The Epistle to the Philippians - Chapter 3

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What is called holiness is generally righteousness. For acceptance righteousness is wanted, not holiness. Righteousness looks at meeting every claim of the relationships in which we are. Holiness is the activity of the nature in its own delights, or the abhorrence of evil. There is the new nature in us, but no nature can exist without an object. Our own righteousness and law go together, the righteousness of God and faith. The two parts of righteousness are, first Christ died to clear away my sins (Romans; second, that in which God has His glory (Rom. 8). The position is never fully brought out until the first man is cleared away; then I find myself in the Second before God. In Corinthians the aspect of righteousness is higher than in Romans because more connected with the counsels of God. What Paul looks for, as an object, is what forms him now. If we were risen what would trouble be? He is looking for a condition in which he will have done with the whole thing. Instead of suffering being a terror to him, it was only making him more like Christ, You could not kill a dead man (2 Cor. 1:99But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (2 Corinthians 1:9)). He would be nearer being raised from the dead when he was dead than when alive. Christ's resurrection had set aside the power of death. Verse io presents power along the road; verse II, future resurrection. The power is not the object. It is present attainment by future resurrection-a thing already accomplished in Christ. It is resurrection from among the dead: there is no attainment at all in the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection from among the dead is the resurrection of those in whom God has the same delight as He has in Christ-it is the expression of it. That they without us should not be made perfect proves that the Old Testament saints are included in it (Heb. 11:4040God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)).
Two things Paul was running after, to be with Christ, and to be like Christ.
There are three classes in the chapter. First the perfect Christian who is not stopping short of being raised like Christ in glory. Second, real Christians but in the imperfect state of not having got hold of this. They rest in the work of Christ, they love Him, but have not got the power of the calling on high. Third, those who bear the name of Christ but are not His at all.