July 10, 2011

Prisoner For Christ XIII: Knowing Christ or Knowing A Fence

Knowing Christ Not Knowing A Fence (Philippians 3:5-14)

We do not get to know God by knowing the man-made fences erected around the Law. If we do that then all we have is a really pathetic relationship with is a fence. We get to know God by reading His word, obeying His commandments and statutes and above all, knowing His death and Resurrection. It is in knowing and accepting Christ’s death and resurrection that we go from behavioral righteousness to positional righteousness. As Paul said, “boasting in the flesh” is all for not, which is to say it is not righteousness at all. Boasting in the flesh as Gordon Fee puts it is an “end run around Jesus Christ” thereby putting confidence of salvation in a symbol: flesh. This means that a person is then not righteous by being rightly related to God nor by a sense of living rightly as the expression of that relationship with God. In other words: FAIL.

To know Christ is to know the power of His resurrection because it is the power that raised Him from the tomb that will raise us from the dead also. His Resurrection guarantees ours if we maintain our faith in Him. It is Jesus’ very suffering for us or humbling of Himself to the point of death on the Cross and our sharing in His death that is the linchpin in all of this. It is the willingness to humble that always Him to go to His death. No one took it from Him. He allowed these events to transpire that ended up having Him nailed to a wooden beam and mounted to another sticking out of the ground. He then knowingly and willing relinquished His Spirit to the Father having completed His duty in perfect obedience to the Father. Our sufferings do not redeem us but they intimate us to His suffering and death thereby sharing this common bond with Him in our humanity…and His. The difference being that He was perfect and perfectly obedient…we were not. Thank you Jesus, You did for me what I could not do for myself even if I wanted to.

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