Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

To Know Christ

Luke,  in his account of Saul of Tarsus (Paul’s) conversion in Acts 9,  gives us the external details of that conversion.  Paul, in Philippians 3:4-9, shares the internal realities of his conversion. the change that took place in his heart, emotions, mind and will.  He contrasts the surpassing value of knowing Christ with the vanity and emptiness and  powerlessness of mere religion which he trashed as refuse and even excrement!  His personal knowledge of Christ far surpassed what religion could do for him.

 

What did Paul gain when he put his trust in Christ and committed His life to Him?

 

1. The knowledge of Christ  Philippians 3:8

 

We know God personally and intimately through our saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We see everything as loss in comparison to the knowledge of Christ. Any allegiance is nothing compared to Christ.  

 

We know Christ experientially; not just facts about Him.  In John 10:4  Jesus likens that personal knowledge to a sheep knowing his shepherds voice.

 

In His prayer in John 17:3 Jesus likened eternal life with knowing Christ. Salvation is the personal experience of knowing Christ.  That knowledge is a personal loving knowledge of Christ much like that of a husband knowing His wife and a wife knowing her husband.   “In Him”  Paul uses that little phrase 164 times in His epistles.  That knowledge and intimacy is as intimate as a branch being in a vine and bearing fruit. John 15

 

2. The righteousness of Christ.  Philippians 3:9

 

All his lifetime Saul of Tarsus had worked to try to attain the righteousness of God through his worthless self effort.  He gladly gave up his stinking self-righteousness which Isaiah had described as “filthy rags”. Isaiah 64:6  Later, Paul wrote in Romans 3:19, “By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”   Read Paul tearful burden for His own people, the Jews, in Romans 10:1-4

 

3. The power of His resurrection. Philippians 3:10

 

He had long forsaken any power in the Law or in his flesh. God’s Law could not save him.  It could only show him he was a sinner.   His flesh was too weak to save him.

 

Christ’s resurrection power working in Paul gave him power to conquer temptation, serve Christ effectively,  overcome trials and be a witness for Christ.   That power, Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20,  works in and through us.

 

4. The fellowship of His sufferings  Phil. 3:10  

 

When Paul experienced sufferings as a Christian, he knew he was simply sharing in the sufferings of Christ and he felt highly honored.  He knew, as Hebrews 4:14-16 teaches us,  that Christ knew, understood and cared, for He fully understands personal suffering. 

 

The world goes to the psychologist, psychiatrist or the pharmacist to find relief.  We find that blessed comfort and relief in our prayer closet with Christ.  We learn to lean on Christ in every temptation and in every weakness for we know that ” He Knows, He Loves and He Cares”.

 

5. The knowledge of Christ also enables us to obtain His glory.

 

One day we will leave these weak bodies of flesh  and be glorified in His presence. No more Satan to tempt and taunt us.  No more failure and sin.

 

Is it worth  giving up your trust in self and putting your trust in Christ for salvation to have:

Peace with God. Romans 5:1

Purpose in living. Philippians 1:21

Daily victory over sin. I Corinthians 15:57

And joy unspeakable and full of glory? I Peter 1:8

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October 25, 2009 - Posted by | Philippians

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