The Power of His Resurrection- Philippians 3:10-11

This passage begins with the phrase “I want to”, which follows a period in the NIV translation. The phrase “I want to” is not in the Greek text, and this passage is actually the conclusion of a sentence which begins in verse seven. What all of that means is that this passage actually serves as a further description of the “righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (verse 9). This righteousness involves “the knowledge of Christ”, or more literally the “knowing” of Christ. The Greek word knowledge here is the aorist active infinitive of ginosoko, a verb which describes a relational knowledge, the knowing of one person of another person. The infinitive is a verbal noun, a verb used as a noun which retains some of its verbal characteristics. The use of this form in the Greek describes a continuous, ongoing knowledge, the knowledge of a personal relationship. The infinitive is used to inform us that this is a “knowledge” which involves action, since effort is required to grow in any personal relationship. This “knowing” of Christ also includes (through the use of “and” here) the “power of His resurrection”, a reference here to Romans 6:4, which tells us that “as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life”. The power of the resurrection which Paul refers to here then refers to “walking in newness of life”, that we may live a different kind of life, zao life, life as God intends it to be lived. His resurrection provides us with the “power” to live this new life. Power here is dunamis, the ability or capability to do something. Christ’s resurrection provides all who trust in Him with the capability to live the kind of life to which Paul refers here, a life of ever growing intimacy with Jesus Christ. This intimacy also includes the “fellowship of sharing in His sufferings”. The “sufferings” referred to here are not the sufferings of Calvary (only Christ could “suffer” that), but rather the “sufferings” of Gethsemane. The life which Paul refers to here, then, the life which His resurrection provides us with the power to live, is a life lived in the realm of “not my will, but thy will be done” (Matthew 26:39). The Greek word “fellowship” here is koinonia, to share or participate in, and here describes a life which is a participation in His death to self will and the power to live in God’s will. We also are given the power to become “like Him in His death”, death here as death to self will, with the cross being the final result of this (Philippians 2:8), it is life lived in the realm of “take up your cross and follow me” (Luke 9:23). All of this is for the purpose of “attaining” something. The Greek word translated “attain” is katantao, to “come to or arrive at”. This “attaining” is not an accomplishment achieved, but the arrival at a destination, a “coming to” a place. This “place” is not a physical place but a spiritual one, the place of the “resurrection from the dead”. This phrase can literally be translated as “raised up out of (or from among) the dead”. This refers to a “place” of being raised above sin and self will (or self absorption), to a “place” where Christ is Lord and we live new lives, lives of total submission to His will. Death here (as always in Scripture) refers to separation, with life then referring to union. Being raised up out from among the dead then refers to being raised out from among those who live life separated from God and to live life united with God, becoming “one” with the Father, just as Jesus was (John 17:20-22). The power of His resurrection referred to here, then, refers to the power to arrive at a destination, to arrive at the place in which Jesus lived during his “walk” upon the earth, to the place where we live life as “one” with the Father, a life described by “not my will, but thy will be done”. This is a place which all believers have been given the “power” to arrive at, may we all seek to put this “power” into use, and arrive at this destination.

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