection, but of reaching the state of completion as a Christian. Paul wants to grab hold of God the way that God has grabbed a hold of him. Paul as the young folk would say “I’m going hard after this thing.” Paul says I want more, more of you Jesus. The song writer said it best “ I want more, more, more, Jesus more of you, give me more, more, Jesus more of you.

Matthew Henry is right when he says: "Wherever there is true grace there is a desire for more grace." Paul was saved, but he was not satisfied. If you are to press in you can’t be satisfied with your current spiritual state. There has to be a desire to want to know more of Jesus. : Paul says "I do not regard myself to have obtained." Paul's pursuit of Christ rises out of a profound dissatisfaction with the way he is. Notice what he says in Verses 7 and 8: "Whatever gain I had I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." He is literally saying there is more to know in Christ and I’m going to pursue it. Have you come to that place in your walk with Jesus? Do you have a desire to know more of him? Jesus is calling us into a deeper relationship with him, if you long to know more of him he says "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."(Rev. 3:20)

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