I want to know Christ
In Philippians 3:10-11, Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Paul already had a life-changing encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, yet he says, “I want to know Christ.” The Greek verb translated “to know” means to experience intimacy with another person. Paul wanted to experience Christ’s resurrection power. The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is working in us and through us.
In Ephesians 1:19-21, Paul refers to that power as “… his incomparably great power for us who believe.” He goes on to say, “That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and domination and every named that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
Paul wanted to know “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.” In Acts 5, the apostles have been arrested, flogged and ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus. When they were released, v. 41 says, “the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” There are many who consider it an honor to fight, suffer and even die for our country. Do you consider it an honor to suffer – even die – for Christ?
Paul wanted to become “like him in his death.” Romans 6:10-11 says, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The way we become like him in his death is by dying to sin and living to God. That is repentance. Paul says, “If we have been united with him like this is his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”
That brings me to my final point.
Paul wanted “somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” He didn’t know if he would be executed, die of natural causes or be transformed in the twinkling of an eye and caught up to meet the Lord in the air when Jesus returned.
He only knew that somehow he would attain the resurrection from the dead!
Do you want to know Christ?