November 17, 2021 – Wednesday
Philippians 3:10-11 NIV
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Looking another verse in Philippians with the word suffer, or in this case sufferings, to get a handle on what we are to make of it. Frankly when I read something like the verse above, I really want to understand it because as it stands, it could easily be taken out of context. Images of some who drag crosses with them or even some who choose to be nailed to a cross when celebrating Easter or the Resurrection come to mind. To make sense out of this we need to look at the chapter from its beginning.
At the beginning of Philippians 3 we find Paul seemingly speaking against such practices when he writes v1-2, Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. Of course, here he is writing about circumcision and how many Jews believed one had to be circumcised to be saved along with accepting Jesus as the Christ. Paul makes this clear in verse three and then on through verse seven, all the things one might consider from a flesh point of view are simply wrong. Instead, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus (v3), are to have no faith in such things.
Let’s look at how Paul puts this in verse seven, But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Imagine you have worked for years to make yourself wealthy and then find out your wealth means nothing compared to knowing Jesus and what He has done for you. If you can do that, you have a sense of what Paul is saying here. Not sure of my description? Then consider the next two verses (8-9) Paul writes, What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Compared to knowing Christ Jesus everything else he had obtained, he considered it all as garbage.
Now our verses of the day begin to make more sense, I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Paul wants to know Christ! That had to come from his heart, after all he had a conversation with the resurrected Christ on his way to Damascus. Paul knew of the power of Christ’s resurrection directly and in how he lived his life, sharing the Good News of Jesus. He also knew something of Christ’s sufferings in all that he gave up to share the Good News as well as the many beatings, attempts on his life, being stoned that he experienced. He was also imprisoned for his faith as well and it was from prison he wrote this letter to the Philippians. Few, if any of us, will face martyrdom as Paul and many early Christians did. But Paul was willing to do so as he already trusted in the resurrection of believers. We do have brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who do face such circumstances and they stand firm as an example to us should our time to so should ever come.
Bottom Line: Seek Jesus above all else no matter the cost. His rewards are greater than anything we might find or obtain here on earth. Always choose Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Once again we are thankful for Paul and his making clear how valuable it is to know Jesus not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as someone whose example we should conform ourselves to in this life knowing we have another to look forward to. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek