To be a Christian is to be a warrior.

The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field.

Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God.

His occupation is war.

Nov 27, 2011

The Excellency of Knowing Him!

No life of ease for Paul.

He was met with perils on every side…

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  
2 Cor 11:26 

His body pushed to the extreme….

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  
2 Cor 11:24-25

And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.  
Act 14:19   

Physically, emotionally and spiritually…

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 
2 Cor 11:27 -28

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  
2 Cor 12:7   

Yet, in all these things….

The power of God was being revealed…

And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 
Acts 19:11-12   

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.  
Acts 14:3 

And his fame spread abroad…

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.   And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.  
Acts 16:4 -5

And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,  Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.  
Acts 21:27-8

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;   
Acts 17:5 -6

Even the devils knew him…

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  
Act 19:13 -15  

Paul held nothing back.

He gave EVERYTHING he had to give…

His reputation, his career, his ministry…

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ
Philip 3:5 -7

He counted ALL things as loss…

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung…  
Philip 3:8

In fact, the ONLY thing Paul cared about…

In his own words…

That I may win Christ, And be found in him…

 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, 
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable 
unto his death;  If by any means I might attain 
unto the resurrection of the dead. 
Philip 3:9 -10

To KNOW Him…
                   the POWER of His resurrection…
                                        the FELLOWSHIP of His sufferings…

Is NO life of ease.

Paul was willing to pay the cost …

                                         for the EXCELLENCY of KNOWING Christ…

Are you willing?


  1. Thanks for pulling all these scriptures together to form one bigger picture of Paul.

    I think it's interesting that Paul was not living in the "last days," yet... he had perils, persecutions, and afflictions on every side. He endured that he might be ready for the coming of the Lord and he exhorted the church to be watchful. Someone I know does not see the effectiveness of preparing spiritually, physically, and emotionally for the last days because she does not believe we are in such days.

    Yet, Paul has taught me a new lesson. It's a minor point whether we are in the last days or not. (Of course, we must still be watchful and vigilant). The point is that we must be ready in season AND out of season! Paul lived prepared and ready for the Lord's coming. And because he was ready, he was able to endure his perils and persecutions. Did the Lord come again in his time? No. He didn't. But Paul was still prepared and because he was prepared, he was able to finish the race that was set before him.

    I don't know if that made sense... but I found that really interesting. It doesn't matter whether someone believes we're in the last days or not- as long as they prepare as though we are.

  2. Yes! Paul had a single eye for finishing the race God laid out before him. He was ever pressing forward, against many hardships and difficulties, for the EXCELLENCY of knowing Christ! May we all firmly fix our gaze upon Him who gave everything to redeem us unto Himself.