12 Not that I have already obtained or have already been perfected, but I press on that, if indeed, I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Discernment is not a dirty word. I saw read a statement by friend the other day which stated that if a Christian leader demands to be shielded from those with discernment then that is a sure sign that he (or she) has some sort of theology problem or worse and that very thing calls for those with discernment to take an even closer look at that person’s ministry. When I read that I thought immediately of Paul’s preaching in Berea in which the Jews there closely examined the teaching of Paul comparing it with the Word of God to make sure that what he was teaching was the truth….
Yes, that is what discernment is all about. Now, I know that many reading this agree with that and want to be true Bereans and I applaud that, but the second part of being one is becoming a mature Christian in order to be able to stand firm in the fire no matter how rough things get in power of the Holy Spirit for that is how it goes sometimes. Let’s look at a short passage from the book of Philippians not usually associated with “discernment,” but more with growing in Christian maturity.
I placed my own translation from the Greek text of Philippians 3:12 at the top of this post. Please carefully read it. Here is the Greek, “Οὐχ ὅτι ἤδη ἔλαβον ἢ ἤδη τετελείωμαι, διώκω δὲ εἰ καὶ καταλάβω, ἐφ᾿ ᾧ καὶ κατελήμφθην ὑπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ.” Biblical scholars consider this a very challenging verse. Here is a word-for-word translation, “Not that already I received or already I have been completed, I pursue but if also I might apprehend on which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus.” Here is the same passage from the NASB, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” What is Paul talking about?