In Philippians 3:16 Paul states, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” We attained salvation when we accepted Christ, and every true Christian grows to some degree. Paul is encouraging his friends to not allow themselves to become stagnant in their growth, but rather to use the development they’ve achieved for future growth. If we believe we have “arrived”, we become like an adolescent who thinks he knows it all, and so remains immature. Paul wants us to continue to mature as Christians.
The word attain means to arrive at. If you’ve become a better person since becoming a Christian; perhaps you stopped drinking, became more honest or more compassionate, you no longer gossip, you’re involved more at church…. you have not arrived. If you’ve experienced a spiritual awakening, a sign, a revelation, even a miracle…. you have not arrived. You are not done, finished, complete; you have only come so far. Use that experience, that new trait you’ve grown into, that new and better habit, as your foundation to continue your journey toward maturity in Christ.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14