Please go to the Take Home Notes on the CFC website for further study and starter questions.
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Pastor Jared asked the question, “What sets Jesus apart from any other religious leader in history?” His own answer, “They are all dead and Jesus is alive!” Like Jared many of us were part of the multitude of people who didn’t want anything to do with God while growing up. Fortunately, like many of us who are believers, we consider all things lost for the gain of Christ.
Here is another question: What are some of the blessings that come to those who gain Christ?
Jared gave us three: Acceptance with God (9); Power for a Difficult Life (v.10); and Hope for the Future (v.11).
Let’s look at each one.
1. Acceptance with God (v.9). If you recall the Apostle Paul was a radical Jew who persecuted Christians before his conversion. After his conversion his sole purpose to “gain” Christ not the persecution of believers. Here we see two radical approaches to righteousness:
- A righteousness of our own (the law)—symbolic of being in the world
- A righteousness that comes through faith in Christ. We are not dependent on our own efforts, but this righteousness comes from God. The good news is that if we claim to have Christ we also inherit His righteousness. Our challenge is not to rely on sinking sand but on the solid rock of Christ . Some of the greatest obstacles for believers and non-believers is their merit and worth is based on their good works and not Christ’s righteousness.
2. Power for a Difficult Life (v.10). “Resurrection power” is at work in every believer in order to bring about spiritual change. This is contrary to the thousands of secular books which advocate positive thinking and how to tap into your own power for change. One book in particular was entitled, The Secret, which sold thousands of copies several years back.
Much of the time when we fell like we are not changing is because we are relying on our good works and not trusting in Christ’s power. How about when it comes to suffering? How do we deal with it? Look at v.10. Even in his suffering believers are to become like Him. Isn’t it unfortunate that many who accept Christ really believe that everything bad and discouraging goes away. Not so. The only thing that goes away is your sins. They are removed and we are reconciled to God. This power is a power of reconciliation that casts away all fear (Rom 8:28). Resurrection power is meant to sustain us in our suffering. Do you know the resurrection power of Christ?
3. Hope for the Future (v.11). More good news is that when Jesus returns, those who have trusted in his resurrection power will leave this world with him. (vv. 20-21). We will be transformed. This is our hope. Think about it—Jesus’ death makes no sense whatsoever if we could get it on the merits of our own goodness.
So, if you are not in Christ today you should be afraid of death. Death is coming to each and every one of us. God sent his son for this reason: That we would be raised with Him for righteous gain!
To be in Christ means to share in his power, in his suffering. This is the whole meaning of Easter. Look to Jesus and look at all things lost for the sake of his power and gain.