Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after…
You remember how the mightiest discoverer in natural science of modern times, Sir Isaac Newton, said, towards the close of his career, that he was but as a child who had gathered a few shells on the shores of an illimitable sea. He saw stretching before him a vast ocean of knowledge, which his life had been too short, which even his powers had been too weak, to explore. What he felt in things natural, St. Paul felt in things spiritual — that there were heights above him which he had never scaled, depths beneath him which he had never fathomed; that, rich as he was in Christ, there were yet hidden in that Lord treasures of wisdom and knowledge which would make him far richer still; that God was unsearchable, unfathomable, a shoreless sea, an ocean of perfections; of which he understood a little, of which he was understanding ever something more; but which man could no more take in than he could hold the sea and all its multitudinous waves in the hollow of his hand. Skirts of His glory St. Paul had seen, but not His train which filled the temple of the universe. Secrets of Christ's power he had known, who in this very Epistle declared, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me;" and yet he felt that there was a power of Christ, transcending all which even he had known; and like some great earthly conqueror, who should esteem nothing won while anything remained to win, nothing accomplished while anything was yet possible to accomplish; who slighted, despised, trampled under foot all his old successes in the eager pursuit of new; even so this mighty spiritual athlete, this captain, commander, conqueror, leader of the hosts of the Lord, could not stay his steps, could not arrest his course.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.