Read Philippians 3:8-11
Yesterday we discovered what it means to be “in Christ”—to have this imputed righteousness that does not come from ourselves, but is given to us as a free gift of grace. This is justification by faith alone.
Yet, how should being “in Christ” as a justified sinner motivate us to live a life pleasing to Him?
That is what separates the terms justification from sanctification. Justification is the one time legal declaration that we are RIGHTEOUS before God on account of Christ.
Definition: Sanctification is the process a believer undergoes as the Spirit of God works in him to make him like Christ and this continues our entire lifetime.
Paul shifts from justification to sanctification. In other words, Paul shifts from our position to our condition. Our position never changes, but our condition can. There are times when we don’t seek after God. There are times when we don’t have a passion for Christ. There are times when we are hindered by habitual sin. There are times when we are flat out disobedient. While we cannot ever be condemned or punished or guilty for our sins because of imputed righteousness through justification, we can have degrees of less passion, less enthusiasm, less obedience, and less intensity in the Christian walk.
In verse 10, what is Paul’s desire?
To KNOW Him—this is an active verb—it is a strong verb—Again he wants to know personally, intimately, spiritually the depth of Christ.
Read Ephesians 3:17-19
Paul had a holy dissatisfaction with his present condition. Dissatisfaction is a good thing because it drives us to want more. To go deeper with Jesus.
How many of us today can say that we are stuck in our relationship with Christ. We are stagnant. We want more!! We are dissatisfied with where we are. The Holy Spirit puts this dissatisfaction in our hearts to motivate us to pursue Christ.
Not only does Paul want to know deeply Jesus, he also wants to experience this POWER.
And not only power but share in his sufferings. The word share is “koinonia” which means joint partnership
That’s a bold statement. We like POWER, we like knowing Jesus—but this suffering issue? That doesn’t sound exciting and fun.
Suffering is one of those hard things that come upon us as believers that sometimes doesn’t make sense. What if I were tell you that for God to bring true revival to your life and your family it would involve a major interruption that might bring suffering? Would you welcome it with joy or run as far from it as you can. I don’t know the secret things of God so I don’t know what He might do, but it is within His divine prerogative to both ordain and allow suffering for His children.
What is our hope in the gospel? It is to experience the life changing power of the gospel in salvation, to be declared not guilty, to be born again, and to know Christ—and we should be excited about these things. But for Paul, there was the ultimate hope:
Paul’s ultimate hope was complete salvation with a resurrected body in the very presence of Christ in heaven. This is what theologians call glorification.
In verse 11, he says “by any means possible”—this is not doubt on Paul’s part in that he is somehow going to miss it—but words of humility from the chiefest of sinners who is in awe that God saved him.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why God saved you? Was there anything in you that cried out “I’m worthy to be saved!!” None of us can make that claim for it would be boasting and we know that we are saved by grace through faith alone.
The word “attain” means to arrive at a goal—Paul’s ultimate hope was based upon the fact was that he would arrive at the goal of the resurrection from the dead.
This word for resurrection is used nowhere else in Scripture—it is unique to Paul in this verse and it literally means “out-resurrection”—the new body, the glorified state—which happens at the Second Coming of Christ when we are changed in a twinkling of an eye and receive our new glorified bodies.
Reread Philippians 1:21 and mediate upon this for yourself for a few moments.
Do you have a holy dissatisfaction and desire more of Jesus? Go to Him now in prayer and express your need for Him!
I am blown away that you would save me! That you would take the full penalty of my sin and then credit me with your perfect righteousness! I am like Paul—I want to KNOW you more deeply! I want more of your power. I want more of your presence! I want more of YOU! Even if that means suffering to get more of YOU!! My heart’s desire is that you would be my all-consuming magnificent obsession!
For Your Glory and Name,