Paul writes again that "it is a safeguard for you" (Php 3:1). He reiterates that as a practicing Jew "as to the righteousness which is in the Law, [he was] found blameless" (:6). Nowadays most would consider that faultless. After all "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; [and he] walked with God" (Ge 6:9). Also, Job "was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil" (Job 1:1). However, Paul said "I count all [these] things to be loss . . . and count them as rubbish" (Php 3:8). He regarded his accomplishments as forfeited or written off in an accounting sense since a loss is looked at as a debt and a gain as a credit. He said that "those things I have counted as loss" (:7) since, when taking an inventory, you count the occurrences which "things were gain to me" (:7). The gain was "righteousness which was in the Law" (:6) and "of my own derived from the Law" (:9) which, in accounting language, is a positive value. However, if "counted as loss" (:7) it has no value.
In a fiduciary sense it is like capital gains and losses. Paul uses it in banking venacular saying "if he . . . owes you anything, charge that to my account" (Phm 1:18} even though he probably didn't have a savings account anywhere. Furthermore they "sent a gift more than once (Php 4:16) and Paul sought "the profit which increases to your account" (:17). When you place a deposit in an account you determine the proper amount setting the balance to increase by that amount imputing it as a gain. It is a "profit" (:17) which connotes money. "The kings came and fought . . . they took no plunder [gain] in silver" (Ju 5:19). However, a man "finds wisdom and . . . gains understanding [and] . . . her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold" (Pr 3:13-14).
"Is there any . . . profit [gain] if you make your ways perfect?" (Job 22:3). Nowadays you are to "prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach" (Php 2:15). "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them" (2Co 5:19). "This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previosly committed" (Ro 3:25). "He has now reconciled you . . . in order to present you before Him holy and blameless" (Col 1:22). It is "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21). "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account" (Ro 4:8). "The Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning" (Isa 2:12). "'The day that is coming will set them ablaze' says the Lord of hosts" (Mal 4:1). "They will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1Pe 4:5). It is as certain as paying your income tax. You will be accepted "if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col 1:23).
What is it to be accountable? Darius appointed "120 satraps over the kingdom, that they should be in charge" (Da 6:1) and "over them three commissioners . . . [that they] might be accountable to them" (:2). Accountable means responsible for what they were put in charge of. In the church "they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account" (Heb 13:17). "Let them do this . . . [or else it] would be unprofitable for you" (:18). Paul said "I count" (Php 3:8), he "counted" (:7), and cited God's "not counting" (2Co 5:19). In the concordance you see that the root word is logos which has many applications. It is a statement of a certain truth in the form of a message, speech, documenting, or testimony which establishes authenticity.
The NASB translates it "considered worthy" (Lk 20:35) whereas the KJV says "accounted as." Romans 8:36 is translated by the NASB as "considered" whereas the KJV presents "accounted as." The concordance cites the Greek word logizomai based on logos as the process of considering or taking someting into account. It can entail thinking about, reasoning, or numbering. There can be an aspect of considering, supposing or proposing. The result is to conclude, acknowledge, impute, or credit with. Paul counts his loss "for the sake of Christ" (Php 3:7). He also counts it "in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ" (:8). It is based on "faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith" (:9). "'Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness'" (Ro 4:9). "In it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (1:17). It is for "the man whom God credits righteousness apart from works" (4:6). The NASB translates it as "credited" whereas the KJV as "reckoned." However they are both the same Greek word for "counted" as logizomai. But the Romans quote from Genesis says "then he believed in the Lord and He reckoned it to him as righteousness" (15:6). The NASB changes the word to "reckoned." That is the Hebrew word chashab which the concordance says means to account, think, calculate, determine or regard. God reckoned Abraham's faith as righteousness and credited it to his account.
Paul gave up "all things" (:8) "for the sake of Christ" (:7). For something's sake is to ultimately pursue a certain purpose. Paul's end result is "Christ" (:7) He counts as "loss" (:7,8) "for the sake of" (:7) and "in view of" (:8) specific reasons and explains he wants to elaborate by saying "more than that" (:8). Verses 8-11 are one sentence in the Greek composed of a construction which logically, carefully fits many pieces together. The goal is "knowing Christ" (:8) that he could "know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings: (:10). The purpose is "being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead" (:10-11).
When Paul treats his previous endeavors as a loss he is not belittling them. But he is juxtaposing the truth with its opposite for emphasis. "I delight in . . . the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6). Also he is renouncing what is false and "forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead" (Php 3:13). He highlights the better way as "the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (:8). It is personal knowledge of Christ and what he represents. It is "resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself" (Col 2:2). How do you know this? In a worldly way you could vicariously share someone else's experience using sympathy and your imagination. In an existential way you could exercise your freedom to decide how to respond not really understanding it all. But "if anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God he is known by Him" (1Co 8:2-3). Knowing God is a mutual relationship. Knowing is "all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding" (Col 2:2). You are "enlightened . . . and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit" (Heb 6:4) and "have tasted . . . the powers of the age to come" (:5). "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him" (2Pe 1:3). Paul sought to be "found in Him having the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith" (Php 3:9). "'They will not teach again . . . saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me'" (Jer 31:34).
