Philippians 3:10
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Inseparably connected with the possession of this “righteousness of God” is the knowledge of Christ, or more exactly, the gaining the knowledge of Christ (see Philippians 3:8), by conformity both to His suffering and death, and also to His resurrection. This “conformity to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29-30)—with which compare the having “Christ formed within us” of Galatians 4:19)—is made by St. Paul the substance of the gracious predestination of God, preceding the call, the justification, the glorification, which mark the various epochs of Christian life.

(10, 11) The order of these verses is notable and instructive. (1) First comes the knowledge of “the power of the Resurrection.” What this is we see by examining it as historically the main subject of the first apostolic preaching. There it is considered, as in St. Peter’s first sermons, as giving the earnest of “forgiveness,” or “blotting out of sins,” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:13; Acts 3:26), or, as St. Paul expresses it, of “justification from all things” (Acts 13:38-39). This same idea is wrought out fully in his Epistles. Thus, for example, without it (1Corinthians 15:17) “we are still in our sins.” It is the pledge of our justification (Romans 5:1), and the means of our being “alive unto God” (Romans 6:11). Hence “the power,” or efficacy, “of His resurrection” is the justification, and regeneration inseparable from it, which lie at the entrance of Christian life. (2) Next comes the “partaking of His sufferings” and “conformity to His death,” which are the “taking up the cross, and following Him,” in the obedience even unto death. This “fellowship of sufferings,” coming partly from the sin of others, partly from our own, is the constant theme of the New Testament. (See 1Peter 4:13; Romans 8:17; 2Corinthians 1:5; Colossians 1:24; 2Timothy 2:11.) The “conformity to His death” is the completion of the death unto sin, described as “mortification” of sin (Colossians 3:5); “as bearing about in the body the dying (or, properly, mortification) of the Lord Jesus” (2Corinthians 4:10); or more frequently as being “crucified with Christ,” “the world to us and we to the world” (Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:24; Galatians 6:14). (3) Lastly comes the “attainment to the resurrection of the dead,” properly, “the resurrection from the dead,” which is (see Luke 20:35) the resurrection unto life and the glorification in Him, so nobly described below (Philippians 3:20-21). “If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5). For of our resurrection (see 1Corinthians 15:12-23) His resurrection is not only the pledge, but the earnest. Note how in 1Thessalonians 4:14-18, and 1Corinthians 15:51-57, the whole description is only of the resurrection unto life, and compare the first resurrection of Revelation 20:6. This is the completion of all; St. Paul dared not as yet anticipate it with the confidence which hereafter soothed his dying hour (2Timothy 4:7-8).

Philippians 3:12-16 lead us from the warning against trust in human merit to deprecate the supposition of a perfection here attained even in Christ. The transition is natural. The same spirit which shows itself undisguisedly in the one pretension, comes out half-concealed in the other.

Philippians

SAVING KNOWLEDGE

Php 3:10-11 {R.V.}.

We have seen how the Apostle was prepared to close his letter at the beginning of this chapter, and how that intention was swept away by the rush of new thoughts. His fervid faith caught fire when he turned to think of what he had lost, and how infinitely more he had gained in Christ. His wealth is so great that it cannot be crowded into the narrow space of one brief sentence, and after all the glowing words which precede our text, he feels that he has not yet adequately set forth either his present possessions or his ultimate aims. So here he continues the theme which might have seemed most fully dealt with in the great thoughts that occupied us in the former sermon, but which still wait to be completed here. They are most closely connected with the former, and the unity of the sentence is but a parallel to the oneness of the idea. The elements of our present text constitute a part of the Apostle’s aim in life, and may be dealt with as such.

I. Paul’s life’s aim was the knowledge of Christ.

That sounds an anti-climax after ‘Gain’ and ‘Be in Him.’ These phrases seem to express a much more intimate relation than this, but we must note that it is no mere theoretical or intellectual knowledge which is intended. Such knowledge would need no surrender or suffering ‘the loss of all things.’ We can only buy the knowledge of Christ at such a rate, but we can buy knowledge about Him very much cheaper. Such knowledge would not be worth the price; it lies on the surface of the soul, and does nothing. Many a man amongst us has it, and it is of no use to him. If Paul had undergone all that he had undergone and sacrificed all that he had given up, and for his reward had only gained accurate knowledge about Christ, he had certainly wasted his life and made a bad bargain. But as always, so here, to know means knowledge based upon experience. Did Christ mean that a correct creed was eternal life when He said, ‘This is life eternal to know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent?’ Did Paul mean the dry light of the understanding when he prayed that the Ephesians might know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, in order to be filled with all the fulness of God? Clearly we have to go much deeper down than that superficial interpretation in order to reach the reality of the New Testament conception of knowledge. It is co-extensive with life, and is built upon inward experience. In a word, it is one aspect of winning Jesus. It is consciousness contemplating its riches, counting its gains. As a man knows the bliss of parental or wedded love only by having it, or as he knows the taste of wine only by drinking it, or the glory of music only by hearing it, and the brightness of the day only by seeing it, so we know Christ only by winning Him. There must first be the perception and possession by sense or emotion, and then the reflection on the possession by understanding. This applies to all religious truth. It must be possessed ere it be fully known. Like the new name written upon the Apocalyptic stone, ‘No one knoweth but he that receiveth it.’

The knowledge which was Paul’s life’s aim was knowledge of a Person: the object determines the nature of the knowledge. The mental act of knowing a proposition or a science or even of knowing about a person by hearing of him is different from that of knowing people when we have lived beside them. We need not be afraid of attaching too familiar a meaning to this word of our text, if we say that it implies personal acquaintance with the Christ whom we know. Of course we come to know Him in the first instance through the medium of statements about Him, and we cannot too strongly insist, in these days of destructive criticism, on the absolute necessity of accepting the Gospel statements as to the life of Jesus as the only possible method of knowing Him. But then, beyond that acceptance of the record must come the application and appropriation of it, and the transmutation of a historical fact into a personal experience. We may take an illustration from any of the Scriptural truths about Jesus:--For instance, Scripture declares Him to be our Redeemer. One man believes Him to be so, welcomes Him into his life as such, and finds Him to be such. Another man believes Him to be so, but never puts His redeeming power to the proof. Is the knowledge of these two rightly called by the same name? That which comes after experience is surely not rightly designated by the same title as that which has no vivification nor verification of such a sort to build on, and is the mere product of the understanding. There is nothing which the great mass of so-called Christians need more than to have forced into their thoughts the difference between these two kinds of knowledge of Christ. There are thousands of them who, if asked, are ready to profess that they know Jesus, but to whom He has never been anything more than a partially understood article of an uncared for creed, and has never been in living contact with their needs, nor known for their strength in weakness, their comforter in sorrow, ‘their life in death,’ their all in all.

