Read Philippians 3:7-11
Paul’s new PRIORITY is to GAIN Christ. This is not talking about our initial salvation. When Christ sovereignly saves us, we are His possession and adopted into God’s family. Paul is not hoping that he is saved. What he is hoping and eagerly desiring for himself, is to someday win or gain Christ. Christ is his ultimate goal. He longs to see Him face to face in heaven one day and wants to know him more and more.
Paul wants to know Christ. Paul wants to gain Christ. These reflect the new passions and priority of a believer.
Do these characterize you today? Do you have a burning passion to know Jesus more deeply and to gain Him as your all in all?
Paul’s new POSITION
In verse 9, Paul gives us some great theological truths about our new position in Christ as a result of our salvation.
To be FOUND in Christ—what does this mean? Well first of all, it assumes that we were lost before our salvation and without hope and dead in our sins and trespasses. Christ’s primary mission was to seek and to save that which was lost. This is in the passive voice which means that we are the ones found—we don’t go looking for Jesus—He came and pursued and sought after and chased us down by saving us.
To be found IN CHRIST—this is one of the greatest truths in the entire Bible. To be “in Christ”—this means that we have an intimate, dynamic, spiritual union with Christ Himself.
This has a great deal to do with IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. Or Justification by faith alone.
Paul clearly says that he has no righteousness of his own that comes from the Law. Being dead in sins marked Paul’s life before while all the time he thought he was so righteous. He thought he was living for God and doing the right thing and following the Pharisaical laws of the day to earn God’s favor and work his way into a right relationship with God.
Read Romans 5:12
As lost sinners, we were “in Adam”. Because Adam sinned he brought sin to all of us and we are born in iniquity. All of us before salvation are in Adam. Dead in our sins. Helpless. Hopeless. Unrighteous. Unworthy. Lost and Depraved. We have nothing to offer God. There is nothing within us that would move God to love us or even save us. Yet in His sheer grace, He chose to save us through Christ.
Notice the exactness of the words—it is a righteousness FROM GOD—this righteousness is imputed to us. What does it mean to have righteousness imputed/reckoned/credited to us? This is called the doctrine of justification through faith alone.
Justification: You are justified only when God the Father, based solely upon the work of Christ in your place on the cross, declares you to be not guilty upon the exercise of the gift of faith. To be justified means to be declared right with God by virtue of the forgiveness of sins accomplished by Jesus. Furthermore, Christ’s righteousness is credited to us, and our sins are credited to Christ. This is a one-time, non-repeatable act whereby God shows us sovereign mercy in seeing us as not guilty on the basis of Christ.
Read Romans 5:1 and Romans 8:1
That’s our new position. One of being GUILT FREE. We are not under condemnation. Our sins have been wiped clean and we stand on the righteousness of Christ—not our own.
That’s what it means to be “in Christ”. Romans 6 tells us that when Christ died on the cross, we were there with Him and experienced a death to our old self. When Christ rose again, we were there and experienced a new birth ourselves. To be in Christ means that we are united to Him in personal relationship through His righteousness and not our own. We are FOUND in Him. We are no longer lost or in Adam, but now we are saved, found, declared righteous IN CHRIST.
This is GREAT NEWS!!! This is the heart of the gospel. Justification by faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone. This is the greatest announcement we can receive.
I am so thankful that I am secure in the righteousness of Christ. Thank you that You credited His righteousness to me by faith and that I stand guilt free in Your presence. It is a glorious truth to be “in Christ” instead of “in Adam”! I could never produce this righteousness in and of myself. My righteousness is like a filthy rag. Thank You Jesus for living a perfect life of obedience to the Father and earning for me what I could never earn myself!
In Christ’s Name,