Scripture Entry 10/04/04

Philippians 3:10-11I want to know God. That has been the desire of my heart for a very long time. Or at least that’s what I’ve thought was what I wanted. As I study this passage out of Philippians I must give pause to reflect on the weight of being a follower of Christ. As I was driving through a town this past week I noticed a local Christian youth center that had a banner out front with brilliant graphics that had this verse reference on it and the phrase, “I want to know Christ and {His} power!” As I saw this I’ll be honest that I was disappointed. It is unfortunately another example of the salvation process being unfairly described to those who do and those who do not know Christ. It is necessary, in my opinion, that people understand the words of this text that in order to know Christ’s power, you must also join with Him in the fellowship of His sufferings!

Vs. 10 The thing that strikes me the most out of this verse is not the reality that we can experience God’s power, it’s not even the fact that we need to join in the fellowship of His sufferings. The most striking statement in this verse, to me, is that we must “become like Him in His death.” It’s not enough to simply follow Him; we must follow Him anywhere and everywhere that He would go. It is not surprising to me that in the year 2001 the two countries that had the most remarkable growth of any churches in the world were China and Cuba. I believe it was Tertullian who said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” That statement rings closely with Paul’s sentiment from chapter 3 verse 10.

Vs. 11 The last verse says that by accomplishing the statements of verse 10 the end result would possibly be, “somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” It strikes me in reference to this verse, that there must be many people who are in the church and yet are not in the faith. Billy Graham has said that he believes that at least 50% of evangelical church members are unconverted. It appears to me that what the church needs most is a dramatic cleansing process.