Knowing More of Jesus By Babatunde Olugboji
This week, we will examine the importance of one of Apostle Paul’s seminal statements in Philippians 3:10: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
Earlier in the chapter, Paul had presented his impressive Jewish resume. It was so impressive that none of his critics could measure up to his pedigree. But Paul wasn’t being boastful, he mentioned this only to emphasize how unimportant such things were, compared to faith in Christ. He then explained how a believer’s focus ought to be purely on Christ, just as a runner concentrates on their goal in order to run effectively. Instead of looking to the past, or to ourselves, we should look forward to an eternity with Christ.
Paul warns us about the influence of false teachers, particularly those who add legalism on top of the gospel, and that based solely on his impressive credentials, he had the right to consider himself ”justified” according to the traditional Jewish view. And yet, knowing what he was in Christ, Paul saw all of those accomplishments as garbage. Faith alone saves, and fellowship with Christ is all that truly matters.
The resurrection of Christ enables him to make intercession for us as our advocate before God.
We have not only been forgiven, but we are filled with the mighty power of God who raised Jesus from the dead. Paul called this “the power of the resurrection.” Jesus is no longer someone we know about; He is someone we intimately know.
This week, I want to remind you that faith in Christ includes sharing in various aspects of the life of Christ, which Paul addressed in this chapter. First, knowing Jesus evidently involves the power of the resurrection. His resurrection conquered death and provided the way to know him.
Second, Paul noted the importance of sharing in “His sufferings.” Many of us, when reading this verse, stop at knowing the power of the resurrection while paying little attention to the second part which talks about partaking in the suffering of Christ.
We often believe that the Christian faith provides freedom from hardship.
May I assure you that this common teaching is false. It is stuff of many modern motivational speakers who generously sprinkle their speeches with Biblical terminology. Both Paul and the rest of the early church knew that living for Christ included sharing in both the joys and struggles of Christ. This sometimes means suffering. Paul personally endured hardship despite his faithful life spent serving Christ.
Paul also noted the concept of imitating Christ in His death. Some may interpret this as martyrdom, but the real focus is on becoming “like Him” in death, not the method of death. Paul wants to die to the world of sin and temptation, so he can be fully transformed, in order to be like Christ. This is a sentiment he will mention again later in the Chapter: “…who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. (Philadelphians 3:21)
Will you, going forward, do much more to be like Christ in all you do, including modeling Christ?
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.