I Follow After

Philippians 3:12 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. 

‘Either were already perfect’ – two things Paul had not yet attained: [1] The resurrection or the prize (3:11-12, 14). This is another way of saying he had not finished his course and was not yet glorified (3:20-21). [2] Perfection. [Greek: teleioo] to make a full end; consummate (3:12). Translated perfect (3:12; Luke 13:32; John 17:23; 2Cor. 12:9; Heb. 2:10; 5:9; 7:19; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23; Jas. 2:22; 1Jn. 2:5; 4:12, 17-18); fulfill (Luke 2:43; John 19:28); and finish (John 4:34; 5:36; 17:4; Acts 20:24). This kind of perfection refers to the complete and glorified state. It does not imply that he was lacking in spiritual experience or that he was deficient in grace or that the body of sin was still cleaving to him or that he was yet struggling with an “old man” in him or that he was not yet sanctified.

‘Follow after’ [Greek: dioko] to pursue. Same as persecuting in Philippians 3:6 and press in verse 14. Translated elsewhere “persecute” 30 times (Matt. 5:10-12, 44; 10:23; etc.); “follow after” (3:12; Rom. 9:30-31; 14:19; 1Cor. 14:1; 1Tim. 6:11); “ensue” (1Pet. 3:11); “follow” (Luke 17:23; 1Thess. 5:15; 2Tim. 2:22; Heb. 12:14); and “given to” (Rom. 12:13). The idea here is, I follow after and press toward the prize that others have already gained (3:12-14).

‘Apprehend’ [Greek: katalambano] to seize upon; lay hold of; take possession of; bring to an end. Translated “apprehend” (3:12-13); overtake (1Thess. 5:4); “take” (Mark 9:18; John 8:3); “attain to” (Rom. 9:30); “obtain” (1Cor. 9:24); “come upon” (John 12:35); “comprehend” (John 1:5; Eph. 3:18); “perceive” (Acts 4:1-37; 10:34); and “find” (Acts 25:25). He had not yet laid hold upon the prize of resurrection, perfection, and glorification (3:12-14, 20-21). These will be accomplished at the time of the rapture of the saints 1Thess. 4:13-18; 1Jn. 3:2).