To deepen that experimental knowledge of Jesus is a worthy aim for the whole life, and is a process that may go on indefinitely through it all. To know Him more and more is to have more of heaven in us. To be penetrating ever deeper into His fulness, and finding every day new depths to penetrate is to have a fountain of freshness in our dusty days that will never fail or run dry. There is only one inexhaustible person, and that is Jesus Christ. We have all fulness in our Lord: we have already received all when we received Him. Are we advancing in the experience that is the parent of knowing Him? Do new discoveries meet us every day as if we were explorers in a virgin land? To have this for our aim is enough for satisfaction, for blessedness, and for growth. To know Him is a liberal education.

II. That knowledge involves knowing the power of His Resurrection.

The power of His Resurrection is an expression which covers a wide ground. There are several distinct and well-marked powers ascribed to it in Paul’s writings. It has a demonstrative force in reference to our Lord’s person and work. For He is by it ‘declared to be the Son of God with power.’ That rising again from the dead, taken in conjunction with the fact that He dieth no more, but is ascended up on high, and in conjunction with His own words concerning Himself and His Resurrection, sets Him forth before the world as the Son of God, and is the solemn divine approval and acceptance of His work.

It has a revealing power in regard to the condition of humanity in death. It is the one fact which establishes immortality, and which not only establishes it, but casts some light on the manner of it. The possibility of personal life after, and therefore, in death, the unbroken continuity of being, the possibility of a resurrection, and a glorifying of this corporeal frame, with all the far-reaching consequences of these truths in the triumph they give over death, in the support and substance they afford to the else-shadowy idea of immortality, in the lofty place which they assign to the bodily frame, and the conception which they give of man’s perfection as consisting of body, soul, and spirit--these thoughts have flashed light into all the darkness of the grave, have narrowed to a mere strip of coast-line the boundaries of the kingdom of death, have proclaimed love as the victor in her contest with that shrouded horror. The basis of them all is Christ’s Resurrection; its power in this respect is the power to illuminate, to console, to certify, to wrench the sceptre from the hands of death, and to put it in the pierced hands of the Living One that was dead, and is Lord both of the dead and the living.

Further, the Resurrection is treated by Paul as having a power for our justification, in so far as the risen Lord bestows upon us by His risen life the blessings of His righteousness. Paul also represents the Resurrection of Christ as having the power of quickening our Spiritual life. I need not spend time in quoting the many passages where His rising from the dead, and His life after the Resurrection, are treated as the type and pattern of our lives: and are not only regarded as pattern, but are also regarded as the power by which that new life of ours is brought about. It has the power of raising us from the death of sin, and bringing us into a new life of the Spirit. And finally, the Resurrection of Christ is regarded as having the power of raising His servants from the grave to the full possession of His own glorious life, and so it is the power of our final victory over death.

Now I do not know that we are entitled to exclude any of these powers from view. The broad words of the text include them all, but perhaps the two last are mainly meant, and of these chiefly the former.

The risen life of Christ quickens and raises us, and that not merely as a pattern, but as a power. It is only if we are in Him that there is so real a unity of life between Him and us that there enters into us some breath of His own life.

That risen life of the Saviour which we share if we have Him, enters into our nature as leaven into the three measures of meal; transforming and quickening it, gives new directions, tastes, motives, impulses, and power. It bids and inclines us to seek the things that are above, and its great exhortation to the hearts in which it dwells, to fix themselves there, and to forsake the things that are on the earth, is based upon the fact that they have died, and ‘their life is hid with Christ in God.’ Without that leaven the life that we live is a death, because it is lived in the ‘lusts of the flesh,’ doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind. There is no real union with Jesus Christ, of which the direct issue is not a living experience of the power of His Resurrection in bringing us to the likeness of itself in regard to our freedom from the bondage to sin, and to our presenting ourselves unto God as alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God. It is a solemn thought which we all need to press upon our consciences, that the only infallible sign that we have been in any measure quickened together with Christ and raised up with Him is that we have ceased to live in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind. The risen life of Jesus may indefinitely increase, and will do so in the measure in which we honestly make it our life’s aim to know Him and the power of His Resurrection.

III. The experience of the power of Christ’s Resurrection is inseparable from the fellowship of His sufferings.

We must not suppose that Paul’s solemn and awful words here trench in the smallest degree on the solitary unapproachableness of Christ’s death. He would have answered, as in fact he does answer, the appeal of the prophetic sufferer, ‘Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow’ with the strongest negative. No other human lips have ever tasted, or can ever taste, a cup of such bitterness as He drained for us all, and no other human lips have ever been so exquisitely sensitive to the bitterness which they have drunk. The identification of Himself with a sinful world, the depth and closeness of His community of feeling with all sorrow, the consciousness of the glory which He had left, and the perpetual sense of the hostility into which He had come, set Christ’s sufferings by themselves as surely as the effects that flow from them declare that they need no repetition, and cannot be degraded by any parallel whilst the world lasts.

But yet His Death, like His Resurrection, is set forth in Scripture as being a type and power of ours. We have to die to the world by the power of the Cross. If we truly trust in His sacrifice there will operate upon us motives which separate and detach us from our old selves and the old world. A fundamental, ethical, and spiritual change is effected on us through faith. We were dead in sin, we are dead to sin. We have to blend the two thoughts of the Christian life as being a daily dying and a continual resurrection in order to get the whole truth of the double aspect of it.

