The apostle Paul had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ. We have our own unique relationship. Are we cultivating it?
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Romans 6:3-5
Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). From his testimony before the crowd in Jerusalem many years into his ministry, we learn that Jesus appeared to Paul in a trance telling him to leave Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-18, his first time back as a follower of Jesus). As Paul was taken into custody by the Romans, he had a visitation by the Lord who told him to “take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). Paul understood that the Lord and the Spirit are synonymous. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit,” and in verse 18, “which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Luke mentions the Holy Spirit’s leading Paul on several occasions: Acts 13:2, 16:6-7, 19:1-7, 20:22-23, 21:4, and 11.
Paul met with the Lord on several occasions. In fact, Jesus told him, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16). We also know from Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 that he “was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.”
What did Paul think about his interaction with Jesus? “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:7-8a).
How are we in this department? Do we crave knowing Christ? Are we interested enough in His opinion to make it our own? Paul continues,
8 I consider them garbage, 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 on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
May we begin today to seek Christ, to know Him in His power, His suffering, in His death, and ultimately, in His resurrection.
Abba, knowing Jesus better is my goal in life. The only way I know to achieve this goal is to spend time with Him: reading Your Word, consulting Him on every decision, seeking direction, obeying instructions, receiving guidance, and basking in His presence and participation in my life. Thank You, Jesus, for wanting to live in and with me. Amen.