That I May Know Christ,

His Power and His Suffering

[Philippians 3]

7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 

Chapter 3 of Philippians begins with "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord." About what things should we rejoice in the Lord? In what can I acknowledge that has made me calmly well off? The surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord, Master, Sovereign One in absolute control, for one thing.  That I have been found in Him righteous, for another.  Not  righteous because I have figured out a set of codes and rules to make myself behave.  But righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ Jesus.

 

What does this righteousness (rightness before God) offer me?  "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."  What would happen if I lived for these reasons? To know Christ.  To know His power - the same power that raised Him from the dead.  To know it in such a way that His power is what I lived by.  To know the fellowship of His sufferings - to have a sense of oneness with those who have suffered for knowing Christ as well as with Christ who suffered for me. Being conformed to His death.  Lord, what does it look like to be conformed to Your death?

 

I think the answer to being conformed to His death comes at the end of the chapter. He is calling us to not be focused on earthly things but instead to eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Himself who gives us our citizenship in heaven, "who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself." (vs. 20-21)

 

He has provided it all.  He has done the work.  He is inviting us to receive what He has given.  We have so much to rejoice about in the Lord. Today, may we be found rejoicing that we know Him and that we have been found in Him.

Verna McCrillis, 5/18/2009