It may be a question whether the Apostle is here referring to outward or inward and ethical sorrows, but perhaps we should not do justice to the thought unless we extend it to cover both of these. Certainly if his theology was but the generalising of his experience, he had ample material in his daily life for knowing the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. One of his most frequently recurring and most cherished thoughts is, that to suffer for Christ is to suffer with Christ, and in it he found and teaches us to find strength to endure, and patience to outlast any sorrows that may swoop upon us like birds of prey because we are Christians. Happy shall we be if Christ’s sufferings are ours, because it is our union with Him and our likeness to Him, not to ourselves, our sins, or our worldliness, that is their occasion. There is an old legend that Peter was crucified head downwards, because he felt himself unworthy to be as his Master. We may well feel that nothing which we can ever bear for Him is worthy to be compared with what He has borne for us, and be the more overwhelmed with the greatness of the condescension, and the humility of the love which reckon our light affliction, which is but for a moment, along with the heavy weight which He bore, and the blessed issue of which outlasts time and enriches eternity.

But there is another sense in which it is a worthy aim of our lives that our sufferings may be felt to be fellowship with His. That is a blessed sorrow which brings us closer to our Lord. That is a wholesome sorrow of which the issue is an intenser faith in Him, a fuller experience of His sufficiency. The storm blows us well when it blows us to His breast, and sorrow enriches us, whatever it may take away, which gives us fuller and more assured possession of Jesus.

But when we are living in fellowship with Jesus, that union works in two directions, and while on the one hand we may then humbly venture to feel that our sufferings for Him are sufferings with Him, we may thankfully feel, too, that in all our affliction He is afflicted. If His sufferings are ours we may be sure that ours are His. And how different they all become when we are certain of His sympathy! It is possible that we may have a kind of common consciousness with our Lord, if our whole hearts and wills are kept in close touch with Him, so that in our experience there may be a repetition in a higher form of that strange experience alleged to be familiar in hypnotism, where the bitter in one mouth is tasted in another.

So, what we ought to make our aim is that in our lives our growing knowledge of Christ should lead to the two results, so inexorably intertwined, of daily death and daily resurrection, and that we may be kept faithful to Him so that our outward sufferings may be caused by our union with Him, and not by our own faithlessness, and may be discerned by us to be fellowship with His. Then we shall also feel that He bears ours with us, and sorrow itself will be calmed and beautified into a silent bliss, as the chill peaks when the morning strikes them glow with tender pink, and seem soft and warm, though they are grim rock and ice-cold snow. Then some faint echo of His history ‘who was acquainted with grief’ may be audible in our outward lives and we, too, may have our Gethsemane and our Calvary. It may not be presumption in us to say ‘We are able’ when He asks ‘Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of’? nor terror to hear Him prophesy ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of,’ for we shall remember ‘joint-heirs in Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.’

IV. The end attained.

The Christian life as here manifested is even in its highest forms manifestly incomplete. It is a reflected light, and like the reflected light in the heavens, advances by imperceptible degrees to fill the whole silver round. It may be ‘e’en in its imperfections beautiful,’ but it assuredly has ‘a ragged edge.’ The hypothetical form of the last words of our text does not so much imply a doubt of the possibility of attaining the result as the recognition of the indispensable condition of effort on the part of him who attains it. That effort forthcoming, the attainment is certain.

The Revised Version makes a slight correction which involves a great matter, in reading ‘the resurrection from the dead.’ It is necessary to insist on this change in rendering, not because it implies that only saints are raised, but because Paul is thinking of that first resurrection of which the New Testament habitually speaks. ‘The dead in Christ shall rise first’ as he himself declared in his earliest epistle, and the seer in the Apocalypse shed a benediction on ‘him that hath part in the first resurrection.’ Our knowledge of that solemn future is so fragmentary that we cannot venture to draw dogmatic inferences from the little that has been declared to us, but we cannot forget the distinct words of Jesus in which He not only plainly declares a universal resurrection, but as plainly proclaims that it falls into two parts, one a ‘resurrection of life,’ and one a ‘resurrection of judgment.’ The former may well be the final aim of a Christian life: the latter is a fate which one would think no sane man would deliberately provoke. Each carries in its name its dominant characteristic, the one full of attractiveness, the other partially unveiling depths of shame and punitive retributions which might appal the stoutest heart.

This resurrection of life is the last result of the power of Christ’s Resurrection received into and working on the human spirit. It is plain enough that if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in us there is no term to its operations until our mortal bodies also are quickened by His Spirit that dwelleth in us. The ethical and spiritual resurrection in the present life finds its completion in the bodily resurrection in the future. It cannot be that the transformation wrought in a human life shall be complete until it has flowed outwards into and permeated the whole of manhood, body, soul, and spirit. The three measures of meal have each to be influenced before ‘the whole is leavened.’ If we duly consider the elements necessary to a perfect realisation of the divine ideal of humanity, we shall discern that redemption must have a gospel to bring to the body as well as to the spirit. Whatever has been devastated by sin must be healed by Jesus. It is not necessary to suppose that the body which dies is the body which rises again, rather the Apostle’s far-reaching series of antitheses between that which is sown and that which is raised leads us to think that the natural body, which has passed through corruption, and the particles of which have been gathered into many different combinations, does not become the spiritual body. The person who dies is the person who lives through death, and who assumes the body of the resurrection, and it is the person, not the elements which make up the personality, who is spoken of as risen from the dead. The vesture may be different, but the wearer is the same.

