Resurrection is central to the Christian faith.
17 ... if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins... 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 ... since death came through a man, the resurrection … comes also through a man. ---1 Cor 9:17, 19–22, NIV
I believe in Jesus Christ… conceived by… the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered… was crucified, died… buried… descended... On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. ---The Apostles' Creed
Sunday is the LORD’S DAY—NOT a rest day! Don’t rest at home. Get up. Go to church. Give God the first fruit of your day.
The Resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity.
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 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, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. ---Php 3:7-11
Backdrop: Paul's Rebuke of Judaizers (vv.1-6)
- Judaizers rebuked for false claim of being Jewish when they were just proselytes (vv.1–4)
- Paul presented his superior credentials: circumcised 8th day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to righteousness… in the Law… blameless (vv.5–6)
Paul, The Wise Accountant (vv.7–9)
- What Judaizers called gains, Paul considered losses or rubbish (skubala)—scraps thrown to street dogs (v.7)
- Not easy for Paul to give up credentials: suffered loss (v.8)
- Another reason for choice: to be found in Christ (v.9)
Paul, The Pursuer of Knowledge (vv.10–11)
- Know (ginosko): personal, intimate, experiential knowledge
- Syntax shows Paul’s desire to know Christ in 3 aspects, at 3 levels
- to know the person of Christ
- to know the power of the resurrection of Christ
- to know the purpose of suffering for Christ
Level 1: Know Person of Christ (v.10a)
Paul had an extraordinary encounter with Christ on the Road to Damascus when Christ appeared in glorious brightness which blinded him.
The blinding was intentional so that Christ could send Ananias to Paul.
GO! This man is My CHOSEN INSTRUMENT to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name. ---Acts 9:15–16
I want to KNOW Christ:
- substitutionary death for mankind
- crucifixion as a curse for sins
- removal of gender disparity
- mystery of the Church
- Suffering Servant of Jehovah of Isaiah 53
- birth in the fullness of time
- soon return as Judge
- Church of Jews and Gentiles
- Christians as joint heirs In Christ
- resurrection as the firstfruit
Level 2: Know Power of Christ’s Resurrection (v.10b)
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up… He was speaking of the temple of His body. ---Jn 2:19, 21, NIV
No one takes My life from Me… I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down… I have authority to take it up again. ---Jn 10:18, NIV
I am the Resurrection and the Life. ---Jn 11:29, NIV
After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. ---Jn 14:19, NIV
No one forced Jesus to die on the cross. Not Herod... Pilate... the mobs... the soldiers. They were mere players with cameo roles in God’s drama. Jesus volunteered for the main role.
19… the exceeding greatness of His power toward us… according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. ---Eph 1:19–21, NKJV
God’s power in Christ achieved three results:
1. Christ raised from the dead
2. Christ seated at the right hand of God
3. Christ elevated over all principality, power, might, dominion
For if the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He… will also give life to your mortal bodies through Him who dwells in you. ---Rom 8:11
Connectivity of Christ's Death and Resurrection
4 We were therefore *buried* with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. ---Rom 6:4–5
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ---Gal 2:20
Level 3: Know Purpose of Suffering for Christ (v.10c)
MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT to carry My name … I will show him how much he must suffer for My name. ---Acts 9:15-16
I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for His Body, the Church ---Col 1:24, NLT
Paul's Many Sufferings
… prison labours; stripes and beatings; near deaths; stoning; shipwrecks; perils of robbers; perils of Jews and Gentiles; perils in the city, wilderness, and the sea; weariness, toil, sleeplessness, hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness ---2 Cor 11:23–27
Purpose of Sufferings
Just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ ---2 Cor 1:5
We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God ---Acts 14:22
… that I… may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death ---Php 3:10b, NLT
…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame ---Heb 12:2
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness... blessed are you when people… persecute you… because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great. ---Mt 5:10-11
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you. ---Col 1:24, NIV
… even if I am being poured out like a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy... ---Php 2:17, NIV
Paul, The Pursuer of Ultimate Destiny (vv.11–12)
and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead ---v.11, NIV
if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead ---v.11, NKJV
I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. ---1 Cor 9:27, NKJV
If we judge ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. ---1 Cor 11:31
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. ---Php 3:12, NIV
Be a kiasu Christian! Ask for more. Get more!
Do you know the person of Christ?
Do you know the power of Christ’s resurrection?
Do you know the purpose of suffering with Christ?
Are you laying hold of that which you’ve been laid hold of by Christ?