Philippians 3:10-14 … Our reading, beginning at verse 10, breaks an important sentence into two parts so it’s well to recover the sense of the complete message. The Apostle has just told us that the things that most people revel in (background and accomplishments), he counts as rubbish (3:8) to be thrown out like so much garbage. But instead of all that personal attribution, he desires the gift that comes from God, which is the imputed righteousness of Christ. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and earned what we cannot earn, the righteousness of God. But (Amazing Grace!), the righteousness of Jesus is just what God gives us (v.9) on the basis of our faith in Christ. So (now the end of the sentence in 3:10), it’s simply of surpassing importance to know Jesus, the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
Knowing Jesus is all-important … yet, although we claim to live in an age of information, we encounter people all the time who have never read the Bible! Bible Study is the way to know the biblical and true Jesus Christ … based on the testimony of Scripture. I hope you’ll forgive sermonizing here, but it’s vital that we not fall into the trap of inventing a Jesus that conforms to our own views (a “designer Jesus” if you will). We should want to know Him as He is and the power of His resurrection and be conformed to that. That’s the consuming and exemplary passion of the Apostle Paul. Finally in this passage (v.12-14) Paul, who was a pretty impressive saint, tells us clearly that he hasn’t reached the goal that Jesus has laid out for him (v.12b) but he’s pressing on for the prize that awaits in God’s call to faith in Christ. That verse, 3:14 is a great memory verse for us all … it keeps us pressing on. We don’t “arrive” until we reach heaven, but the journey though life with Christ is worth it all.
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