So that resurrection from the dead is the end of a supernatural life begun here and destined to culminate hereafter. It is the last step in the manifestation of our being in Christ, and so is being prepared for here by every step in advance in gaining Jesus. It should ever be before every Christian soul that participation in Christ hereafter is conditioned by its progress in likeness to Him here. The Resurrection from the dead is not a gift which can be bestowed apart from a man’s moral state. If he dies having had no knowledge by experience of the power of Christ’s Resurrection, there is nothing in the fact of death to give him that knowledge, and it is impossible to bring ‘any means’ to bear on him by which he will attain unto the ‘resurrection from the dead.’ If God could give that gift irrespective of a man’s relations to Jesus, He would give it to all. Let us ask ourselves, then, is it not worth making the dominant aim of our lives the same as that of Paul’s? How stands our account then? Are we not wise traders presenting a good balance-sheet when we show entered on the one side the loss of all things, and on the other the gaining of Christ, and the attaining the resurrection from the dead, the perfect transformation of body, soul, and spirit, into the perfect likeness of the perfect Lord? Does the other balance-sheet show the man as equally solvent who enters on one side the gain of a world, and on the other a Christless life, to be followed by a resurrection in which is no joy, no advance, no life, but which is a resurrection of judgment? May we all be found in Him, and attain to the resurrection from the dead! 3:1-11 Sincere Christians rejoice in Christ Jesus. The prophet calls the false prophets dumb dogs, Isa 56:10; to which the apostle seems to refer. Dogs, for their malice against faithful professors of the gospel of Christ, barking at them and biting them. They urged human works in opposition to the faith of Christ; but Paul calls them evil-workers. He calls them the concision; as they rent the church of Christ, and cut it to pieces. The work of religion is to no purpose, unless the heart is in it, and we must worship God in the strength and grace of the Divine Spirit. They rejoice in Christ Jesus, not in mere outward enjoyments and performances. Nor can we too earnestly guard against those who oppose or abuse the doctrine of free salvation. If the apostle would have gloried and trusted in the flesh, he had as much cause as any man. But the things which he counted gain while a Pharisee, and had reckoned up, those he counted loss for Christ. The apostle did not persuade them to do any thing but what he himself did; or to venture on any thing but that on which he himself ventured his never-dying soul. He deemed all these things to be but loss, compared with the knowledge of Christ, by faith in his person and salvation. He speaks of all worldly enjoyments and outward privileges which sought a place with Christ in his heart, or could pretend to any merit and desert, and counted them but loss; but it might be said, It is easy to say so; but what would he do when he came to the trial? He had suffered the loss of all for the privileges of a Christian. Nay, he not only counted them loss, but the vilest refuse, offals thrown to dogs; not only less valuable than Christ, but in the highest degree contemptible, when set up as against him. True knowledge of Christ alters and changes men, their judgments and manners, and makes them as if made again anew. The believer prefers Christ, knowing that it is better for us to be without all worldly riches, than without Christ and his word. Let us see what the apostle resolved to cleave to, and that was Christ and heaven. We are undone, without righteousness wherein to appear before God, for we are guilty. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ, and it is a complete and perfect righteousness. None can have benefit by it, who trust in themselves. Faith is the appointed means of applying the saving benefit. It is by faith in Christ's blood. We are made conformable to Christ's death, when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. The apostle was willing to do or to suffer any thing, to attain the glorious resurrection of saints. This hope and prospect carried him through all difficulties in his work. He did not hope to attain it through his own merit and righteousness, but through the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ.That I may know him - That I may be fully acquainted with his nature, his character, his work, and with the salvation which he has worked out. It is one of the highest objects of desire in the mind of the Christian to know Christ; see the notes at Ephesians 3:19.

And the power of his resurrection - That is, that I may understand and experience the proper influence which the fact of his resurrection should have on the mind. That influence would he felt in imparting the hope of immortality; in sustaining the soul in the prospect of death, by the expectation of being raised from the grave in like manner; and in raising the mind above the world; Romans 6:11. There is no one truth that will have greater power over us, when properly believed, than the truth that Christ has risen from the dead. His resurrection confirms the truth of the Christian religion (notes, 1 Corinthians 15); makes it certain that there is a future state, and that the dead will also rise; dispels the darkness that was around the grave, and shows us that our great interests are in the future world. The fact that Christ has risen from the dead, when fully believed, will produce a sure hope that we also shall be raised, and will animate us to bear trials for his sake, with the assurance that we shall be raised up as he was. One of the things which a Christian ought most earnestly to desire is, to feel the power of this truth on his soul - that his great Redeemer has burst the bands of death; has brought life and immortality to light, and has given us the pledge that our bodies shall rise. What trials may we not bear with this assurance? What is to be dreaded in death, if this is so? What glories rise to the view when we think of the resurrection! And what trifles are all the things which people seek here, when compared with the glory that shall be ours when we shall be raised from the dead!

And the fellowship of his sufferings - That I may participate in the same kind of sufferings that he endured; that is, that I may in all things be identified with him. Paul wished to be just like his Saviour. He felt that it was an honor to live as he did; to evince the spirit that he did, and to suffer in the same manner. All that Christ did and suffered was glorious in his view, and he wished in all things to resemble him. He did not desire merely to share his honors and triumphs in heaven, but, regarding his whole work as glorious, he wished to be wholly conformed to that, and, as far as possible, to be just like Christ. Many are willing to reign with Christ, out they would not be willing to suffer with him; many would be willing to wear a crown of glory like him, but not the crown of thorns; many would be willing to put on the robes of splendor which will be worn in heaven, but not the scarlet robe of contempt and mockery.

They would desire to share the glories and triumphs of redemption, but not its poverty, contempt, and persecution. This was not the feeling of Paul. He wished in all things to be just like Christ, and hence he counted it an honor to be permitted to suffer as he did. So Peter says, "Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;" 1 Peter 4:13. So Paul says Colossians 1:24 that he rejoiced in his sufferings in behalf of his brethren, and desired "to fill up that which was behind, of the afflictions of Christ," or that in which he had hitherto come short of the afflictions which Christ endured. The idea is, that it is an honor to suffer as Christ suffered; and that the true Christian will esteem it a privilege to be made just like him, not only in glory, but in trial. To do this, is one evidence of piety; and we may ask ourselves, therefore, whether these are the feelings of our hearts. Are we seeking merely the honors of heaven, or should we esteem it a privilege to be reproached and reviled as Christ was - to have our names cast out as his was - to be made the object of sport and derision as he was - and to be held up to the contempt of a world as he was? If so, it is an evidence that we love him; if not so, and we are merely seeking the crown of glory, we should doubt whether we have ever known anything of the nature of true religion.

