THE CASE OF SAUL OF TARSUS
When Paul was Saul of Tarsus, he was such a person, a Pharisee, a persecutor of the church, and one blameless according to the law. According to the law, according to zeal for the Lord, and according to the righteousness of the law, he was perfect, fully qualified to be a "top dog" in Judaism. But one day a light suddenly shined upon him from heaven, and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4). When Saul asked who was speaking to him, the Lord Jesus said, "I am Jesus" (Acts 9:5). Saul was shocked. He thought that Jesus was still in the tomb, but now he heard Him speaking from the heavens. Before that time, Saul saw clearly, but now he was blind. When Paul was Saul of Tarsus, he could say that he was circumcised on the eighth day, that he was of the stock of Israel, that he was of the tribe of Benjamin, that he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, that according to the law he was a Pharisee, that according to zeal he persecuted the church, and that according to the righteousness of the law he was blameless. But now he was blind. Yet in his blindness he saw Christ. It pleased God the Father to reveal His Son, Jesus Christ, in him. That day on the road to Damascus Paul began to see Christ. However, he did not see Him once for all. Rather, throughout the years, he saw Him again and again.
Because Paul had come to know Christ, he obtained the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. On account of this excellency, he counted all things loss. Paul counted all things loss first on account of Christ, then on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
ON ACCOUNT OF CHRIST
In Philippians 3 Paul shows that Christ is versus the law. In this chapter we see two contrasting phrases: "according to the law" and "on account of Christ." Are you a person according to something, or a person on account of something? We should not be people according to anything, but people on account of Christ, on account of a wonderful Person. We are not here according to religion or even according to the Lord’s recovery. We are here on account of the Person of Christ. Moreover, we are not even according to Christ, but on account of Christ. To be according to something is to imitate it or to follow it outwardly. But to be on account of something means that thing gets into us. We are on account of Christ because Christ has come into us. In Philippians 3 Paul seemed to be saying, "On account of Christ, I count all things loss. According to the law, I was a Pharisee; according to zeal, I persecuted the church; and according to the righteousness of the law, I was blameless. I worked and behaved according to the law. But I am no longer a man according to the law. Now I am a man on account of Christ. Christ has changed my life and revolutionized my whole being. He has come into me to be my life, my nature, and even my disposition. I am now on account of Him. On account of Him, I have counted as loss every religious and natural gain." Paul also said that he counted all things loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. How excellent Christ is! However, many traditional Christians oppose the excellency of Christ.
A wonderful Person, Christ, has visited me and has come into me. Now He is taking possession of me and making His home in me. Many times He makes me happy, but sometimes He causes me to be unhappy. A few times I have even begged Him to leave, but He always refuses. Once He has come in, He will remain forever. Neither anything religious nor anything natural can be compared with Him.
THE FATHER REVEALING THE SON TO US
In Matthew 11:27 the Lord Jesus said that no one knows the Son except the Father. When I first read this verse, I was disappointed, wondering how I could ever know Christ. But in Matthew 16 we see that it is possible for us to know Christ through the Father’s revelation of Him. The revelation concerning the Son was given to Peter by the Father. When Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lord Jesus said, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father Who is in the heavens" (Matt. 16:17). Only the Father knows the Son. Yet, the Father wants to reveal Him to us.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)