7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead
Paul said that he, at one time, had put his confidence in the flesh.
This week, we get the “after the makeover” picture. Paul’s attitude now.
Paul says: The very things that I formerly regarded and considered true gains to me, in which I had placed my trust, I have come to regard a harmful loss, for the sake of Christ.
Paul is signifying that he counts them all together as one big loss.
We tend to put confidence in the earthly blessings of God, instead of in God Himself.
Paul says what is more, I continue, up to this very day to count these things as loss.
There’s a big difference between knowing about Christ, and knowing Christ personally.
Paul had suffered the loss of all things.
And when he considers his ever more full knowledge of Christ, and especially his future full knowledge of Christ, he can only look at these former things as garbage.
But the righteousness that Paul has now is a status of being right with God that comes about as God’s free gift (Rom 3:21).
The power of His resurrection is the power of God. The life-giving power which He manifested in raising Jesus from the dead.
The same power which he now manifests in the new life which the Christian receives.
Fellowship of His sufferings
When we focus on our suffering, we look away from Jesus.
When we focus on Jesus, we look at our suffering rightly.
Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed when we see Jesus (Rom 8:18).
Paul emphasizes the fellowship of his sufferings—how this identification with Christ in his sufferings is how we experience the Power of God to get us through it.
It’s one of the primary means that God uses to demonstrate His power in our lives by getting us through these things
Our our experience of God’s power in our lives, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, makes us want to get to know Him more.
The sufferings are the very thing that works ultimately to conform us to Christ’s death.
This identification with Christ in dying to ourselves puts the focus on the purpose of the dying. The purpose of dying to ourselves is so that we may identify with Christ in his death.