Being made conformable to his death - In all things, being just like Christ - to live as he did, and to die as he did. There can be no doubt that Paul means to say that he esteemed it so desirable to be just like Christ, that he would regard it as an honor to die in the same manner. He would rejoice to go with him to the cross, and to pass through the circumstances of scorn and pain which attended such a death. Yet how few there are who would be willing to die as Christ died, and how little would the mass of people regard it as a privilege and honor! Indeed, it requires an elevated state of pious feeling to be able to say that it would be regarded as a privilege and honor to die like Christ to have such a sense of the loveliness of his character in all things, and such ardent attachment to him, as to rejoice in the opportunity of dying as he did! When we think of dying, we wish to have our departure made as comfortable as possible. We would have our sun go down without a cloud. We would wish to lie on a bed of down; we would have our head sustained by the kind arm of a friend, and not left to fall, in the intensity of suffering, on the breast; we would wish to have the place where we die surrounded by sympathizing kindred, and not by those who would mock our dying agonies. And, if such is the will of God, it is not improper to desire that our end may be peaceful and happy; but we should also feel, if God should order it otherwise, that it would be an honor, in the cause of the Redeemer, to die amidst reproaches - to be led to the stake, as the martyrs have been - or to die, as our Master did, on a cross. They who are most like him in the scenes of humiliation here, will be most like him in the realms of glory.

10. That I may know him—experimentally. The aim of the "righteousness" just mentioned. This verse resumes, and more fully explains, "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ" (Php 3:8). To know HIM is more than merely to know a doctrine about Him. Believers are brought not only to redemption, but to the Redeemer Himself.

the power of his resurrection—assuring believers of their justification (Ro 4:25; 1Co 15:17), and raising them up spiritually with Him, by virtue of their identification with Him in this, as in all the acts of His redeeming work for us (Ro 6:4; Col 2:12; 3:1). The power of the Divine Spirit, which raised Him from literal death, is the same which raises believers from spiritual death now (Eph 1:19, 20), and shall raise their bodies from literal death hereafter (Ro 8:11).

the fellowship of his sufferings—by identification with Him in His sufferings and death, by imputation; also, in actually bearing the cross whatever is laid on us, after His example, and so "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" (Col 1:24); and in the will to bear aught for His sake (Mt 10:38; 16:24; 2Ti 2:11). As He bore all our sufferings (Isa 53:4), so we participate in His.

made conformable unto his death—"conformed to the likeness of His death," namely, by continued sufferings for His sake, and mortifying of the carnal self (Ro 8:29; 1Co 15:31; 2Co 4:10-12; Ga 2:20).

That I may know him; as consequent upon the former he had by winning of Christ, he doth here insist upon sanctification, which would result from faith’s exerting itself in a further saving, experimental knowledge of Christ, to be found in whom, he undervalued all besides coniformity to Christ in holiness, being to have communion with him in righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30; God having appointed those who are found in Christ, to be conformed to his image in holiness, Romans 8:29 2 Corinthians 3:18. This saving knowledge is expressed elsewhere in Scripture by the senses, John 10:4 2 Corinthians 2:14 4:6 Ephesians 1:18 1 Peter 2:3. All and only those found in Christ, do so know him, John 5:20 6:46,69 Heb 8:11; and desire so to know him, Philippians 1:9, that they may have a lively sense of his power, communion, and conformity.

The power of his resurrection; the power of his resurrection in us; i.e. from the death of the soul, under a privation of spiritual life, and the image of God, unto newness of life, by the effectual working of the same Spirit which raised Christ himself from the dead, Romans 6:4,10 Eph 1:20 2:5,6; called the first resurrection, Revelation 20:5; when the soul is raised from under the dominion of sin where it lay.

The fellowship of his sufferings; by communion of Christ’s sufferings, is not meant of bearing a part in the merit of his personal sufferings, but of being partaker of his sufferings in his members, or mystical body, whether inward or outward, (though this chiefly), Matthew 20:23 Acts 9:4 Romans 8:17 2 Corinthians 1:7 4:10,11 Ga 5:24 Colossians 1:24 2 Timothy 2:11,12.

Being made comformable unto his death; some read, while made conformable to his death, not only in dying to sin, Romans 6:5,6, but in being conformed to his image in suffering, Romans 8:29; dying daily, or always living ready to be delivered to death for Jesus’ sake upon his call, Romans 8:18 2 Corinthians 4:11. Such was his Christian temper, that he could cheerfully go through sufferings by reason of some communion and conformity he had in them with Jesus Christ. That I may know him,.... The Ethiopic version reads "by faith"; and to the same sense the Syriac. The apostle did know Christ, and that years ago; he knew whom he had believed; he knew him for himself; he knew his personal interest in him; nor did he know any but him in the business of salvation: but his knowledge of Christ, though it was very great, it was, imperfect; he knew but in part, and therefore desired to know more of Christ, of the mystery and glories of his person, of the unsearchable riches of his grace, of his great salvation, and the benefits of it, of his love, which passes perfect knowledge, and to have a renewed and enlarged experience of communion with him. The apostle here explains what he means by winning Christ, for the sake of which he suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but dung; it was, that he might attain to a greater knowledge of the person and grace of Christ:

and the power of his resurrection; not that power which was put forth by his Father, and by himself, in raising him from the dead; but the virtue which arises from it, and the influence it has on many things; as on the resurrection of the saints: it is the procuring cause of it, they shall rise by virtue of union to a risen Jesus; it is the firstfruits, which is the earnest and pledge of their resurrection, as sure as Christ is risen, so sure shall they rise; it is the exemplar and pattern of theirs, their bodies will be raised and fashioned like to the glorious body of Christ; and this the apostle desired to know, experience, and attain unto. Christ's resurrection has an influence also on the justification of his people; when Christ died he had the sins of them all upon him, and he died for them, and discharged as their public head and representative, and they in him: hence it is said of him, that "he was raised again for our justification", Romans 4:25. Now, though the apostle was acquainted with this virtue and influence of Christ's resurrection, he desired to know more of it, for the encouragement of his faith to live upon Christ, as the Lord his righteousness. Moreover, the regeneration of men is owing to the resurrection of Christ; as to the abundant mercy of God, as the moving cause, so to the resurrection of Christ, as the means or virtual cause; and therefore are said to be "begotten again by the resurrection of Christ from the dead", 1 Peter 1:3. This power and virtue the apostle had had an experience of, yet he wanted to feel more of it, in exciting the graces of the spirit to a lively exercise, in raising his affections, and setting them on things above, and in engaging him to seek after them, and set light by things on earth, and in causing him to walk in newness of life, in likeness or imitation of Christ's resurrection, to all which that strongly animates and encourages; see Colossians 3:1.

