Spurgeon on Philippians 3:8-10

I found the following portion of a sermon delivered by Spurgeon to be especially appropriate to the study planned for this morning.  The whole sermon can be read at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols34-36/chs2080.pdf, it is worth reading!

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.”-Philippians 3:10.

Paul, in the verses before the text, had deliberately laid aside his own personal righteousness. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law.”

It is insinuated in these days that a belief in the righteousness of faith will lead men to care little for good works, that it will act as a sedative to their zeal, and therefore they will exhibit no ardor for holiness. The very reverse is seen in the case of the apostle, and in the case of all who cast aside the righteousness of the law, that they may be clothed with that righteousness “which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

Paul made a list of his advantages as to confidence in the flesh, and they were very great; but he turned his back upon them all for Christ’s sake; but accepting Christ to be everything to him, did he, therefore, sit down in self-content, and imagine that personal character was nothing? By no manner of means. A noble ambition fired his soul: he longed to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means he might attain unto the resurrection from the dead. He became a holy walker, and a heavenly runner, because of what he saw in Christ Jesus.

Be you sure of this, that the less you value your own righteousness, the more will you seek after true holiness; the less you think of your own beauty, the more ardently will you long to become like the Lord Jesus. Those who dream of being saved by their own good works are usually those who have no good works worth mentioning; while those who sincerely lay aside all hope of salvation by their own merits, are fruitful in every virtue to the praise of God. Nor is this a strange thing; for the less a man thinks of himself, the more he will think of Christ, and the more will he aim at being like him. The less esteem he has of his own past good works, the more earnest will he be to show his gratitude for being saved by grace through the righteousness of Christ. Faith works by love, and purifies the soul, and sets the heart a running after the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus; hence it is a purifying and active principle, and by no means the inert thing which some suppose it to be.

…I want you to observe, at the very outset, that all Paul desired to know was always in connection with our Lord himself. He says, “That I may know HIM, and the power of his resurrection.” Jesus first, and then the power of his resurrection. Beware of studying doctrine, precept, or experiences apart from the Lord Jesus, who is the soul of all. Doctrine without Christ will be nothing better than his empty tomb; doctrine with Christ is a glorious high throne, with the King sitting thereon. Precepts without Christ are impossible commands; but precepts from the lips of Jesus have a quickening effect upon the heart. Without Christ you can do nothing; but, abiding in him, you bring forth much fruit. Always let your preaching and your hearing look towards the personal Savior. This makes all the difference in preaching. Ministers may preach sound doctrine by itself, and be utterly without unction; but those who preach it in connection with the person of the blessed Lord have an anointing which nothing else can give. Christ himself, by the Holy Ghost, is the savor of a true ministry.

(Text courtesy of: AGES Library®, LLC. ● www.ageslibrary.com ● Rio, WI USA ● © 2006)


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