Phil.3:12 – Barclay – Not that I have already obtained this, or that I am already all complete but I press on to try to grasp that for which I have been grasped by Jesus Christ.

I love Barclay’s translation of this verse, especially using the word “grasped”. Do you know what it means to be grasped by the Lord? I feel like that is exactly what happened to me at my conversion and calling into the ministry. I was grasped by His hand and literally stopped in my tracks. He had a different purpose and direction for my life than the aimless one I was involved in. He not only snatched me out of my ungodly lifestyle and world but He thrust me down a new path that has continued (at this point) for over forty five years. The next part of the verse is also quick striking, Paul spoke about pressing on to grasp whatever it was that the Lord had grasped him for. That is what the rest of our life is, the joyful pursuit of God and His plan. Here is how Barclay describes this verse.

“He says that he is trying to grasp that for which he has been grasped by Christ….. Paul felt that when Christ stopped him on the Damascus Road, he had a vision and a purpose for Paul; and Paul felt that all his life he was bound to press on, lest he fail Jesus and frustrate his dream. Every man is grasped by Christ for some purpose; and, therefore, every man should all his life press on so that he may grasp that purpose for which Christ grasped him…..There is no doubt that Paul is here speaking to the antinomians (old school for grace message). They were those who denied that there was any law at all in the Christian life. They declared that they were within the grace of God and that, therefore, it did not matter what they did; God would forgive. No further discipline and no further effort were necessary. Paul is insisting that to the end of the day the Christian life is the life of an athlete pressing onwards to a goal which is always in front.”

So I want to join with Paul and fix my hope completely on Christ in the present. The past is gone and the future is just that, in the future. Grasping Him, pressing through the obstacles, grabbing the hem of His garment, embracing Him and His plan; that’s the way I want to spend my life.



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