Can you explain Philippians 3:10?


I am still studying all about fellowship. It is a very interesting study.

Now I think I understand what you have been saying that fellowship (koinonia) is a noun and it helps to think of it like we do the word "friendship." So if two people are friends, they are friends based on their shared beliefs and interests. It is because they are friends that they do things together but those things are not the friendship ... they do them because they are friends. The same is true when we talk about fellowship (koinonia). Am I right about that?

If I am right about that, then I am having trouble understanding Philippians 3:10. Paul said he wanted to "know the fellowship (kiononia) of His suffering". It seems like Paul is saying he wanted share in Christ sufferings or he wanted to suffer for Christ. Well, that doesn't seem to fit what you say koinonia means because koinonia is a state of being, not what you do.

Well, maybe you can help me understand how what Paul is saying fits in with the definition of koinonia.


"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10).

You're not being fair with the grammar in this verse. The action is "know." How do you do "power?" You can't. But Paul wanted to know the power of Jesus' resurrection. How do you do "fellowship?" You can't. But Paul wanted to know the fellowship of Jesus' sufferings.

Paul stated that he wanted to understand Jesus better. He wanted to understand and experience the power found in Jesus' resurrection. He wanted to understand and experience the fellowship found in Jesus' sufferings. In other words, he wanted to know Jesus thoroughly both in the great things and the difficult things that Jesus faced.

Yes, Paul wished to have a common experience of suffering so that he could experience a bond with his Lord. "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (I Peter 4:12-13). Our own sufferings give us a connection with our Savior, helps us to understand him, and forges a fellowship between us and him.

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