Are All Things Loss for You?

Are All Things Loss for You?

Philippians 3:7-8

  • “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 in order that I may gain Christ.”

After he lists the many religious accomplishments of his Pharisaic past for which he could boast (Phil. 3:4-6), Paul says that he counted these things as loss for the sake of Christ. When he came to Christ, he viewed this past differently. He was willing to cast aside these things he formerly considered gain or profit for he knew that they no longer mattered to God or to him. Beyond these past religious privileges and attainments and Jewish works, he now considered “all things to be loss” and “suffered the loss of all things.” What are the “all things” he laid aside? Some have suggested favor with his family. Others have suggested money, possessions, or an inheritance.

Whatever it was that Paul was willing to give up, he did so because of his commitment to Christ Jesus his Lord. Every other earthly, material, physical, and relational blessing was nothing—even “rubbish,” “waste,” or “manure”—in comparison with the “surpassing value” of knowing Christ. Christ was so desirable, so essential, so precious to the apostle that everything else in life faded into the background and seemed as nothing. Paul did not just know something about Christ (which is essential enough in order to have an informed, saving faith), but he personally knew Christ! Our knowledge must go beyond the objective to the subjective. Eternal life consists in knowing the Father and the Son personally and intimately, on a one-to-one basis (John 17:3; 2 Peter 1:2; 2:20; 3:18). Paul knew that this blessed relationship of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord surpassed anything else in life.

Do we share the same perspective that Paul had? Have we “counted as loss” all of our pre-conversion, pre-salvation assets and accomplishments? Have we been willing to “suffer the loss of all things” if those things came between us and our absolute commitment to the Lord? Have we allowed people, relationships, and situations in life to compromise such an absolute devotion to our Savior? Have we allowed our relationship to a loved parent, a child, or a spouse to interfere with our following Jesus fully? Have we allowed a compromising occupation or position to bring disloyalty to Christ in any measure? Have we insisted on retaining certain worldly possessions even when this involved saying No to Jesus? Have we tried to accommodate a materialistic lifestyle, with luxury cars and homes, while compromising in our walk as a disciple?

Make no mistake: Few are willing to count all things to be loss because they do not value the “surpassing value” of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord as they should. Let us be willing to lay aside anything that would lead us away from this precious and saving knowledge of our Savior!

Richard Hollerman

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