Summary: KNOWING CHRIST IN A TRANSFORMING WAY IS THE ONLY PURSUIT WORTHY OF ETERNITY
KNOWING CHRIST IN A TRANSFORMING WAY IS THE ONLY PURSUIT WORTHY OF ETERNITY
Gutzke: "It is tomorrow that gives special meaning to what I do today. Whatever I do today, it is tomorrow when I am going to reap the consequences."
I. (:8-9) KNOWING CHRIST AS THE SOURCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
TRANSFORMS US TO LIVE A LIFE OF FAITH
A. Lofty Goal -- Worthy of Eternity
1. Summary: "the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord"
2. Two Parts:
a. "that I might gain Christ"
b. "and may be found in Him "
Kent: "… probably has an eschatological aspect. Paul wants the divine scrutiny he will undergo at Christ’s return to reveal unquestionably that he had been in vital spiritual union with Jesus Christ."
3. Ultimate Goal: Approved by God as one who has the Righteousness of Christ
a. Negatively -- "not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law"
b. Positively -- "but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith"
B. Heavy Cost
"I count all things to be loss"
"for whom I have suffered the loss of all things"
"and count them but rubbish"
Martin: "The intimate relationship with Christ Jesus into which Paul had been brought was not secured without a price. Answering the divine revelation of the Lord there went the forfeiture of his ’gains’ and surrender of his pride on the part of the apostle."
Gromacki: "It cost the young Pharisee to become a Christian. He lost his status within Judaism, his reputation, and his opportunity for wealth and fame. He experienced.ostracism, bodily harm, death threats, and property destruction (cf. Heb. 10:34). He may have forfeited his Jewish birthright and family inheritance."
II. (:10-11) KNOWING CHRIST AS THE SOURCE OF RESURRECTION POWER TRANSFORMS US TO LIVE A LIFE OF FELLOWSHIP WITH HIS SUFFERINGS AND HIS GLORY
A. Lofty Goal -- Worthy of Eternity
1. Summary: "that I may know Him"
2. Two Key Areas:
a. "the power of His resurrection"
b. "the fellowship of His sufferings"
3. Ultimate Goal
"in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead"
Bruce: "Experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection here and now was not a substitute for looking forward to the resurrection of the body, as some of Paul’s Corinthian converts appear to have thought (1 Cor. 15:12). Christ’s resurrection, the
power of which was imparted to his people even in their present mortal life, involved the hope for those who died believing in him ’that God, who raised the Lord Jesus to life, will also raise us up with Jesus’ (2 Cor. 4:14)."
B. Heavy Cost -- "being conformed to His death"
Boice: "… the knowledge of Christ’s sufferings comes at a very high price, the price of total obedience. Hence, Paul writes of ’being made conformable unto his death.’ To understand this phrase we must go back to chapter two of the letter, where Paul speaks of Christ’s obedience in death and holds it up as a pattern for all Christian conduct. He argues that Jesus was so careful to obey his Father that he laid aside His outward mantle of glory and took to Himself man’s form and nature, enduring all the sufferings of this world, and that He even died as a man in obedience to His Father’s will. The fellowship of Christ’s sufferings is won at the price of such radical and total obedience."
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1) Why do we still put so much value on things which the Lord judges to be "rubbish"? If we fail to renounce the world’s accounting system, why are we surprised when we find ourselves in the category of the double-minded?
2) What are some Scripture passages that point to the type of experiential, relational knowledge of Christ that Paul refers to in this context?
3) Are we shrinking back from embracing the "fellowship of His sufferings" and being
"conformed to His death"?
4) Is Paul expressing any type of uncertainty in verse 11? What is the "resurrection from the dead" to which he refers?
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