Sharing fully the sufferings and the glory

Philippians-1-29

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for March 26, 2015 comes from Philippians 1:29 (NIV):

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.

The verse is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

29 For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake not only to believe in (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) Him, but also to suffer in His behalf.

This particular verse also brings to mind Philippians 3:10-11 (Amplified Bible):

10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

God desires that each individual believer might know Christ, that is, have a personal knowledge of who he is, to know him. This kind of knowing corresponds to the Greek word ginosko, translated “to know” in the New Testament.  Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger in his Critical Greek Concordance and Lexicon translates the verb:

To perceive, observe, obtain knowledge of or insight into.  It denotes a personal and true relationship between the person knowing and the object known, i.e. to be influenced by one’s knowledge of the object, to suffer one’s self to be determined thereby (p. 485).

Once an individual knows God on such an intimate, experiential level, that person “knows for himself or herself,” and that individual is forever changed.

God desires that we know him, as He expresses His deep desire for intimacy on a very personal level. We come to know God through the Word of God. As we establish and maintain our relationship with him, we also experience not only the power of his resurrection but also the fellowship of sufferings, a sharing fully, knowing that if we suffer with him we will also be glorified with him, as Romans 8:18 makes known:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.

As we move into the season preceding the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we take comfort in knowing that as we partake of his suffering, we shall also be partakers or those who share fully in the glory of his resurrection.

In expressing our desire to know Christ on such an intimate level, we become “seekers of God’s heart,” expressed in this moving song by Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, and Steve Green:

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