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless you indeed fail the test?" (2Co 13:5). The prepostion "in" denotes a location or place with certain defined boundaries. It could also mean you agree with some proposed truth and take it further by identifying with it. Therefore if "Christ is in you" (:5) you are of "those who are in Christ Jesus" (Ro 8:1). It is not designating a physical place per se. But it depends on "if you are in the faith" (1Co 13:5). When a person "believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness" (Ro 4:5). Paul concludes "I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test" (2Co 13:6).
How do you conduct this self-test? You must know what it means to be "in the faith" (:5). When you believed "you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance" (Eph 1:13-14). You are now "in Him" (:13) which is your position. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Co 3:16). "If Christ is in you" (Ro 8:10) you are "in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you" (:9). Therefore "God abides in him" (1Jn 4:15). To abide means to stay or remain in a permanent relationhip. "We know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit" (4:13). It is "this mystery . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27).
It is "He who raised Jesus from the dead . . . who indwells you" (Ro 8:11). Christ "was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead" (1:4). "After listening to the message of truth" (Eph 1:13) "you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus" (4:21). "Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning . . . [and] you also will abide in the Son and in the Father" (1Jn 2:24). But unless the "Spirit of God dwells in you . . . [for] if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Ro 8:9). "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God" (1Jn 4:15).
Your "spirit is alive because of righteousness" (:10). You receive "life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit" (:11). It is the "free gift of God [which] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (6:23). "Because of His great love with which He loved us . . . [he] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Eph 1:4-5). "He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions" (Col 1:13). "'He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life'" (Jn 3:36). "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free" (Ro 8:2). We now "do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (:4). Walking is a step-by-step process and we are being "led by the Spirit of God" (:14). One person explains this as being "practically actuated" and another says it is "progressive sanctification." "The Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should" (:26). Also, "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (:16). The process proceeds as "if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (:13). "The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (:6). You are "raised up with Christ" (Col 3:1) and "your life is hidden with Christ in God" (:3). Therefore "keep seeking the things above" (:1) and "'seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you'" (Mt 6:33). Furthermore, "when Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with Him in glory" (Col 3:4). "We eagerly wait for a Savior . . . who will transform the body of our humble state into the body of His glory" (Php 3:20-21). "It has not appeared as yet what we shall be . . . [for] when He appears, we shall be like Him" (1Jn 3:2).
"You know Him who has been from the beginning . . . [because] the word of God abides in you" (:14). We "abide in the teaching of Christ" (2Jn 1:9). Jesus expressed that "'My words abide in you'" (Jn 15:7) and that you "'abide in Me, and I in you'" (:4). "Just as it has taught you, you abide in Him" (1Jn 2:27). He has "given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true" (5:20). "The anointing which you received from Him abides in you . . . [and] His anointing teaches you about all things" (1Jn 2:27). "His seed abides in him . . . because he is born of God" (3:9). "In Him we live and move and exist" (Ac 17:28). "In Him you have been made complete" (Col 2:10). The anointing is from the "'Spirit of truth . . . [and] you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you'" (Jn 14:17). It is "for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever" (2Jn 11:2). "The one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son" (1:9). They had "no need for anyone to teach you" (1Jn 2:27).
Paul wanted to know "the fellowship of His sufferings" (Php 3:10). This was initiated when Christ told Ananias that Saul was "'a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name . . . [and] I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake'" (Ac 9:15-16). Paul later said, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church" (Col 1:24). He saw it as "death working in us, but life in you" (2Co 4:12). "We who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body" (:11). "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation . . . which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer" (2Co 1:6). "Why are we also in danger every hour?" (1Co 15:30). "I affirm . . . I die daily" (:31). It is more than a lifestyle or mindset. It is an existence "being conformed to His death" (Php 3:10).
The "afflictions of Christ" (Col 1:24) happened when "Christ suffered for us in the flesh" (1Pe 4:1) "for sins" (3:18). "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb 5:8). It was appropriate "in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (2:10). "As you are partakers of the sufferings" (2Co 1:7) then "when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (1Pe 4:13). We are "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him" (Ro 8:17). "The same sufferings are experienced by your brethren in the world" (2Pe 5:9) so "after you have suffered a while . . . [Christ] will strengthen and settle you" (:10).
