Just as we have lived these verses in our younger years, let’s keep living this way as we grow older.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Furthermore, let’s not “hang on to” to the identity we had out of the years gone by. Let’s forget them and move on to identity in Christ and all He has for us in these new years and this new life stage which He has entrusted to us now.
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. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3.7-14).
Dr Hal Habecker's Comments
For me personally, one of the great truths of Philippians 3.12 is this little phrase “press on.” In his spiritual journey, Paul would ever say “I’ve arrived.” He always wanted to “press on.” In the season of retirement and the aging years, I believe we are called to “press on” as never before. God calls on to “press on” in our relationship with Him, with our spouse, with our adult kids, with our grandkids, with our fellow church members, with our neighbors, and with everyone God brings into our lives. Certainly all of this is being led by the Spirit, but we understand that these years are not years to slack off or to take our foot “off the pedal.” We believe God calls us to “press on.”
Commentary (ref www.BibleRef.com)
Philippians 3:1–11 warns Christians about the influence of false teachers, particularly those who add legalism on top of the gospel. Paul describes his impressive credentials, showing that he has the right to consider himself ''justified'' according to the traditional Jewish view. And yet, knowing what he does of Christ, Paul sees all of those accomplishments as garbage. Faith alone saves, and fellowship with Christ is all that truly matters.
Paul's words in this powerful verse include two important phrases. Paul had just mentioned seven important characteristics of his Jewish faith. He adhered to the highest standards of his religion, claiming to have more confidence in the flesh than his opponents (Philippians 3:4). This would be something like a major religious leader today saying "No matter how many degrees I have or accomplishments I have achieved." His human accomplishments had been many, but were considered unimportant in comparison to his relationship with Christ.
The second phrase notes this priority. The contrast between "gain" and "loss" is clear. Paul's human accomplishments, even in the area of religion, were of no value compared to the greatness of knowing Jesus. In fact, he would have gladly traded those for more time, fellowship, and discipleship with Christ. Paul specifically notes the "sake of Christ." He uses this phrase in Philippians 1:29 as well as in 2 Corinthians 12:10 and Philemon 1:6.