James Nisbet Commentary - Philippians 3:9 - 3:9

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James Nisbet Commentary - Philippians 3:9 - 3:9

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‘And be found in Him.’


The words ‘found in Him’ are one of the seven wishes of St. Paul. To the early Christians the words ‘in Christ’ meant so much—indeed they meant everything.

I. It should be the very golden core of our religion, the summit of our hopes, all our salvation, and all our desire. In St. Paul’s Epistles the phrase ‘in Christ’ occurs thirty-three times, and that is not counting the equivalents ‘in Him’ and ‘in the Lord.’

II. The Christian’s righteousness.—Luther tells us that for a long time when reading the Epistle to the Romans he could not understand the expression ‘the righteousness of God.’ He at first took it to mean God’s justice. This filled him with terror, for he knew himself to be a great sinner. After a time the true light dawned. He saw that ‘the righteousness of God’ means God’s gift of righteousness, the justifying righteousness which is ‘unto all and upon all them that believe’ (Rom_3:22).

III. Those who wish to be found in Christ have a deep sense of their own sin and guilt. Like Samuel Rutherford, they say, ‘I have been a wretched, sinful man, but I stand at the best pass that ever a man did—Christ is mine, and I am His.’ Like Mr. Wet-eyes, in the Holy War, they say, ‘I see dirt in mine own tears, and filthiness in my prayers.’

Rev. F. Harper.