Gaining Christ


Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.  Self-righteousness is repugnant to God, but the righteousness which is from God by faith is an unsurpassed excellence.  We count all things loss for this excellence.  We count all things as rubbish in comparison with gaining Christ.  Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.

What is mean by knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection in Philippians 3.10?  This power is certainly found in the fact that the death of Christ is an incomplete story.  Jesus offered up His life’s blood for us.  He then appeared in the presence of God for us as the resurrected Christ (Hebrews 9.24).  If He is not risen, His work is not finished.  But He is and it is (John 19.30).  He was delivered up to death with a view toward our offense;  He was raised from the dead with a view toward making us right before the Father (Romans 4.25).  “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8.34).

The power of His resurrection gave entrance for the Spirit to indwell and empower the believer.  Jesus said that it was to our advantage that He went away. If He had not, the Helper would not have come to us.  But He departed, and He sent the Helper to us (John 16.7).  We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Promised One (Acts 2.38-39).  “Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14.9).

The power of His resurrection will exalt us to glory.  “By man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15.21).  Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14.2-3).  “The forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever” (Hebrews 6.20).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection is experiential and relational knowledge.  The resurrection of Christ establishes the foundation of faith.  It is one thing to read about faith, it’s another to experience it.  Do you have a faith that overcomes the lusts of the flesh?  Do you have a faith that draws you close to God?  Do you have a faith that moves you to delight in those things in which God delights?  If you do, you are experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection quickens hope.  Hope comes to those who continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  You ride out the storms of doubt, trial, and adversity.  You keep dependent in times of prosperity.  You trust in the LORD.  You know your sinfulness, but you also know the power of His blood.  You know your weakness, but you also know the sufficiency of His grace.  You are confident of this very thing:  that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phiippians 1.6).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection transforms temporal life into eternal life.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15.13).  This hope-filled, eternal quality of life paves the way for temporal suffering within the sphere of joy and peace.  Only the hopeful are able to enter into the sufferings of Christ.  The power of His resurrection carries us through the fellowship of His sufferings.


Making Your Marriage a Goldmine

Doug Lowery spoke of the precious nature of marriage by comparing it to gold.  There are five qualities required for our marriages to be golden:

  1. Each must remain true to their PROMISE.  William Bennett attended a wedding where the groom and bride vowed to remain together “as long as love shall last.”  Bennett said, “I sent paper plates as my wedding gift.”  Marriage is as long as both shall live (Romans 7.1-3; 1 Corinthians 7.39).
  2. Each must remain PURE.  Gross immorality is corrosive to marriage.  Guard your eyes (Psalm 101.3; Job 31.1) and your heart (Proverbs 4.23).
  3. Each must remain PATIENT (1 Corinthians 13.4-8).  Difficulties, disagreements, and differences refine dross from our marriages.  We must be filled with the Spirit and manifest sacrificial love and longsuffering with one another.  We must be patient and endure.
  4. Each must remain PASSIONATE (1 Corinthians 7.1-5).  Sexual intimacy is a wonderful part of marriage.  The Word of God calls it undefiled.
  5. Each must remain PLIABLE (Romans 8.29).  Allow Christ to shape you into His image.  Realize you cannot change your spouse.  You must rely upon Spirit-filled, Word-filled change (PBPWM. GINFWMY.  Do you remember what Doug said this acronym meant?

Paul J. Tillich

Paul J. Tillich, who until his death in the mid-1960s was one of America’s best-known theologians.  He established his career in his native Germany before coming to the US during the rise of Hitler and later becoming an American citizen.  He was a constant student of the Scripture; his students claimed that he could quote the entire Greek NT from memory.  On his deathbed he asked his wife to read to him again from his beloved Greek New Testament.  Yet Tillich was a regular user of pornography and repeatedly was unfaithful to his wife.  Furthermore, “The System,” as he called his theological beliefs, rejected the importance of the literal truth of Scripture or even the literal existence of Jesus Christ.  He played a major role in applying existentialist philosophy to Scripture and in so doing helped place a wedge between an entire generation of theological students and the God they studied.

The Holy Spirit brings about salvation in our hearts.  No amount of study will enable a man to know God apart from the Holy Spirit.

From my study in the BJU British Literature Curriculum