“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)
Paul realized, once he met the Lord Jesus, that all he had been striving for in his spiritual life and religious endeavors mattered nothing. Why? Because through them he was trying to attain an unattainable righteousness. But when he met Messiah Jesus he knew he had met his true righteousness. Remember, Paul was a very learned Pharisee and knew the scriptures well. No doubt he remembered David’s psalm about the Messiah:
“He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Psalm 24:5)
The initial shame Paul must have felt when he looked at his filthy rags of works, and he no doubt harkened back to the Prophet Isaiah’s declaration of the only true Savior:
“He shall say, ‘Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him.’” (Isaiah 45:24)
I say that with great confidence because Paul had quoted the preceding verse of Isaiah 45:24 in Philippians 2:10…
“I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.” (Isaiah 45:23)
Paul had written of this righteousness that exceeded the law in his letter to the Roman Church:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
Paul looked at his life and realized he had been pursuing worldly things. And he threw them all away to gain Christ.
Warren Wiersbe puts it this way:
“Yes, Paul gained far more than he lost. In fact, the gains were so thrilling that Paul considered all other ‘things’ nothing but garbage in comparison! No wonder he had joy in his life—his life did not depend on the cheap ‘things’ of the world but on the eternal values found in Christ. Paul had the ‘spiritual mind’ and looked at the ‘things’ of earth from heaven’s point of view. People who live for ‘things’ are never really happy, because they must constantly protect their treasures and worry lest they lose their value. Not so the believer with the spiritual mind; his treasures in Christ can never be stolen and they never lose their value.”
What about you dear friend? Are you striving for the riches of this world, depending on the cheap “things” in life?
Have you tried to attain a worthless righteousness through your good works?
Why not surrender your life to the Righteous One Jesus Christ? Lose this world of filthy rags and gain the eternal beauty and righteousness of Jesus Christ. He is so lovely, our Messiah. He is wonderful. We read and sing about Him every Christmas:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Do you see Jesus as Wonderful? So many things in life today are horrible; wouldn’t you like something wonderful?
Is He your Counselor? Have you spent hours on the couch of some limited human being trying to help you cope with life? Wouldn’t you rather “mount up with wings like eagles”?
Do you know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father? He is one in the same!
The threat of war has many frightened today; wouldn’t you like to face these fears in the security of the Prince of Peace?
Oh I pray that you will receive Christ this Christmas season! What gift could be greater than one that is eternal?
Beloved, I have an early day tomorrow so the Lord willing we will meet on Friday. The Lord bless you.
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers