Philippians 3:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 3:12, NIV: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

Philippians 3:12, ESV: "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own."

Philippians 3:12, KJV: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:12, NASB: "Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:12, NLT: "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me."

Philippians 3:12, CSB: "Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus."

What does Philippians 3:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has just spoken about his future death and resurrection with Christ. Someday, he will be made complete and perfect before the Lord (Philippians 3:10–11). He begins a new section in this verse, starting with an important qualifying statement. Paul does not want his readers to think he saw himself as perfect and sinless. He is clear that his life is a work in progress (Romans 7). Paul has not yet been made like Christ, in a resurrected body, and has not yet reached the point of being without sin. This accomplishment is something which only happens when we are perfected in heaven.

Instead of claiming to be perfect now, Paul continues to pursue becoming more like Christ. A Christ-like life is not a moment to achieve, but a goal to pursue. Paul knows he would never be perfect in this world, but instead made it his ambition to become increasingly like Christ in this life.