Book information

Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0912-8
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 21 of 62 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF PHILIPPIANS

MESSAGE TWENTY-ONE

SEEKING TO KNOW CHRIST,
THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION,
AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS

Scripture Reading: Phil. 3:8-11; Eph. 1:19-20; Rom. 1:4; Matt. 20:22-23; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:11

If we would understand 3:8-11, we need to pay attention to the way these verses are composed. In Greek verses 8 through 11 are one long sentence. Verse 10 begins with the infinitive to know. This infinitive phrase is related to the phrase gain Christ and be found. This indicates that to know Christ is a result of being found in Him. All the words between be found in Him in verse 9 and to know Him in verse 10 describe in what condition Paul aspired to be found in Christ. He was willing to suffer the loss of all things and count them to be refuse that he might gain Christ and be found in Him to know Him. According to Paul’s concept, if we would know Christ, we must first be found in Him. Moreover, to be found in Him requires that we count all things loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ and then suffer the loss of all things and count them to be refuse. Only when we have the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, a vision of the supreme preciousness and surpassing worth of Christ, shall we be willing to let go of everything else and count those things as refuse. Then we shall gain Christ and be found in Him. We shall be those who live in Christ and who are found by others in Christ. Being found in Him, we shall surely know Him.

REVELATION AND EXPERIENCE

Paul lived in a condition of not having his own righteousness but having the righteousness of God, in order to know (to experience) Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. To have the excellency of the knowledge of Christ in verse 8 is by revelation. But to know Him in verse 10 is by experience—to have the experiential knowledge of Him, to experience Him in the full knowledge of Him. Paul first received the revelation of Christ and then sought for the experience of Christ—to know and enjoy Him in an experiential way.

After we receive the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, we shall be willing to suffer the loss of all things and count them refuse in order to gain Christ and be found in Him. As a result, we shall know Christ experientially. Therefore, verse 9 comes out of verse 8, and verse 10 comes out of verse 9. If we do not have the excellency of the knowledge of Christ (v. 8), we shall not be found in Christ, for it is having the excellency of the knowledge of Christ which makes us willing to suffer the loss of all things and count them as refuse in order to gain Christ and be found in Him. Then, once we have gained Christ and are found in Him, we shall know Him; that is, we shall enjoy Him and experience Him.

To gain Christ is one thing, and to experience Him is another. We may illustrate this difference by the difference between buying groceries and eating food which has been purchased and prepared. Gaining Christ may be compared to buying groceries, and the experience of Christ may be compared to the eating of the food we have first purchased and cooked. However, before we buy any groceries, we must first have the excellency of the knowledge of groceries. Before we purchase anything, we are first attracted by the excellency of the knowledge of that thing. Thus, first we have the excellency of the knowledge of the groceries, then we gain them by buying them, and finally we enjoy the food by eating it. In like manner, Paul first received the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, then he paid the price to gain Christ and be found in Him, and finally he experienced Christ and enjoyed Him. Paul realized that to gain Christ and be found in Him always results in knowing Him, in enjoying and experiencing Him.

A HIGHER KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST

Our experience of Christ can never surpass the excellency of our knowledge of Christ. Rather, the excellency of the knowledge of Christ always exceeds our experience of Christ. There has never been a case where a believer’s experience of Christ surpassed his knowledge of Christ. If we do not have a higher knowledge of Christ, we cannot have a higher experience of Christ. This is why it is very important that we not be limited by our past knowledge of Christ.

You may know that Christ is joy, peace, and rest. Before you were saved, you did not have the peace. But now that you have received the Lord, you have peace and joy. By no means do I belittle these aspects of the knowledge of Christ. I certainly enjoy the Lord Jesus as my peace, rest, and joy. Nevertheless, we should not be content with such a limited knowledge of Christ, but should advance in our knowledge of Him. Oh, how we need the excellency of knowing Christ!

The excellency of the knowledge of Christ will attract us to Christ and motivate us to lay aside everything other than Him. If we see the surpassing worth of Christ, we shall be willing to count as loss not only worldly, material things, but even our culture, religion, and philosophy. I repeat, it is the excellency of the knowledge of Christ which causes us to drop everything else so that we may gain Christ and be found in Him.


Note: We hope that many will benefit from these spiritual riches. However, for the sake of avoiding confusion, we ask that none of these materials be downloaded or copied and republished elsewhere, electronically or otherwise. Living Stream Ministry retains full copyright on all these materials and hopes that our visitors will respect this.

Downloading this material, even for personal use, is prohibited.
Your IP address is 54.225.54.120 [3:32:45 PM (GMT -08:00), September 19, 2017].

Search Online Publications

Simply enter a word or phrase. Common words, such as "and", "is", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search.

Advanced Search

Noise Words

Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. The search string, the Spirit & who, would result in an error since who, which stands by itself, is a noise word. The following is a list of noise words:

$, a, also, an, and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, being, both, but, by, came, can, did, do, each, for, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, me, might, much, my, of, on, or, our, out, over, said, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, to, too, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your

×

Ranking

Rank is a value from 0 to 1000 indicating how closely a match scored or ranked against the original search string. Rank values are affected by the following factors:

  1. The total number of occurrences of the original search words/phrases in a portion of a book.
  2. Content that includes the search words in close proximity to each other are ranked above those that do not. Therefore, a portion of a book that has the search words in close proximity may have a higher ranking than another portion of a book that has a higher hit count but the words are not in close proximity to one another. Therefore, we also include a search word hit count for reference.
  3. The rank values are relative to each other. Therefore, it is not possible to interpret the RANK value as a percentage or group the rank values into high/medium/low ranges. Think of rank as a method to order the results for a specific search.
×

Search Scope

Include All Word Forms

This option breaks out the search string into its individual words and generates all conjugations and declensions for each word in the search phrase. A search on the word, dwell, would search for dwell, dwelling, dwelling's, dwells, dwelt, and dwelled.

There is no need to use ^ (inflectional search) or * (prefix search) when using the Include all word forms search scope.

Specified Word Forms

This option searches for exact matches of the specified words or phrases used in the search string. Use of ^ (inflectional search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all conjugations and declensions for that word will be searched. Similarly, use of * (prefix search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all words with that prefix will be searched as well.

Note

Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. A list of all noise words is as follows:

$, about, after, all, also, an,and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, before, being, between, both, but, by, came, can, come, could, did, do, each, for, from, get, got, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, many, me, might, more, most, much, must, my, never, now, of, on, only, or, other, our, out, over, said, same, see, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, through, to, too, under, up, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your

×