Summary: This seemingly insignificant phrase, "by any means", is actually used to express the urgency of attaining some object sought, along with the means for its attainment. It occurs just four times in the New Testament.
Intro: This seemingly insignificant phrase, "by any means", is actually used to express the urgency of attaining some object sought, along with the means for its attainment ... It occurs just four times in the New Testament, and it is interesting that these four occurrences seem to follow a significant order.
1. Search for physical comfort - Acts 27:12
The first of them is in our text above and express a search for physical comfort, as the mariners, transporting Paul to Rome, sought by any means to find a convenient place to spend the winter.
2. Search for spiritual ministry - Romans 1:10-11
The second expresses Paul’s search for spiritual ministry. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, he told them of his constant prayers, "making request, if by any means now at length I might have a properous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established."
3. Search for conversions of others - Romans 11:13-14
Thirdly, there was his search for conversions of others. "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them."
4. Search for a Christ-centered life - Philippians 3:10-11
Finally, and most importantly, there was Paul’s (and Lord willing, may it be ours also !) search for a Christ-centered life. "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the ressurrection of the dead."