And the fellowship of his sufferings; either his personal sufferings, and so signifies a sharing in, and a participation of the benefits arising from them; such as reconciliation for sin, peace with God, pardon, righteousness, nearness to God, &c. or the sufferings of his members for him, and with him, and which Christ reckons his own: these the apostle was willing to take his part in, and lot of, knowing, that those that are partakers of his sufferings in this sense, shall reign with him, and be glorified together. What the Jews deprecated, the apostle was desirous of; namely, sharing in the sorrows and sufferings of the Messiah, and which they reckon the greatest happiness to be delivered from,

"The disciples of R. Eleazar (y) asked him, what a man should do that he may be delivered , "from the sorrows of the Messiah?" he must study in the law, and in beneficence.

And elsewhere they say (z),

"he that keeps the three meals on the sabbath day shall be delivered from three punishments, , "from the sorrows of the Messiah", and from the damnation of hell, and from the war of Gog and Magog.

But our apostle rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ, and was desirous of filling up the afflictions of Christ in his flesh, for his body's sake, the church:

being made conformable unto his death; either in a spiritual sense dying daily unto sin, 1 Corinthians 15:31, having the affections, with the lusts, crucified, Galatians 5:24, and the deeds of the body mortified, Romans 8:13, and so planted in the likeness of his death, Romans 6:5; or rather in a corporeal sense, bearing always in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, 2 Corinthians 4:10, and being continually exposed to death for his sake, and ready to suffer it whenever called to it,

(y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2.((z) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 118. 1. See Cetubot, fol. 111. 1.

{5} That I may {i} know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the {6} fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

(5) This is the end of righteousness by faith with regard to us, that by the power of his resurrection we may escape from death.

(i) That I may indeed feel him, and have an experience of him.

(6) The way to that eternal salvation is to follow Christ's steps by afflictions and persecutions, until we come to Christ himself, who is our mark at which we aim, and receive that reward to which God calls us in him. And the apostle sets these true exercises of godliness against those vain ceremonies of the Law, in which the false apostles put the sum of godliness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 3:10. Telic definition of the relation expressed by μὴ ἔχων κ.τ.λ. in Php 3:9. Paul has not the righteousness of the law, but the righteousness of faith, in order to know, etc. This knowledge would fail him if, on the contrary, instead of the righteousness of faith, he had that of the law. So he reverts to a more detailed illustration of τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χ., Php 3:8, expressing, in the first place, again generally the great personal contents of the knowledge accruing from the righteousness of faith (τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτόν), and next, more particularly, the most important—especially to the apostle in his position infinitely important—matters which were its objects (τὴν δύναμιν κ.τ.λ.), developing them from his own richest experience, which had thus brought home to his deepest consciousness the ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χ. The τοῦ γνῶναι might also be conceived as dependent on εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ (Wiesinger, Schneckenburger, Schenkel); but the more precise definition of this εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ by μὴ ἔχων κ.τ.λ. is so important, earnest, and solemn, that it most naturally carries with it also the statement of aim which follows. Chrysostom joins ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει to Php 3:10 : τί δέ ἐστὶν ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτόν; ἄρα διὰ πίστεως ἡ γνῶσις, καὶ πίστεως ἄνευ γνῶναι αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔστι. So also Theodoret and Erasmus, and recently Hofmann (comp. also his Schriftbew. I. p. 618), who, in doing so, takes ἐπί in and by itself correctly as on the ground of faith. But such cases of emphatic prefixing, while they are certainly found with ἵνα (see on Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:18), are not found before the genitive of the infinitive with the article, which represents the expression with ἵνα, but in such infinitive clauses only between article and infinitive; hence Paul would have written τοῦ ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει γνῶναι. Comp. Romans 8:12; 1 Corinthians 16:4. Hofmann improperly appeals, not any longer indeed to Revelation 12:7, but, doing violence to the position of the words in the LXX., to 2 Samuel 6:2; Isaiah 10:32. According to Castalio, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, and others, the genitive τοῦ γν. is meant to depend on τῇ πίστει; “describit vim et naturam fidei, quod scilicet sit Christi cognitio” (Calvin). But πίστις is never joined with the genitive of the infinitive with the article; and, besides, not the nature, but the object of the faith (Php 3:9) would be denoted by the genitive (Colossians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, et al.). Nor is τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτόν to be regarded as parallel with ἵνα Χ. κερδήσω κ. εὑρ. ἐν αὐτῷ (Estius, Storr, Heinrichs, and others, including Rheinwald, Hoelemann, Rilliet, de Wette, Winer), since it is in itself arbitrary to despise the appropriate dependence on what immediately precedes, and to go back instead to ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα εἶναι; and since in ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδ. κ. εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ two elements are given, a subjective and an objective one, so that thus there would be presented no parallel corresponding with the subjective τοῦ γνῶναι κ.τ.λ. Moreover, Paul is in the habit of introducing two parallel clauses of design with a double ἵνα (Romans 7:13; Galatians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 9:3).

The γνῶναι, which both conditions the faith and also in fuller development follows it (see on Php 3:8), is not the discursive, or generally theoretical and speculative knowing, but the inwardly salutary, experimental becoming-acquainted-with (“qui expertus non fuerit, non intelliget,” Anselm), as is plain from τὴν δύναμιν κ.τ.λ. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 8:2; Galatians 4:9, et al.; frequently so used in John. See also Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 421, ed. 2.

καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστ. αὐτοῦ καὶ τ. κοινων. τ. παθ. αὐτ.] and (that is, and especially) the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. The δύναμ. τ. ἀναστ. αὐτ. is not the power by which He has been raised (Vatablus, Grotius; comp. Matthies), which would be quite unsuitable to the context, but the power which the resurrection of Christ has, its vis el efficacia in respect to believers. The special point that Paul has in view, is supplied by the context through what is said immediately before of the righteousness of faith, to which τοῦ γνῶναι κ.τ.λ. refers. He means the powerful guarantee of justification and salvation which the resurrection of Christ affords to believers; see Romans 4:25; Romans 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15:17; Acts 13:37-38. This power of the resurrection is experienced, not by him that is righteous through the law, but by him that is righteous through faith, to whom the resurrection of the Lord brings the constant energetic certainty of his reconciliation procured by Jesus’ death and the completion of eternal life (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; Colossians 3:1 ff.; Php 3:21). Comp. also Romans 8:34, where this δύναμις τῆς ἀναστ. is triumphant in the apostle. As a matter of course, this power, in virtue of which the resurrection of Christ, according to 1 Corinthians 15:17, Romans 4:25, might be described as “complementum redemtionis” (Calvin), is already in regeneration experimentally known, as is Christ generally (αὐτόν); but Paul speaks from the consciousness that every element of the regenerate life, which has τὴν ἐκ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, is an ever new perception of this power. The view which understands it of the moral power of awakening (Beza and others, also van Hengel; comp. Rilliet), according to Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12, or the living power of victory, which lies for the believer in the resurrection of Christ, according to 2 Corinthians 4:10, Galatians 2:20, Php 4:13,—by means of which the Christian, “through his glorified Lord, himself also possesses an infinite new power of acquiring victory over the world and death” (Ewald, comp. de Wette, Schneckenburger, Wiesinger, Schenkel; substantially also Hofmann),—does not accord either with the words themselves (for so understood it would be the power of the risen Christ, not the power of His resurrection), or with the following κ. τὴν κοινωνίαν τῶν παθημ. αὐτοῦ, which, in a logical point of view (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:10-12), must either have gone before, or have been expressed by ἐν τῇ κοινωνίᾳ κ.τ.λ. The certainty of our own resurrection and glory (Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, Storr, Heinrichs, Hoelemann, and others; comp. Pelagius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Theophylact) is necessarily included also in the δύναμις, without, however, being exclusively meant. By the series sermonis Bengel (comp. Samuel Crell) has allowed himself to be misled into explaining ἀνάστασις, not of the resurrection at all, but of the exortus or adventus of the Messiah. References of various kinds are mixed up by Rheinwald, Flatt, Schinz, Usteri, and others.

καὶ τὴν κοινων. τῶν παθημ. αὐτοῦ] In these words Paul intends to express—and he does so by the repetition of the article with a certain solemnity—a second, highly valuable relation, conditioned by the first, to the experimental knowledge of which the possession of the righteousness of faith was destined to lead him, namely, the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, in which he sees a high proof of divine grace and distinction (Php 1:29, Php 2:17 f.). Comp. Colossians 1:24. Suffering for the sake of Christ’s cause is a participation in Christ’s sufferings (a συμπάσχειν, Romans 8:17), because, as respects the characteristic kind and way of suffering, one suffers the same that Christ suffered (according to the ethical category, drinks of the same cup which Christ drank, Matthew 20:22). Comp. 1 Peter 4:13, and see on 2 Corinthians 1:5, Php 3:10-11.—CONFORMITY TO CHRIST’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION.10. That I may know him] In order to know Him. For the construction, cp. e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:13.—Observe the sequence of thought. He embraces “the righteousness which is of God on terms of faith,” and renounces “a righteousness of his own” as a means to the end here stated—the spiritual knowledge of Christ and of His power to sanctify and glorify by assimilation to Himself. In order to that end, he thankfully “submits Himself to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3; cp. 1 Peter 1:2); accepts the Divine justification for the merit’s sake of Jesus Christ alone; knowing, with the intuition of a soul enlightened by grace, that in such submission lies the secret of such assimilation. Welcoming Christ as his one ground of peace with God, he not only enters at the same time on spiritual contact with Christ as Life from God, but also gets such a view of himself and his Redeemer as to affect profoundly his whole intercourse with Christ, and the effects of that intercourse on his being.

Php 3:10 is thus by no means a restatement of Php 3:9. It gives another range of thought and truth, in deep and strong connexion. To use a convenient classification, Php 3:9 deals with Justification, Php 3:10 with Sanctification in relation to it.

“That I may know Him”:—the Greek seems to imply a decisive act of knowledge rather than a process. A lifelong process is sure to result from the act; for the Object of the act “passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). But the act, the decisive getting acquainted with what Christ is, is in immediate view. A far-reaching insight into Him in His glory of grace has a natural connexion with the spiritual act of submissive faith in Him as our Sacrifice and Righteousness. Cp. John 6:56.

On this “knowledge” of recognition and intuition, cp. Php 3:8, and notes.

the power of his resurrection] A phrase difficult to exhaust in exposition. The Lord’s Resurrection is spiritually powerful as (a) evidencing the justification of believers (Romans 4:24-25, and by all means cp. 1 Corinthians 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:17-18); as (b) assuring them of their own bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20, &c.; 1 Thessalonians 4:14); and yet more as (c) being that which constituted Him actually the life-giving Second Adam, the Giver of the Spirit who unites the members to Him the Vital Head (John 7:39; John 20:22; Acts 2:33; cp. Ephesians 4:4-16). This latter aspect of truth is prominent in the Epistles to Ephesus and Colossæ, written at nearly the same period of St Paul’s apostolic work; and we have here, very probably, a passing hint of what is unfolded there. The thought of the Lord’s Resurrection is suggested here to his mind by the thought, not expressed but implied in the previous context, of the Atoning Death on which it followed as the Divine result.

This passage indicates the great truth that while our acceptance in Christ is always based upon His propitiatory work for us, our power for service and endurance in His name is vitally connected with His life as the Risen One, made ours by the Holy Spirit.

