Philippians 3:8-16

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.


Paul counted all of his many religious accolades as garbage so that he could gain Christ and know him more. He wants to know the power that raised Christ from the dead. In other words, he longs for an ever-increasing supply of the power that proceeds from the risen and exalted Savior. He also desires to share in Christ's sufferings and death, recognizing that suffering is part of what brings about refining in our life. 

Finally, Paul describes his focus on pressing on to reach the end of the race and to receive the heavenly prize. Picture a runner straining every nerve and muscle as he keeps on running with all his might toward the goal, his hand stretched out as if to grasp it. This is the impression Paul is trying to ale. 

All of this is part of what it means for us to follow Jesus: to know him more; to share in his resurrection power and in his sufferings and death; and to press on to reach our heavenly prize. What is this heavenly prize? In part, the blessings of everlasting life such as perfect wisdom, joy, holiness, peace, fellowship, all enjoyed to the glory of God, in a restored universe, and in the company of Christ and all the saints. This is our destination.


1. What does it mean to share in Christ's resurrection power? And his sufferings?

2. What does following Jesus look like in your life? How are you "pressing on"?


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