Paul writes in Philippians 3:8: ”Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ....” Last week, we saw that Paul gave up all claim to counterfeit confidence in either his pedigree or his performance because knowing Christ Jesus is of “surpassing worth”. Having lost everything, as he says in verse 8, in order to gain Christ, his readers might assume that Paul has now “arrived.” He knows Jesus and possess all the blessings in the heavenly places promised in Christ Jesus. But Paul continues and shows us that is not the case.
Paul has not arrived at his goal: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on...” (Phil 3:12). Even as Paul writes this letter toward the end of a long career of following Jesus, from a prison cell, awaiting possible execution, he recognizes his race is continuing. “I press on,” Paul writes, ”toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” But Paul isn’t telling us this just so we know what’s going on with him. Paul is calling us to press on with him toward the goal for the prize promised by God when he called us to follow Jesus (Phil 3:15–16).
Paul writes this paragraph so we don’t think he’s arrived or is sitting by the sidelines somewhere waiting for Jesus to return. And he writes this paragraph so we don’t do that either. This weekend, we’ll see why and how Paul presses on and we’ll hear Jesus’ voice through his Word calling us to press on too. Join us Sunday at 10 am at the Skyline Plaza as we press on together.