Being Able to Do All Things in Christ (3)
Phil. 4:12 I know also how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to lack. (13) I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.
3:8 …that I may gain Christ (9) And be found in Him…
(Part 3 of 3)
In 4:13 Paul refers to Christ as the One who “empowers me.” To be so empowered is to be made dynamic inwardly. Christ dwells in us (Col. 1:27). He empowers us, makes us dynamic, from within, not from without. By such inward empowering Paul could do all things in Christ. In 4:13 we find the secret to which Paul refers in verse 12. Here Paul says that he is in Christ, in the One who empowers him. In chapter three Paul testified that he pursued Christ in order to gain Him and be found in Him. Now in 4:13 Paul says that he is in Him. In Christ as the One who empowers him Paul could do all things.
He could say, “Christ is my secret of sufficiency. As long as I have Him and as long as I am in Him, I can do all things in Him.”
To appreciate Paul’s word we need to join the phrase “in Him” in 4:13 to the same phrase in 3:9. In 3:9 Paul aspired to be found in Him; in 4:13 Paul declared that being in Him he could do all things in the One who empowered him. This is the secret.
Our circumstances may change. In certain circumstances we may abound, and in others we may be abased. But whether we abound or are abased, the enjoyment of the Lord is the same. Perhaps he enjoyed more of Christ when he was poor than when he was rich. This, however, is my understanding. Perhaps Paul would say, “No, I enjoy Christ equally when I am abased and when I am abounding. It makes no difference to me whether I am rich or poor, high or low. The enjoyment of Christ is the same.”
Even though the enjoyment might be the same, the taste might still be different. Whether or not there was any difference in enjoyment or in taste, it is certain that Paul had learned the secret.