One of the things Paul wanted to know was "the power of His resurrection" (Php 3:10). He didn't say he wanted to know just about the resurrection itself but was interested in the "power" of it. It was "the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead" (Ro 8:11). "God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power" (1Co 6:14). Also, the power of the resurrection has ramifications. According to the concordance, the Greek word for it is dunamis, meaning a violent, strong force or mighty work. It is derived from dunamai meaning the ability or possibility of exerting it is available. In terms of the resurrection the "'dead are raised up'" (Mt 11:5). The concordance cites it with the Greek word egeiro saying it is as one who is in a sitting or lying position being woken from sleep, disease or death. It is to lift, raise, or stand up from obscurity or non-existence. "The Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you'" (Ro 9:17).
"By a man also came resurrection from the dead" (1Co 15:21). "Then comes the end . . . when He has abolished all authority and power" (:24). These two words must be distinguished. "He who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will . . . has decided this in his own heart" (1Co 7:37 NASB). Another translation instead says he "has power" (:37 KJV). Power is the actual strength or force. The concordance defines authority with the Greek word exousia meaning the privilege, capacity, or jurisdiction to do something. "There is no authority except from God" (Ro 13:1). "Does not the potter have a right over the clay" (Ro 9:21 NASB). The KJV says rather that he has "the power" (:21). Paul had authority to carry out his responsibilities. "If others share the right over you, do we not more?" (1Co 9:12). There is what "Christ has accomplished through [Paul] in the power of signs and wonders" (Ro 15:18). "Others share the right" (1Co 9:12) to make a "living from the gospel" (:14). But Paul said "we did not use this right" (:12) because he did "offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel" (:18).
"All is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory . . . [and] raised in power" (1Co 15:42). The "power is . . . strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead" (Eph 1:19,20). Christ acknowledged he had "'accomplished the work'" (Jn 17:4) and now "upholds all things by the word of His power" (Heb 1:3). "Christ is the power of God" (1Co 1:24). The "kingdom of God does not consist of words but in power" (4:20)). Christ "is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Eph 3:20). His primary purpose was to redeem and reconcile mankind to himself. "To us who are being saved [the cross] is the power of God" (1Co 1:18) and the gospel "is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Ro 1:16). Plus we are "protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation" (1Pe 1:5). Paul said it was a "gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power" (Eph 3:7). Furthermore "our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction" (1Th 1:5).
There is a long term aspect of the "working of His power" (Eph 3:7) "that works within us" (:20). God "will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself" (Php 3:21). It involves "a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1Pe 1:5) havng "made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2Pe 1:16). Without salvation a person would be "away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2Th 1:9). We are to "be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ" (Php 1:10). Paul's desire was to "confirm you to the end" (1Co 1:8) and he was "convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2Ti 1:12).
At the macro level Christ "upholds all things" (Heb 1:3). But what about the micro level in an individual's life? He is "able to establish you" (Ro 16:25). "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves" (2Co 4:7). We are "weak in Him, yet we live with Him because of the power of God" (13:4). Paul said he would "rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (12:9). It is "in accordance with the working of the strength of His might" (Eph 1:19).
How is the power manifested in a person's everyday life? "God will . . . fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power" (2Th 1:11). It is "by the power of God through faith" (1Pe 1:5). It is so "faith would rest on the power of God" (1Co 2:5) and to "everyone who believes" (Ro 1:16). "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him" (2Pe 1:3). Paul prayed that "the God of Hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Ro 15:13). "God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" (1Ti 1:7). He desired for them to be "strengthed with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience" (Col 1:11). Therefore "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God" (Eph 6:10-11).
Paul wished to "attain to the resurrrection of the dead" (Php 3:11). Some students believe that there are two resurrections. However Paul said he had not "already attained it" (:12) but he did "press on toward the goal" (:14). The context is the key to keep from getting off track. He mentions attaining "it" (:12) and equates it with to "become perfect" (:12). The resurrection and perfection are equivalent but different. His intention was to "press on" (:12) that he could reach the goal, but realized he had not "laid hold of it yet" (:13). Resurrection (:11) and perfection (:12) were cited as goals. In addition, there is that "I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (:12). Jesus told Ananias that Paul was chosen "'to bear My name before the Gentiles'" (Ac 9:15). But Paul expressed he did "not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet" (:13). That context seems to encompass more than just his assignment to the Gentiles. His desire was to be "reaching forward to what lies ahead" (:13). You can't reach for something you don't see. He wanted to "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God" (:14). It was necessary to "press on" (:12) because "as many as are perfect, have this attitude" (:15). He had not "already become perfect" (:12) but was with "as many as are perfect" (:15). To walk uprightly is to "keep living by that same standard to which we have attained" (:16). If you stray "God will reveal that also to you" (:15). The big picture is that "our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior" (:20). The "prize" (:14) is the "resurrection" (:11) when God "will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory" (:21). "In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day" (1Ti 4:8). "In a race all run . . . [so] run in such a way that you may win" (1Co 9:24).