Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This message will focus on two words found in 3:14—goaland prize. If we reach the goal, we shall receive the prize. Thus, pursuing toward the goal is for obtaining the prize. But what is the goal, and what is the prize? Many would answer that both the goal and the prize are Christ. Although such an answer may be regarded as correct, in this message we need to see from 3:10-14 something particular concerning the goal and the prize.
Philippians 3:10-13 helps us understand the goal and the prize in verse 14. In verse 11 we may say that the out-resurrection is actually a synonym for Christ. In verse 10 Paul speaks of knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. This verse indicates clearly that if we would know Christ, we must know His resurrection. However, many Christians neglect this important matter. At most, they know only Christ and His death, not the power of His resurrection. Among Christians today rarely is there a proper and adequate message on the power of Christ. Few preachers speak of the power of Christ’s resurrection in the way Paul spoke.
We have pointed out that Paul’s desire was to gain Christ and be found in Him, to know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. Knowing Christ in this way is the result of gaining Him and being found in Him. The thought here is so deep that few Christians have given it the attention it deserves. Our natural mind cannot touch the depths of what it means “to know Him and the power of His resurrection.”
At this juncture we need to ask an important question: Where is Jesus Christ today? In this message I would answer by saying that Christ is in resurrection. No doubt, on the one hand, Christ is in the heavens and, on the other hand, He is in us. However, I want to emphasize the marvelous fact that Christ today is in resurrection. One day, as the One who existed in eternity, Christ became a man by incarnation. Eventually, He was crucified and buried. Through death He entered into another realm, the realm of resurrection. In His preexistence, Christ was God and was with God in eternity; by incarnation He became a man in the flesh; and then, through crucifixion and burial, He entered into resurrection. Have you ever heard that Christ is now in resurrection? On the day of His resurrection angels told the women that Christ could not be found in the tomb, for He had risen from the dead (Luke 24:1-6). This indicates that Christ is in resurrection.
Because Christ is now in resurrection, we cannot know Him experientially unless we know the power of His resurrection. Today some Christians know Christ in His incarnation and crucifixion. But in Philippians 3 Paul aspires to know Him not only in His death, but even the more in His resurrection.
In verse 11, a continuation of verse 10, Paul says, “If by any means I may attain to the out-resurrection from among the dead.” The expression “the out-resurrection” is puzzling. After Christ was resurrected, He became a person wholly in resurrection. Furthermore, the resurrection wherein Christ is today is not an ordinary resurrection, like the resurrection of Lazarus; it is an extraordinary resurrection. For this reason, Paul adds the prefix ex to the Greek word for resurrection to show that Christ’s resurrection is extraordinary. His resurrection is the out-resurrection.
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