Happy Tuesday morning, to all. Well, you might be in your favorite chair, or already at work in your cubicle….or just maybe having that last slurp of coffee before “the kids” hit the deck…running! But no matter where you are…before we get started…may I invite you to take a moment…and be still in Him. Philippians 3: 7-11
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
In the preceding verses of this chapter of Paul’s Letter to the church in Philippi, there’s an issue with some “judaizers”- those who are trying to re-conform Christ’s Grace..or make it conditional to Mosaic Law…specifically circumcision. It would seem that Paul calls them out, by stating his own Jewish credentials. Heritage and credentials…pedigree…born in..raised & educated in. Fully realized in all that he was as a man, with such zeal, that he persecuted the church with “righteousness based on the law”! And for what?...
…to call all that he had achieved…who he was…rubbish?....dog dung? Yes, for the “high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus”!
When I read both versions of the text, it really caught my eye how “knowing Christ” stood out. And as I contemplated how Paul was using himself as an example…it wasn’t to call anybody out. He just wanted for them what any shepherd always wants for his flock, to be safe from danger. He wanted for his brothers and sisters, what he had found to be true, and life changing for him…”knowing Christ”. But…but it took “denying himself”… all that he used to embrace as a man…before taking up his cross and knowing Jesus!
Looking forward to your thoughts!
Blessings on your day!