Philippians 3:10-11 My goal is to know him, and the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead
I’ve read and commented on, preached, memorized, and shared these verses more times than I can recall. These verses have been a driving force for my life. I understandably have paid a lot of attention to the process – i.e. to know the power of the resurrection, I must walk in the path of suffering and death.
But this morning, the living active word of God got my attention with something fresh. Most translations begin v10 “that I may …” but the CSB renders that phrase, “my goal is…”
There is a “that” or “so that” behind all that we experience in Christ, so that in the work of God, there is always a goal to be achieved. So, I like this wording, so I backed up behind and then looked after. Paul is giving a personal testimony, before. He talks of his upbringing in the Hebrew faith, his education and training as a Pharisee, but then he shifts in vv8-9 and says, “I have suffered … loss of everything”.
But NOW, I have always seen this as “the resurrection” and “The suffering” and “The death”, all leading to The Power of the Resurrection. But Paul says in v11, that his assumption is that He will BE resurrected, at the end… and he says, “I haven’t already gotten that”. But – “forgetting the past… reaching forward… I pursue the prize promised”.
So what is the GOAL?
Power? Suffering? Death?
NO… Look back at the common denominator… “that I may know… my goal is to know”
Yes, I have a righteousness by faith, and I am positioned IN Christ, BUT I want, right now, to know HIM. the power of HIS resurrection… the fellowship of HIS sufferings… conformed to HIS death… Not just at the end, but TODAY… NOW
Jesus, I received you, and I know you, but I need to KNOW YOU MORE.
So, v7 everything that was a GAIN… all good stuff, but it is nothing, it is of no credit, other than and only that it brings me to and reveals Christ to me.
He is the Answer
He is who I seek
He is my Hope
I want to KNOW – ginosko – not head knowledge but experiential knowledge. Literally it translates here, “to come to know by experience” It is the fullness of knowledge
Oh, some people or things you experience and move on – been there, done that, got the hat. But Jesus, I don’t want to be satisfied in knowing a similar power, or a similar suffering, or a similar death, I want to know YOURS. I want ot know YOU
When you think you’ve learned it all you draw near and realize, I’m only just beginning to see a dim reflection – I want to know Christ MORE.
Is it tough? Yep. Is it painful? Sometimes. Is it beyond value? ABSOLUETLY
My Goal should not be a “divine experience”. My Goal is to KNOW JESUS by Experience, to participate jointly with him and his work, for his glory. He IS the goal, and everything else simply fades away as nothing more than a vehicle toward knowing Christ.
v15 Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. If you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you.