3:10 {5} That I may {i} know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the {6} fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

(5) This is the end of righteousness by faith with regard to us, that by the power of his resurrection we may escape from death.

(i) That I may indeed feel him, and have an experience of him.

(6) The way to that eternal salvation is to follow Christ's steps by afflictions and persecutions, until we come to Christ himself, who is our mark at which we aim, and receive that reward to which God calls us in him. And the apostle sets these true exercises of godliness against those vain ceremonies of the Law, in which the false apostles put the sum of godliness.

3:10 That I may know him. By enjoying his presence in the soul; an experimental knowledge.

And the power of his resurrection. The resurrection demonstrated him to be the Son of God with power (Ro 1:4). The mighty power that worked in his resurrection works in the saints (1) in their resurrection from spiritual death to a new life (Col 2:13 Eph 1:19-23). It is therefore a present power. (2) It works also when they are lifted from the dead to eternal life. Consciousness of the victory over sin is the earnest of the ultimate triumph over death.

And the fellowship of his sufferings. Christ's life is the plan of that of the saint. Like him, we take the cross, are crucified with him (Ro 6:6), are baptized into his death (Ro 6:3), are planted in the likeness of his death, and are risen with him (Col 3:1). In all these we look to the suffering Savior, and are

conformable to his death. Not only do we take the form of his sufferings, but we sympathize with him. If the obedience is from the heart, there is a partaking of his sufferings.

3:10 The knowledge of Christ, mentioned in the eighth verse , is here more largely explained. That I may know him - As my complete Saviour. And the power of his resurrection - Raising me from the death of sin, into all the life of love. And the fellowship of his sufferings - Being crucified with him. And made conformable to his death - So as to be dead to all things here below.

3:1-11 Sincere Christians rejoice in Christ Jesus. The prophet calls the false prophets dumb dogs, Isa 56:10; to which the apostle seems to refer. Dogs, for their malice against faithful professors of the gospel of Christ, barking at them and biting them. They urged human works in opposition to the faith of Christ; but Paul calls them evil-workers. He calls them the concision; as they rent the church of Christ, and cut it to pieces. The work of religion is to no purpose, unless the heart is in it, and we must worship God in the strength and grace of the Divine Spirit. They rejoice in Christ Jesus, not in mere outward enjoyments and performances. Nor can we too earnestly guard against those who oppose or abuse the doctrine of free salvation. If the apostle would have gloried and trusted in the flesh, he had as much cause as any man. But the things which he counted gain while a Pharisee, and had reckoned up, those he counted loss for Christ. The apostle did not persuade them to do any thing but what he himself did; or to venture on any thing but that on which he himself ventured his never-dying soul. He deemed all these things to be but loss, compared with the knowledge of Christ, by faith in his person and salvation. He speaks of all worldly enjoyments and outward privileges which sought a place with Christ in his heart, or could pretend to any merit and desert, and counted them but loss; but it might be said, It is easy to say so; but what would he do when he came to the trial? He had suffered the loss of all for the privileges of a Christian. Nay, he not only counted them loss, but the vilest refuse, offals thrown to dogs; not only less valuable than Christ, but in the highest degree contemptible, when set up as against him. True knowledge of Christ alters and changes men, their judgments and manners, and makes them as if made again anew. The believer prefers Christ, knowing that it is better for us to be without all worldly riches, than without Christ and his word. Let us see what the apostle resolved to cleave to, and that was Christ and heaven. We are undone, without righteousness wherein to appear before God, for we are guilty. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ, and it is a complete and perfect righteousness. None can have benefit by it, who trust in themselves. Faith is the appointed means of applying the saving benefit. It is by faith in Christ's blood. We are made conformable to Christ's death, when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. The apostle was willing to do or to suffer any thing, to attain the glorious resurrection of saints. This hope and prospect carried him through all difficulties in his work. He did not hope to attain it through his own merit and righteousness, but through the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ.