Philippians 3:7-11: "knowing Christ Jesus my Lord"

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 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. 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. (Philippians 3:7-11, NIV)

Paul's description of knowing Christ made it clear that it is more than knowing about Christ. It is a relationship that involves our entire inner being. Paul first conveyed that what is correct and true does not come from us, but from God. Knowing Christ involves having the mind or attitude of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11). Knowing Christ also involves experiencing His power. Our will is flawed and weak (Matthew 26:40-41; Mark 14:37-38), but not His. Our power is limited, but not His (Philippians 4:11-13).

What does it mean to share in Christ's suffering? The word Paul used that is translated suffering is pathema. It also means passion. Passion fits well with the meaning here, because Christ willingly suffered for us. The last week of Jesus' ministry is often called Passion Week. The Gospels contain little more than the three years of Jesus' ministry. However, Passion Week takes up one-third of the Gospels. In the Gospel of John, Passion Week occupies almost half the book. Identifying with Christ's death is a part of identifying with His resurrection.

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