by Oscar M. Baker
-WIN AND ATTAIN-
These two words seem to be the key note to the Philippians. We do not find the teaching of doctrine here as we do in Ephesians & Colossians, but rather a working out of salvation. Salvation is received by faith. Membership in the One Body with its attendant blessings also is received by faith. But here in Philippians 3 are some things to be won and attained to, outside of mere faith. It is a case of striving.
Also, closely related are three great themes which themselves might be developed into books. They are; THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, and CONFORMITY UNTO HIS DEATH.
The content of verses 8 & 9, and 10 & 11 may be outlined thus;
A. The knowledge of Christ.
B. Lose of all things (cost).
C. Win Christ (goal).
A. The knowing of Him.
B. Loss of all things (cost).
C. Attain resurrection (goal)
-KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWING-
A complete knowledge of anyone cannot be had without a fellowship of joys and sufferings. We might have a speaking acquaintance with a person but not know anything of the mind of that person. If we are to have the mind of Christ in us, then we must have some knowledge and understanding of His life, problems, joys, sufferings, and even death. His interests will be our interests. We will love those He loves. We will hate the things He hates. We will pray for those He prays for, and witness to those to whom He would speak
-LOSS AND SUFFERING-
This means the loss of all things which are the center of our own selfish desires. It does not mean giving things up and yet still hankering after them. Then the Lord becomes the center of our affections fully, then everything else is excluded, we have no interest in them. This death to the things of the world is a very necessary experience if we would come to know the power of His resurrection.
To win Christ and to attain to an earlier out resurrection from among the dead (see verse 11) requires conformity to the death of Christ. In death, our Lord conformed Himself to the Father’s will and did not take the way offered by the tempter. In life, He did nothing and spoke nothing of Himself, but only what the Father willed.
To make this conformity requires the loss of the soul. The soul, as used in the Word, stands for all that goes to make up the man, his life, his faculties, and his activities; every possibility of his being. “But I make of no account, not hold I my SOUL valuable to myself, so that I may finish my course, etc.” (Acts 20:24). “For whosoever may will to save his SOUL on My account, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if the whole world he may gain, and his SOUL he shall forfeit? or what shall a man give in ransom for his SOUL?” (Matthew 16:24-27).
A man can forfeit his soul (I am not speaking of salvation) by taking interest in things of the world and then when it is too late, what would he give as a ransom for what he had so cheaply sold? Remember Esau. He sold out for a very small price. He could not regain what he had lost; there was no repentance for him.
We who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ and have a place in the body of Christ may go on to perfection. We may lose our souls for His sake and then find them again in a better resurrection.
Paul was not sure in Philippians 3:12 that he had yet attained the goal, but in his last epistle he was able to say with confidence, “I have finished my course…. henseforth a crown.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8).
by Oscar M. Baker