Text: Philippians 3:7-10
“Do you know Him?” How often I have made that inquiry to an audience, or an individual, as to whether they have believed the Gospel concerning what the Lord Jesus Christ DID for them through His death, burial, and resurrection, and thereby have a living relationship with Him. Do they know Him as their Savior and therefore have a secure Position IN Christ?
The context of Philippians 3:7-10 does not concern our Position in Christ. Rather, the issue, here, is Practical Christian living and the process of spiritual maturity (See vs. 13-14 where the pathway to such maturity is prescribed. Forgetting-Reaching-Pressing).
A Good Trade: In verses 7-8, Paul declares the reality of those former things (vs. 4-6) to now be considered dung in comparison to the reality of knowing Jesus Christ! Paul counts those previously valued things as damaged goods and “trades them in” for the superior reality of winning, or gaining, Christ.
Please note, this winning is not about gaining a righteous standing with God. Paul is a saved man. His desire is to experience as real, in his day-by-day existence, the Living Lord Jesus Christ! He wants to experience the fullness of Christ in his mortal flesh.
In verse 9, he says he wants to be found in Him. In other words, that anyone observing him would know that his life is hid with Christ in God, and that he is walking in the strength and righteousness of the faithful Lord Jesus Christ. How beautifully is this desire made clearly known in Galatians 2:20… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Do you understand that it is Love that motivated this desire to be found in Him? Paul’s encounter with the ascended, glorified Christ changed him forever and set him on a course that resulted in an ever-increasing response to such Love.
So, when we come to verse 10, he declares that he desires to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Again, this “knowing” is not regarding Paul’s identity IN Christ, but about an experiential knowledge, in the here and now. His desire is to know Him according to the same spiritual power that raised Christ from death to newness of Life, so that the Law of Sin and Death might be defeated in his daily life!
We see this attitude in the prayer that Paul prays for the Ephesians in Chapter 1… “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places…”
Paul’s desire is to experience, as a fully participating partner with the Risen Christ, the persecutions, afflictions, and reproach. To know the sacrifice of self for the benefit of others. This became the reality of Paul’s life, as we see in the letter to Colossians (Chapter 1:24) “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”
It is evident that there is a cost associated with such a willingness to know our Lord and Savior in this intimate way, Beloved. You will spend and be spent, physically and emotionally. Your outward man will indeed be perishing, but the inner man is certain to be renewed, as you join yourself to the fellowship of his sufferings and are made conformable to His death!
2 Corinthians 4:5-11…“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
May we so comprehend the Spirit of Christ in us that we give ourselves sacrificially, so that others might see the Risen Christ in our mortal flesh!
Do You Know Him?