8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Sanctified - "set apart" unto God.
First the "Deeper Life," then how it is attained.
1. Deeper in intimacy, vs. 8.
"That I may know Him." Not "know more about Him." But to "know Him."
Paul hungered for a deeper relationship with God.
Intimacy, not just information
Example - Dick Eastman in his book "Beyond Imagination."
He was thirty years old, in the ministry, but very discouraged. It seemed like everything was going wrong. He was on a flight to Chicago, and he had decided to quit. But then he thought that is what the Devil wants, so he began to pray on the plane. He wrestled and struggled for hours on the plane before he felt relief, and he decided to trust God fully and continue. He got off the plane, and was standing in the terminal, when a man in a suit with a briefcase came and stood beside him, just staring out the window. Soon another man in an identical suit with and identical briefcase came and stood beside the first man, again not talking, but staring out the window. Eventually, one of the men spoke and said, "Whatever happened to that Eastman fellow? I heard he was going to quit the company." The other man replied. " I just got a call from headquarters, and he decided not to quit. It was touch and go there for a while, and we thought we might lose him. But he decided to stay." Dick Eastman was just about to say, "Who are you guys?" when they turned and walked away and into the crowd.
A.W. Tozer - wrote "The Pursuit of God"
"But to spend time with Tozer was to be exposed predominantly to his contagious thirst for God Himself. From his tutoring I now find myself able to call almost any message "Thirsting after God" no matter what page of the Bible I preach from." Keith Price in the April 9, 1997 "Alliance Life"
2. A deeper righteousness, vs. 9.
Paul hungered and thirsted for a deeper holiness, a righteousness that comes from God by faith. Naturally, this goes along with a deeper intimacy with God. God is absolutely holy, and to be intimate with God is to loathe our own sinfulness, and to thirst for God's holiness.
This righteousness which Paul talks about is more than imputed righteousness. It is a clean and pure heart and life.
Example - The newly painted walls of this sanctuary. They look very clean. How it would break some hearts if the walls were quickly dirtied and messed up. When God saves us, He makes us clean. He doesn't want us then to go back and wallow in sin.
3. A deeper sharing of Christ's life.
10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
How is the deeper life attained?
Want it more than anything else. Be ready to count all things loss.
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Once God begins to give us this hunger and thirst, it is a matter of "pressing on" in faith.
"'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,' declares the LORD."
We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be. True, there are times when we would like to know a deeper intimacy, but when it comes to the point, we are not prepared to pay the price involved. J. Oswald Saunders
"He who is satisfied has never truly craved for God." Abraham Herschel.
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