(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 (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—(10) that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (11) that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
This verse brings me great joy and great confidence. I’m not sure if any other set of verses in the Bible provides much more confidence than this one does for me. The power in which Paul proclaims these truths in these verses is astounding, and the sheer Gospel-centrality of them is enough to bring me to my knees before a Holy God. But not only is He a Holy God, He’s MY God. And Ephesians 1 says that God has chosen me, and all those who profess faith in Him, for adoption as sons. We, an evil (Genesis 6:5), wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), idolatrous (Romans 1:22-25), lying (Romans 3:4), adulterous (James 4:4, Matthew 5:28), greedy (Matthew 23:25) people are brought near to God, through Jesus (Hebrews 4:14-16), and proclaimed clean (1 John 1:7), righteous (Romans 3:22), holy (Hebrews 10:10), blameless (Ephesians 1:4), and empowered by God Himself (1 John 4:15).
Romans 3:10-12 says that no one is righteous, and yet Christ died to reconcile us to God (Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:20).
Do you feel the weight of this? It’s not that we were so lovable that Christ came and cuddled with us because we were so cute. Christ came to reconcile us, despite us, and this should lead us to deep gratitude and worship.
Paul says above in verse 8 that every gain he had (which, by the way, was a lot) he counted as nothing for the sake of knowing Christ. He even says later in the verse that he considers it rubbish when compared to Christ! Matt Chandler paints this picture well. He talks about how we so eagerly go after the next big thing–that new TV, the new car, the next iPhone–and how all of the things we spend so much time pursuing ends up being “stuff of future garage sales, dumps, and storage units.”
Let us have a unity of focus like Paul does in this passage in Ephesians. Verses 8-10 show the heart of it when it illustrates why he counts all things as loss compared to Christ: “in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… that I may Him and the power of His resurrection.”
At the end of the day we want Christ. Our pursuit is Christ. Our longing is for Christ. And our passions in life should all center back on glorifying, and making much of, Christ. David Platt says that Christians are a people “conquered by a superior affection” and for me, I pray that those words may be said about me. I want to be consumed in the making much of God.
May we all feel the weight of this, and may this be just what we needed to hear tonight. This Gospel is more than any of us deserve, and better than anything we can ever attain, but the glorious truth is that it is freely offered to us. May we praise God with everything within us and have this be the foundation of everything we do. I want to live to make much of God and I pray that you will join me in this.