[My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,Philippians 3:10(HCSB)
In a few brief words Paul outlines the four most important things in life.
1 That I may know Christ
2 That I may know the power of Christ’s resurrection
3 That I may be a partaker in the sufferings of Christ
4 That I may be conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ
A few short phrases outline everything necessary for a victorious Christian life.
Christ is the omniscient, omnipotent, eternal Creator who took on human flesh and died a cruel death to pay the price for our sins. He took sinners doomed to eternal separation from the Father and clothed them in His own righteousness and make us one with Himself, so that when the Father looks as us – He sees us as perfect as Christ: that I may know this gracious and glorious God-Man.
It was the act of the resurrection that was the indisputable evidence that identified Christ as the Son of God with power. It was His glorious resurrection that demonstrated His own mighty power that works in His children - the saints of God. The accomplishment of His resurrection raises all that believe in Him from spiritual death to a new life in Christ. Oh, the cross gave forgiveness of sins – but the resurrection broke the power of sin and death that reigns in the mortal body of fallen man – so that we too may rise to newness of life, in Christ - that I may know this mighty power of Christ’s resurrection.
Christ was the perfect example of what a perfect Man should be, but He had to learn obedience through all that He was called upon to suffer throughout His life - as He kept the goal of His calling forever in His sight. And we who are saved by His blood, baptised into His death, and risen with Him into newness of the new life, are to be perfect as He is perfect.
Christ’s was perfected through all that He has to suffer, and we too are to walk the same path of suffering. We must keep our eyes fixed firmly on Christ our perfect example and learn obedience through all that we are called on to suffer, for His sake. We are to trust Him to take us through to the end, so that we are perfected as He was – without spot and blemish or any such thing - that I may be a partaker in the sufferings of Christ.
And as we submit to the leading, guiding and correction of the Holy Spirit, He will use all things, including our suffering and pain to work together for good, to His praise and glory, as did Christ our perfect, obedient example - that I may be conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Father I long to know Christ more and to know the power of His resurrected life in me. I pray that I may partake of all the sufferings in my life in obedient submission to Your Spirit and that day by day I may be increasingly conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.