I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.
Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord. We must also be on the lookout for those who infiltrate the church with false doctrines, and who would try to seduce us back to religious deeds.
Paul was a “Pharisee of Pharisees”, as righteous as as anyone could be in the Jewish religion. But he counts it all as loss compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.
Now he pursues Christ, giving everything up for the sake of following Him. He has not yet reached the goal, but forgetting all that is past, He presses on towards the prize Christ called him to.
Paul is passionate, some would say obsessed, about knowing Christ. His whole life was dedicated to this purpose. He was pressing on towards the goal, letting nothing hold him back.
Paul wanted to know the power of Christ’s resurrection. This is the new life power, giving birth to salvation in all who would turn to Christ in humble repentance.
Paul also wanted to know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. He was not afraid to take up his cross for the sake of the gospel. Whether he lived or died, it was all to the glory of God.
Christians have a huge advantage over our opponents. If we have died to ourselves and learn to see our lives form the perspective of eternity, then there is nothing that the world can take away from us, no suffering that can cause us to stumble.
When we do that, having poured out our lives to serving our Lord, then we attain the resurrection of the dead. We will hear the Lord’s approval, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Lord teach me the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. May I embrace both as they come my way. Amen.