Cp. further Romans 5:10; Romans 6:4-11; Romans 7:4; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4; Hebrews 13:20-21.

the fellowship of his sufferings] Entrance, in measure, into His experience as the Sufferer. The thought recurs to the Cross, but in connexion now with Example, not with Atonement. St Paul deals with the fact that the Lord who has redeemed him has done it at the severest cost of pain; and that a moral and spiritual necessity calls His redeemed ones, who are united vitally to Him, to “carry the cross,” in their measure, for His sake, in His track, and by His Spirit’s power. And he implies that this cross bearing, whatever is its special form, this acceptance of affliction of any sort as for and from Him, is a deep secret of entrance into spiritual intimacy with Christ; into “knowledge of Him.” Cp. further Romans 8:17; Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Colossians 1:24; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 4:13; Revelation 3:10.

being made conformable] Better, with R.V., becoming conformed. The Greek construction is free, but clear.—The Lord’s Death as the supreme expression of His love and of His holiness, and the supreme act of His surrender to the Father’s will, draws the soul of the Apostle with spiritual magnetic force to desire, and to experience, assimilation of character to Him who endured it. The holy Atonement wrought by it is not here in direct view; he is full of the thought of the revelation of the Saviour through His Passion, and of the bliss of harmony in will with Him so revealed. No doubt the Atonement is not forgotten; for the inner glory of the Lord’s Death as Example is never fully seen apart from a sight of its propitiatory purpose. But the immediate thought is that of spiritual harmony with the dying Lord’s state of will. Cp. 2 Corinthians 4:10.Php 3:10. Τοῦ γνῶναι, that I may know) The genitive, τοῦ, is connected with πίστει, faith; and resumes the mention of τῆς γνώσεως, knowledge, made at Php 3:8, and now to be more fully explained.—αὐτὸν) Him.—δύναμιν, the power) Romans 1:4.—τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ) It is consonant to the order of the discourse that the verbal noun ἀνάστασις should be taken, not for the resurrection from the dead, which is expressed in Php 3:11 with a change of the word [ἐξανάστασιν], but of the rising of Christ, Hebrews 7:14 [The Lord sprang out of Juda], as the verb ἀναστῆσαι is used in Acts 13:32, where see the note [ἀνάστησας Ἰησοῦν—“quum suscitavit et nobis prœsentem exhibuit;” adding that this absolute ‘suscitatio’ is distinct from the “suscitatio e mortuis”]. For ἀνάστασις is not always put for the resurrection of the dead, Luke 2:34 [ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ, the spiritual rising again, etc., not their actual resurrection], (Luke 7:16); Lamentations 3:63; Zephaniah 3:8; and truly the very rising or coming of the Messiah has its own power, on the knowledge of which believers depend, 2 Peter 1:16.—τὴν κοινωνίαν, the fellowship) Galatians 2:20.—συμμορφούμενος, being conformed [“made conformable”]) The nominative case after the infinitive is frequent with the Greeks, although here it may be construed with the following finite verb [καταντήσω]. Believers are conformed by faith. Imitation is not excluded, but most assuredly follows after [conformation by faith], Galatians 3:1, note; comp. σύμμορφον, conformed, fashioned like, Php 3:21.Verse 10. - That I may know him (τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτόν). For the grammatical construction, see Winer, sect. 44:b. For the sense, comp. John 17:3, where Dr. Westcott notes, "In such a connection, Knowledge expresses the apprehension of the truth by the whole nature of man. It is not an acquaintance with facts as external, nor an intellectual conviction of their reality, but an appropriation of them (so to speak) as an influencing power into the very being of him who knows them." Γινώσκειν differs from εἰδέναι: εἰδέναι is "to know," γιγνώσκειν is "to recognize" or "to become acquainted with." We must be found in Christ in order to know him; we must have that righteousness which is through the faith of Christ, for we can know him only by being made like unto him. Comp. 1 John 2:2, "When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is;" and now those who see him by faith are in their measure being transformed into the same image. For the knowledge here spoken of is a personal knowledge, gained, not by hearing or reading, but by direct personal communion with the Lord; it is not theoretical, but experimental. "non expertus fuerit, non intelligit" (Anselm, quoted by Meyer). And the power of his resurrection. The resurrection of Christ was a glorious manifestation of Divine power (Romans 1:4). That resurrection is now a power in the spiritual life of Christians: it stimulates the spiritual resurrection, the resurrection from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness (comp. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). It is the center of our most cherished hopes, the evidence of our immortality, the earnest of the resurrection of the body. And the fellowship of his sufferings. This clause and the last are bound together under one article, according to the best manuscripts. There is a very close connection between them (comp. Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11, 12). To know the quickening power of his resurrection, we must share his sufferings. The Christian, meditating in loving thought on the sufferings of Christ, is led to feel ever a deeper, a more awful sympathy with the suffering Savior. And if, when we are called to suffer, we take it patiently, looking unto Jesus, then our sufferings are united with his sufferings, "we suffer with him." And he who hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows feels for us in his sacred heart, being "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." This fellowship in suffering leads through his grace to fellowship in glory (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:10; Romans 6:5). Being made conformable unto his death; rather, as R.V., becoming conformed. The participle is present: it implies a continual progress. It is derived from the word μορφή, form, used in Philippians 2:6 (where see note), and denotes, not a mere external resemblance, but a deep, real, inner conformity. The reference is not to the impending death of martyrdom, but to that daffy dying unto self and the world which the apostle exhibited in the heroic self-denials of his holy life: he was "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20; comp. also 1 Corinthians 15:31). That I may know Him (τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν)

Know is taken up from knowledge, Philippians 3:8, and is joined with be found in Him, qualified by not having, etc. That I may be found in Him not having, etc., but having the righteousness which is of God so as to know him, etc.

The power of His resurrection (τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ)

Power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings furnish two specific points further defining the knowledge of Him. By the power of Christ's resurrection is meant the power which it exerts over believers. Here, more especially, according to the context, in assuring their present justification, and its outcome in their final glorification. See Romans 4:24, Romans 4:25; Romans 8:11, Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 15:17; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 3:21.

Fellowship of His sufferings

Participation in Christ's sufferings. See Matthew 20:22, Matthew 20:23; and on Colossians 1:24. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:5; 1 Peter 4:13. Faith makes a believer one with a suffering Christ.

Being made conformable (συμμορφιζόμενος)

Explaining the previous clause: by my becoming conformed, etc. Rev., becoming conformed. Compare 2 Corinthians 4:10; Romans 6:5. For conformed see on Matthew 17:2, and see on form, Philippians 2:6. The most radical conformity is thus indicated: not merely undergoing physical death like Christ, but conformity to the spirit and temper, the meekness and submissiveness of Christ; to His unselfish love and devotion, and His anguish over human sin.

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