Tuesday, July 14, 2015

But I Follow After

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:8-14

As I read through the above text today, I saw a breakout to the text which I hadn't seen before.  I am sharing it below, not to redefine how you see the text, but to outline what I saw in case it benefits your own studies.

There seemed to be a relationship to the words that I hadn't previously noticed.  Paul expresses several goals in this text, as well as what is needed to reach each goal.  His goals are to:
Win Christ
Suffer the loss of all things by counting them all as loss and considering them all as dung in exchange for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Be Found in Christ
Made right with God and being imparted His righteousness through faith in Christ, not pursuing my own righteousness (self-righteousness) by attempting to follow the law (or any other self-effort).
Know Christ
Experience the power of His resurrection, share in His sufferings, and be made conformable to Christ's death. 
Attain the Resurrection of the Dead
All of the above: win Christ, be found in Christ, and know Christ.
Clearly Paul had lost some things in choosing to follow Christ, we all do (family, friends, worldly reputation, etc.).  Yet, look at his mindset here.  He considered all things as loss (even that which he still had) because its worth was less than nothing when it came to knowing Christ.  Paul had tunnel vision, or as Jesus said, his eye was singly-focused (Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34).  He didn't have time to look back on what was behind him, nor did he care about what had happened in the past.

To be found in Christ is to be made one with Him and to abide in Him. To obtain this, Paul rested and trusted in Jesus Christ; not in anything he did or could do. He didn't trust in his academics, his intelligence, his talents, his religious positioning or performance, etc.  The only way to be made right with God is through complete, unending faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and Jesus' ability to present him to the Father in total reconciliation.

Knowing Christ is not the same thing as knowing about Christ.  Paul equates knowing God with knowing His resurrection power (Greek word dynamis), which means:
strength power, ability;
  • inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth 
  • power for performing miracles
  • moral power and excellence of soul
  • the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
  • power and resources arising from numbers
  • power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
There is a power associated with knowing Jesus Christ which comes through resurrection life, (Mark 16:17-18).  Yet this power of resurrection life is only made possible by sharing in Jesus' sufferings and death (Romans 6:4-6; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:11-14).

In reaching all of these goals, Paul knows that he will attain to the resurrection of the dead.  YET, he doesn't put forth that he has already attained this or even was already perfect, but he follows after the goal.  What goal? The goal of being perfected.

Then Paul makes an amazing statement. He wants to apprehend or lay hold of that for which Jesus Christ has apprehended him!  In other words, Jesus has laid hold of Paul specifically for the purpose of perfecting him...and this is also why Christ has laid hold of us.  How do we obtain that purpose? We follow Paul's example: "...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

This is something we have to do.  We have to forget those things behind us.  We have to reach toward those things before us.  We have to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is nothing new under the sun.  If my life is anything like yours, you have likely experienced all kinds of misery, pain, disappointments, and hurts in life.  Perhaps as well you have some accomplishments, some triumphs, some joys, some things you have overcome.  Forget all that. Reach forward to what God has before you and press in toward the mark for the prize, who is Christ.  Win Christ at the expense of all.

So I just want to encourage you all to "follow after".  Don't look behind, don't dwell on the past. Don't get discouraged or puffed up by those things, but keep your eye on Christ, who is faithful to complete the work He has started in you by His Spirit.


  1. Amen, sister. Thank you for the encouragement. I thank God for your portion of Christ for the building up of the Body and preparation of the Bride. Two of my favorite verses are Galatians 2:20 and Hebrews 12:2. We have died that we might live Christ. No longer, "I", but Christ! Let us keep looking away(from the past-good and bad) and unto Christ, our faithful High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

  2. Yes...Amen Mia!! Thank you for the encouragement, I've been so weary lately & I'm so grateful to the Lord for you. Your blog has been such a blessing to Anais & I.... and I'm so excited to see you writing more lately! Anais sends her love!! God bless!

    1. Thank you both! I have missed not being as active here the past few months, and truly miss not being able to connect as often with brothers and sisters such as you an Anais. I understand feeling weary, because when we look with our own eyes, the task at hand seems impossible. The world is going headfirst and quickly towards such a God-forsaken place, that you have to wonder whether anything ca save them. Yet, it is in the darkest hour and when things seem the most grim that God's work is made more manifest. I believe it is Min. Pawson who said that the more we focus on man, the more depressed we become. But the more we focus on God, the more joy and hope we have. So keep your eyes on the Father brother, and I will endeavor to do the same.

      Many blessings and much love to you both until we speak again!

    2. Thank you sister!! You are so right & I appreciate the encouragement. Much love & God's blessings to you & your family as well! : )


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