CCXVIII. Paul’s Desire.

PHIL. iii. 10, 11. “That I may know Him, and the power of His
resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made
conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead!”

PAUL is here unfolding the uppermost desire of his mind,
which gave its impulse and direction to the whole current
of his eventful life.
I. What he specially desired with regard to the present.
1. That he might know Christ. Did he not then already
know the Redeemer? No; the law of Christianity is pro-
gress. All that he knew made his appetite keener for
further discoveries of the love which passeth knowledge.
2. The power of His resurrection.
The resurrection is the great proof of Christianity, and
Paul desired to be more and more convinced of the truth
of that Christianity of which he was so bold and energetic
a champion.
The resurrection proves that the atoning sacrifice is all
sufficient, and he desired to be more assured of the efficacy
of the atonement.
3. The fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. He had already
endured much, yet he desired more. There was something
far more precious to him in the bearing of the cross with
Christ than there would have been in the utmost ease with-
out the Saviour.
II. What he chiefly desired with regard to the future.
If by any means I may attain the resurrection of the dead.
Not the general resurrection, for just and unjust rise; not
the spiritual resurrection, for that he had already passed
through. It was the rising of the dead in Christ, with
bodies glorious and like to the glorified body of the
Redeemer, in order that both in body and in soul they
may inherit the kingdom that God hath prepared for them
that love Him.
Robert Bickersteth, D.D.

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