Week 3 - Philippians 3:7-8

Week 3 – Philippians 3:7-8:  7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

The gain that Paul had was religious power and prestige. He was quickly becoming known as one of the preeminent Pharisees. He had the pedigree (see preceding verses), the education, and the zeal. Then he met Jesus. In an instant, the glory of Christ put everything in perspective, especially all the self-righteous gain he had obtained. That glory caused everything in his life to pale in comparison. It is now better to be disadvantaged and destitute of worldly gain because knowing Jesus as Lord is far superior. He lives in the reality of Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:25-26:

25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Due to the gain we have in Christ, Paul is willing to lose everything else, including his life. All that he was and all that he had was as useless to him now as animal dung. He is in fact proclaiming that Jesus is the greatest treasure! What a testimony from a former persecutor of Jesus and His followers! What a contrast from before and after encountering the glory of Christ! He has realized that man can never be more rich, happy, content, hopeful, or joyful than when he has received the grace of God and been made an heir of the kingdom through Jesus Christ.

Despite your position, or lack thereof in this world, our Lord recognizes first recognizes that we are sinners and enemies of God by nature. He comes to reconcile us to the Father because of that.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Cor. 5:17-21)

What is greater than knowing Christ Jesus as Lord? What is greater than the promises proclaimed by Jesus of the resurrection of our bodies, the inheritance of an eternal kingdom, and dwelling in the house of the Lord forever?
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

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