As I share the account of Paul's sufferings and accomplishment in relation to his gospel - in today's article, I still want to remind you that this topic, "Deeper knowledge of Christ" is based on what the efficacious influence of the significance of Christ's atoning sacrifice means to apostle Paul, when viewed from his personal perspective.
Reference: Philippians 3:10-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.…"
As a true servant of Christ, as well as an ambassador for Christ, Paul wanted to produce the same representative character and exact experiences of Christ on earth. That's the summary of the versified statement above. The very thought that the sufferings and death of Christ were the greatest expression of Divine love - must have moved him to desire to know the very Christ Jesus that walked the earth - in and out, by experiencing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, plus conforming to Him in His death, and attaining to His resurrection from the dead, which are the main subjects of His ministry's work and acts of reconciliation.
Paul was quite successful as a preacher, due to the truth that he was self-denying, laborious, and an unselfish instrument in the hand of God. Those gracious habits were developed under the sufferings he personally encountered, which were the effects of his unwavering love for Christ.
Furthermore, the gracious habits were infused into Paul by his diligent commitment and by discharge of his ministry as a selfless apostle, and by the empowering influence of the Holy Spirit, he was able to convert the habits into massive soul winning and reconciliation strategies.
As a result of a divine utterance attached to his calling in Acts 9:16, Paul severely laboured in the Lord's vineyard and bumpily preached the Word in season and out of season, travelling over a greater part of the world. Three times he was beaten with rods, once he was pelted with stones, and thrice, he was shipwrecked. He spent a night and a day in the open sea and had been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. Many a time, he laboured and toiled for the sake of the gospel and often went without sleep. He knew what being hungry and thirsty was all about, having often gone without food and been in the cold naked. Besides everything else, he daily faced the pressure of his concern for all the churches (see 2nd Corinthians 11:25-28 NIV). What a great apostle and precious treasure to the body of Christ!
In spite of his plight, Paul humbly acknowledged and attributed all the rewards of his labour to the grace of God at work in his life. He preached oftener than others, and was instrumental in planting more churches, thereby converting many souls. He wrote more books than any other biblical author in the new Testament, which made him the most copious contributor to the New Testament scriptures, even though he endured more hardships and sufferings than any of the other apostles.
Indeed, he was a true servant and apostle of Christ, and we have so much to learn from him or gain from his epistolary expressions, even though I do not support some of his personal prayer points, as a result of the greater picture of God's grace based on the revelation knowledge of the Word. Stay tuned for part 7. Shalom!
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Praise God!