Scripture: Philippians 3:7-9
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
Insights: Yesterday we saw how Paul counted from a worldly perspective. Today, we see the Spirit’s working on Paul’s heart. Notice how quickly Paul wrote the word “but”. He has just finished this self-expression like a braggart and was prompted by the Spirit to remember the truth. That truth being his righteousness was worthless and ineffectual. We also must come to that same kind of truth. So many “Christians” attempt to live a righteous life from the perspective of rules. Notice, however, Paul stated his righteousness came from God on the basis of faith. True righteousness is imputed into the believer based on faith, not by personal works. Jesus’ work during Easter is all the work needed to receive righteousness. When the Father looks down on a Christ-follower and sees his/her righteousness, it is not the righteousness of that individual, but that of Christ Jesus. It is because Paul understood this truth so well that he calls all of his previous work and sufferings as rubbish or garbage. Paul knew what the prophet Isaiah knew regarding the best works of a human being. Isaiah wrote, “all our righteous acts are like filth rags (64:6).” Our very, very, very best that we can offer God in our own strength, power, might and wisdom is nothing more than vile clothing. It is for this reason we can never earn our salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God received solely by faith and when we have received that precious gift we are made righteous by that very same faith. And if we live our lives from this perspective, then we, like Paul, will have learned how to count properly as well. Before, Paul counted one good act, two good deeds, three right positions, etc. Now, however, Paul counted one One—Christ alone! All he wanted was to know Christ Jesus his Lord. Tomorrow, we are going to learn more about what Paul wanted to know about Jesus. Beloved, we also ought to want to know Jesus, as Paul knew Him.
- Have you begun to count properly?
- Are you willing to give up personal prestige for Christ?
Prayer: Father, I so much desire to pray and live as Paul did. Mold and shape my heart so I desire You and You alone. Help me to count all things as nothing in comparison to You and Your great love. Amen.