Sometimes I check out other interpretations of Bible Verses. Today, The Message version wrote about Knowing Him Personally in Philippians 3: 2 -11:
Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book. The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ.
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
Biting words from Paul! Barking Dogs, Religious Busybodies, Knife-happy Circumcisers; I do not want to be on that list! Forget lists, forget pedigree, forget credentials – Paul says to throw it in the trash! Paul says everything we once thought was so important is dog dung!
Aaaah; but read between the lines – Real Believers fill the air with Christ’s praise – not by carrying the load by our own but carrying the load through Christ! Believers consider the high privilege of know Jesus as our Master – as we embrace Christ – He embraces us. Right Living comes from Trusting Christ. By knowing Christ personally, through His resurrection power, we can go all the Way with Him – running the perfect race all the way Home!
One more thought from The Message: But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.