Philippians 3:10-11 - "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

These two verses are packed with gems! Wow!

First...take a look at the word "know". In the Greek, its the word "gnonai" which means to "know by experience". Paul wanted to "experience" Christ. He wanted to "experience" the power of His resurrection. He wanted to "experience" the fellowship of sharing in Christ's sufferings. AND to add to this, the word "power" is the Greek word "dynamis" and means "the ability to overcome resistance". Paul wanted to "experience the ability to overcome resistance."

Second..."becoming like him" is the translation of "symmorphizomenos" (YOU pronounce it!). It means "being conformed inwardly in one's experience to something." Again, Paul wanted to experience, here, Christ's death. Probably not in the same literal way and form that Christ died, but as Christ died "for" sin, Paul wanted to experience dying "to" sin. He wanted to experience and live a life that was "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20).

Third...consider in v. 11 "somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead". The word "resurrection" is the Greek word "exanastasin", used only here in the entire N.T. It means "a partial resurrection out from among other corpses". In other words, Paul was not saying he wanted to physically rise from the dead like Jesus did. I believe he was saying, he wants to live a fresh and alive life "out from" the deadness of life that so many others (even some Christians unfortunately) were living. He wanted to live a refreshing relationship with Jesus. Today's Living Bible states v. 11 this way..."So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead."

What does all this mean for me moving forward? ... I want this to so permeate my thinking that I share Paul's desire to experience this kind of life - more and more each day. I want to experience the power of Christ's resurrection. I want to live with the ability to overcome resistance which will come in attacks of Satan. Specifically I think of the discouragement I battle (yes, I get discouraged - many times on Sunday afternoons), the thinking that "if its going to be, its all up to me", and my ongoing fight to lose weight and live a healthier life. I want to live a fresh life "out" from the deadness of what so many are living today. I want to live a different life - a fresher life - a refreshing relationship with Jesus. So much so that others notice and are attracted to Jesus not repelled away from Jesus. To live this kind of life means having to live "in the world" rubbing shoulders with the ones who need the aliveness of Jesus. I can't remove myself and hole up in my neat little Christian world.

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