PRESSING ON TOWARD THE IMAGE OF CHRIST
Paul declared of himself that he had fought a good fight, he had finished his race and was now looking to standing before the Judge, to receive his reward, the crown of righteousness which the Lord our righteous Judge shall give not only to him but to all who loves His appearing.
VIEW: TRAILER – I AM THE IMAGE MAKER
“THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.”
Paul’s teaching in Philippians 3:7-14 gives us great insight as to how to live the resurrected life and how to press on in Christ Jesus. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, we all should want to know Him in the power of His resurrection. And more fully, “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.” To know HIM is more than merely to read a doctrine about Him. Believers come not only to redemption but to the Redeemer Himself.
That I may know him—in truth and righteousness and the power of His resurrection, being justified through faith in the work of the Cross and raised spiritually with Him, finding our identification with Him in this, as in all the acts of His redeeming work for us, the power of the Divine Spirit, which raised Him from literal death, is the same, which raises believers from spiritual death now and shall raise their bodies from literal death hereafter.
Paul moves on to the fellowship of his sufferings (Philippians 3:10). I like power, but I do not like misery. If Jesus suffered for us, we should suffer for Him. All true believers will enter the fellowship of His sufferings, for this strengthens our faith and produces maturity in our new life. The lessons we learn will prepare us for any trial we might face.
Partaking in the fellowship of His sufferings—becomes our identification with Him. He bore all our sufferings, so we take part in His. It is part of God’s will for our lives to purify and mature us for His glory.
Our flesh always rebels against suffering. We like the power, but we do not like pain. We do not even like it when someone we love is suffering through a trial. The disciples found it difficult to handle this truth when Jesus started talking about the suffering that He was to experience. Peter cried out, “Lord, be that far from thee.” And Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan, you offend me…. “(Matthew 16:23-24).
It was the natural cry of man, “Spare yourself from suffering.” But Paul is willing to follow Jesus to the Cross. “I want to know him; I want to know him completely.” Yes, the power of the resurrection, but you can never know the power until you have, first, known the Cross.
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