In Philippians 3 Paul exhorts the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord rather than in their own perceived adequacy (Philippians 3:1). Paul uses himself as an illustration, explaining that in his flesh he had many reasons to have confidence (Philippians 3:4–6). Yet he put none of his confidence in his own accomplishments (Philippians 3:3). Instead, he looked to the power of Jesus’ resurrection (Philippians 3:10). He counted all the things that most would consider as gain to be loss (Philippians 3:7). In comparison to Christ, everything else was rubbish (Philippians 3:8). Only Christ was of value to Paul. Paul found his confidence and joy in the Lord, and he looked to the power of Jesus’ resurrection: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection.”
Rather than put confidence in the flesh, Paul was confident in the work God had done in his life to make Paul righteous not by works of the Law of Moses, but by faith in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9). Paul knew that real righteousness does not come from works but from belief in Jesus (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8–9). Paul counted his own personal achievements to be nothing. He counted of utmost importance the fact that by God’s grace he had gained Christ (Philippians 3:8) and righteousness (Philippians 3:9). Paul would be found in Christ (Philippians 3:9) and knew Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
Paul even knew the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings, being conformed to the death of Christ (Philippians 3:10). This is another way of saying that Paul (and all believers in Christ) had been accounted as dying with Christ. Because of these things, Paul looked forward to being resurrected from the dead (Philippians 3:11). As Paul put it elsewhere, if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also be raised up with Him and glorified with Him (Romans 6:6–8). This was the power of His resurrection.
Jesus died as a substitute for sin. All who believe in Him receive His righteousness and are redeemed from death and separation from God. One day, Jesus will be revealed in glory, and we will be revealed in glory with Him (Colossians 3:4). This is what Paul understood. Everything in life pales in comparison to the great glory of knowing Christ. Christ showed by His resurrection that He has the power to conquer death and ultimately to provide true life to all who believe in Him. This knowledge was more valuable to Paul than anything else in life.
Because of the power of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul had confidence in Jesus and could rejoice in the Lord. Because of the power of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul could challenge all believers to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1) and to value above all else the knowledge of Christ (Philippians 3:8), counting everything else as worthless in comparison.