Discernment and Christian Maturity

12 Not that I have already received or have been completed, I press on that, if possible, to apprehend it because Christ Jesus has apprehended me. (Philippians 3:12 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

12 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 Philippians 3:12 (LSB) 

Biblical scholars consider Philippians 3:12 to be 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.” What is Paul talking about?

I have been a Christian since 1986, but I grew up going to church and before God saved me I was faithful attending church nearly every Sunday, so I have been around Christian evangelicals all my life. What I am about to say comes from my observations and experiences both before and after God saved me. Christians can easily become satisfied and content with the spiritual level they have attained. Before God saved me, I didn’t notice anyone around me that had any particular spiritual gifts or abilities that they exhibited that I really wanted other than that thing about understanding God’s Word and praying. Those things eluded me. Then God intervened. Everything changed. I found that I could not get enough of God’s Word. I wanted to read it, devour it. I attended every Bible study I could. I took classes on how to study it. I learned how to conjugate Greek verbs, et cetera. That has never changed. I have been teaching myself Koine Greek since the early 1980’s with a lot of online help from some very good Greek Scholars. In any case, that part of my Christian walk has never diminished. View article →