I preached this sermon to the beloved brethren of Seaside Hope Baptist Church, Bgy. Buaya, Lapu Lapu City, Mactan, during their 20th Church Anniversary last July 27, 2014.
Good morning! Thank you for inviting me to your Church Anniversary. I was quite amused to see the kids wearing different animal costumes. I saw a crocodile, a kangaroo, and a giraffe. The winged kids must have been the butterflies. The youth choir was also very good. But I think the adults did a great job in their medley. You also have newly painted walls and pretty curtains here. You have a nice place here.
Our theme text for this year is Phil. 3:12-14. Please open your Bibles and read the text with me.
12 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.
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
I’m now trying to finish my degree program, Master of Theology (ThM). My school is Asia Graduate School of Theology, Manila. I have passed all the courses. But I haven’t yet finished my degree. The program requires a thesis and an examination in Greek. I have to finish my thesis first and then pass the Greek exam. Hence, I can say that I haven’t finished my ThM program yet. But I press on toward the goal of finishing my degree program.
That is what Paul is saying here in Phil. 3:12-14. He is basically telling us two things here. First, Paul has not yet reached his goal of knowing Christ. Second, Paul presses on toward the goal of knowing Christ.