“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11).
Rubbish For Reward
To say that Paul was an amazing person is an understatement. He gave up so much to be a disciple of Christ and he had a good attitude about what he had lost compared to what he had gained. He was among the elite of his day: powerful, influential, wealthy, bright and a future all Jewish boys dream of (Philippians 3:5-6). But it was all rubbish (refuse, dung, “what is thrown to the dogs”) to him now. He traded it all for the “excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
THAT I MAY GAIN CHRIST – Paul had gained everything in life but now it was garbage to him compared to what he wanted to gain in Christ. He knew the things found in Christ were of far greater value than anything this world had to offer. Are we seeking to gain Christ in our lives or do we continue to seek after the accolades of this world and the buying of worldly stuff that fill our lives with worthless pursuits? His only gain in life was to possess Jesus Christ in every way.
THAT I MAY KNOW HIM – Paul wanted to know everything about Jesus Christ that was within the power of man to know. Who was this man from Nazareth, why did He live like He did, what did He teach, how could He die for man? How much do we really know about Jesus? Do we understand His life in context of what He did for us? We can know a lot about our favorite sports team, culinary arts, woodworking, political ideals, and a host of knowledge that is helpful for a little but how much more to know about the life of Jesus, the message of His resurrection and “the fellowship of his sufferings.”
I MAY ATTAIN TO THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD – Paul lived his life daily to gain Christ and to know all he could about the Son of God so that he could die in the promise of the resurrection. Salvation was not a chance with the apostle – it was a reality (2 Timothy 4:6-8). The trappings of this world meant nothing to Paul because he lived to see Jesus face to face. Live today to gain Christ.
He [Christ] bent over the corpse of the dead world, and whispered a word of faith … uttered words then unknown, – love sacrifice, a heavenly origin. And the dead arose. A new life circulated through the clay, which philosophy had tried in vain to reanimate. (Joseph Mazzini, Essays, 1887)