Not Quite There
Verse 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
We discussed yesterday how Paul knew that having faith in Christ secured him resurrection and how the same is true for us when we develop a loving relationship with Jesus as He desires. But the journey has some traveling to be done before the resurrection and so that can’t be our entire focus.
Paul says in our key verse that he hasn’t yet gained his reward of resurrection. Being still alive that would have been obvious to his readers. So was there more to his comment? Paul knew that this was a journey. It wasn’t something that was achieved. While salvation is secure, the journey is ongoing.
Paul had been talking about knowing Christ. About knowing Him in His suffering and death and to know the power of His resurrection. This kind of knowledge must be done during the living. Paul knew the God of the Old Testament. Studying under Gamliel would have ensured a deep knowledge of the ancient Scriptures. More than most he would have learned the prophecies of Moses, Isaiah, Jeramiah and the rest. This knowledge he had of Christ through prophecy wasn’t enough for him.
Paul’s desire to know Christ was more than what others said about Him in the form of prophecy. It had to be more than what he had witnessed about Christ before believing in Him. Paul’s comment in the verse before us today shows that he wasn’t satisfied yet. He wanted to grow in his knowledge of Christ. To personally attest to all that Christ is. The truth of the power of His resurrection and what it means for those of us that call on the name of Christ. Paul wanted to know the truth about Christ’s suffering and how His followers should expect it. And he was willing to know what it meant to die for Christ.
Before Paul could die for Christ, he had to live for Him. This is the journey we are on, learning to life like Christ. It is a journey best traveled by studying the Road Builder. He has given us the map to follow and given us the Holy Spirit as our personal navigator. We need to continue studying the map and listening to our guide so that we can know Christ in His fullness.
Making It Personal
What is your walking with Christ journey look like? In what areas do you struggle most about wanting to know Him? Are you willing to live for Him?
Making It Personal Kids
What does Jesus want you to know about Him? How does He try teaching You? Are you wanting to learn to love Him more?
Father, thank You for calling us on this journey with You. Give us an ever growing desire to know You in all the ways that Paul longed to know You. In Jesus’ name, amen.