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Philippians 3:10,11– conforming to his death

28-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

[This] to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, conforming to His death, if somehow I should be attaining to the resurrection that is out from among the dead.

While Paul was talking about the present in the earlier verses, in verse 11 he is talking about the future. But still in the I-form; it is his personal perspective. The loss of boasting in himself is now offset by the gain of Christ. The righteousness from God is now opposed to one’s own righteousness . And his former learning is now contrasted with the knowledge of the risen and glorified Christ.

Inseparable from this knowing of Christ is getting to know the power of his resurrection, precisely in one’s own weakness. And to this is also linked “the fellowship of his sufferings” – because whoever speaks the Word of Christ will also share in his suffering and rejection and Paul knew that better than anyone from experience.

What Paul had not yet experienced is conformity to Christ’s death. Obedience brought Christ into “death, even the death of the cross” (2:8). And Paul is willing to go that way of a martyr. Perhaps he would reach the resurrection from the dead by that route…