Can you please explain what Paul means when he says, “That I might know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil 3:10) How could understanding these truths lead one into personal revival?
Thank you, Eric
Thank you for the question on this rich text. The unfolding of such an in-depth verse really needs more than a quick article, but I will attempt to summarize.
Paul is desirous to know Jesus. The word does not convey a mere intellectual pursuit but points instead to obtaining experiential knowledge. Paul desires to experience Jesus—His very life. This is the essence of personal revival.
Revival (or life again) on a personal level is a restoration to spiritual life, to the life of God (life in the Spirit). It is accessing the eternal life of Jesus as the abundant life. When the Spirit fills you with the life of Jesus, you experience Jesus. You know Him as the animating dynamic to your personality.
This thought merges into the next as Paul speaks of the power of His resurrection. The word power translates from dunamis, emphasizing ability. Jesus conquered sin, and His nature is implanted in believers. The new man rose with Christ and consists of the divine nature. This new core is where the Holy Spirit indwells believers to lead and empower with the divine life. Paul desired to experience the ability of Jesus in His resurrection life. He wanted to know the life of Jesus as the overcoming life.
The next phrase adds the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. We all want the power of His resurrected life, but at what cost? Do we want to partake in His sufferings? The power of Jesus is not for accomplishing our will; it is for the divine will. Dying to self-will then is vital to living to God’s will. This may involve being looked down upon, being considered the offscouring of the earth, or enduring active persecution. So it was with Jesus. But those who honor Jesus, choosing Him and trusting in Him will experience Jesus in His fullness—and that is personal revival.
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