Philippians 3:7-11

Advent, Day 12

sunrise over the mountains

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

I love this passage. It's one my favorite passages in all the Scriptures. It is one of those that just resonate deeply within my soul.

I remember hearing this passage preached by Sinclair Ferguson at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. I will never forget his Scottish brogue booming out verse 11.

This desire to know Christ has become the driving force of my life. More than anything I want to truly know Christ. This knowledge that moves beyond facts and figures. I want to have an experiential knowledge of Christ.

The problem with this is that it means I have to experience a tension that never ends.

This tension of resurrection life and suffering.

Too often we want to believe that if we are walking closely with Christ then life will be easy and good. The fact of the matter is that as we know Christ we are going further up and further in to experiential relationship with him. This means experiencing resurrection life and suffering. The tension of the two is the means by which know Christ intimately.

During Advent we are reminded that in the midst of the suffering there is a longing for the resurrection life that will ultimately win out. So, we look toward his second Advent. The Advent of all things being made new and all suffering ceased.

Today I'm wrestling with, “Am I embracing the tension of resurrection life and suffering or am I just trying to avoid suffering?”


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