V 12, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2, NIV, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
VV 13- 16, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Greek for apprehended is “katalambano”, which means to understand or comprehend. A Christian’s life journey is compared to an athlete running a race. An athlete’s concern is to run forward without looking back with the goal of winning the race to get the prize. The prize is to attain Christlikeness and to get the crown of righteousness in heaven. Completing the race requires perseverance and endurance.
2 Timothy 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”.
VV 17-19, 17 Brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.
Paul implored the Philippians Christians, (and us) to imitate him even as he imitates Christ.
1 Cor 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”.
He warned them (and us) against the enemies of the cross, those who are anti-Christ and anti-Christians. In Paul’s days these were the Judaisers. In our days, these are cults, the liberal theologians, false teachers, false preachers, etc.
VV 20-21, 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
This world is not our real home. We are just sojourners in this world. Our real home and citizenship is in heaven. We await the second coming of Christ and for the resurrection of our natural bodies into our glorious body.
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”.