The Excelling Value of Knowing Christ
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 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 lossof all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…that I may know Him. (Philippians 3:8, 10)
We can easily underestimate the great value of getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Other matters from the world, or even within the church world, can gain our interest and allegiance. Paul saw clearly the precious treasure of knowing Christ.
Paul had advanced greatly in the religious culture of Israel. He was “a Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5). He was a prominent Pharisee, a leader among the nation of Israel. Nevertheless, he forsook all of that cultural and religious advantage in order to follow Christ. “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” He considered knowing the Lord Jesus as far greater than his privileged personal position.
Furthermore, Paul continued to consider other matters as loss, when compared to the supreme value of knowing his Lord better. “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Now that Paul had a relationship with the Lord, he considered any thing that would interfere with or diminish that relationship as being a losing situation. Sometimes, we are tempted to engage in matters that seem to bring some blessing or advantage. Yet, when we see the impact it might have on our relationship with the Lord, the apparent gain is actually a loss.
Paul knew Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Still, he was aware that more of the blessings of Christ were yet to be experienced, if his relationship were to develop into more depth and intimacy: “that I may gain Christ.” Thus, he repeats his two-fold renouncing of anything that might interfere with this desire. First, a look at the past: “I have suffered the loss of all things.” Then, a confession of the present: “and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” This term (“rubbish“) refers to garbage, to waste, to dung.
These convictions left Paul with one great goal in his life: “that I may know Him.”Paul realized that this goal was the excelling value in all of the universe: “the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Lord Jesus, knowing You is the most precious treasure of my life. Yet, I admit that I do allow other matters to interfere with our relationship at times. Lord, help me to view as rubbish anything that would keep me from growing in this wonderful acquaintanceship with You, Amen.