"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."
What has Paul not yet obtained? (Verse 12a)
1. He has not yet obtained a full knowledge of Jesus Christ (see Philippians 3:8)
In 1 Corinthians 13:8 Paul tells us we will not know Jesus fully until we go to be with Him face to face - when we die or when He comes again for us.
2. He has not obtained a perfect life yet. He has been made righteous in Christ, but he still sins now and has not obtained perfect righteousness in his daily living.
What does Paul do? (verse 12b)
Paul presses on to take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of Him. What is that? It is eternal and abundant life.
Abundant life is experienced by living righteously, that is, according to God's will revealed in the Bible. We live righteously by obeying what Jesus taught (Romans 6:16). We obey by faith. Living by faith means we attempt to live according to Jesus words expecting Him to help us do it.
Are you pressing on to live the abundant life?
We need to be daily learning what Jesus taught us and living according to it by faith. Like Paul, we need to press on doing this until the day the Lord takes us to be with Himself. On that day we will know Jesus fully and be perfect.
Like Paul, we can expect many difficulties in this life. Like Paul, we need to share in Jesus' sufferings. The path to abundant life is through the cross of Christ. We are to take up our cross daily and follow Him.