The Worth of Christ Part 3
“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” Philippians 3:8 ESV
The door opened to mankind through faith in Christ has dealt a death blow to the kingdom of darkness. It is no surprise then that Satan works feverishly to present counterfeits to true faith. Understanding that faith in Christ must stand alone to be effective, the enemy of our souls is ever seeking to add to faith in Jesus the works of men. The following saying is worthy of our consideration.
“Jesus + nothing = EVERYTHING while Jesus + anything = Nothing.”
The moment we begin to add our works to Christ’s work on our behalf faith ceases to be faith. Our faith, devotion, and focus can be only one of two places. We either believe in Jesus and His work on our behalf or we trust to our own merit as supposedly revealed by our “accomplishments.”
The necessity for faith in Jesus to stand completely alone accounts for Paul’s proclamation that he counts all as rubbish in order that he may gain Christ. In reviewing his previous life based on merit Paul lists some things that in and of themselves were not bad. Likewise those things we are in greatest danger of counting as evidence to personal righteousness are often good and perhaps down right impressive to most we come into contact with. Let us note, however, that Paul not only gives them up but he counts them as rubbish. The King James version actually uses the word dung, which in some ways better captures the intended import of worthless and detestable.
May we pray that our eyes are open to the rubbish in our lives. God’s Word gives us a test to know whether or not there is rubbish in our lives which we may be placing confidence in. Romans 7:24 tells us that if we place confidence in the flesh we will serve the law of sin. In other words there is not true victory over sin in our lives when we place confidence in our works as gaining us merit before God.
Victory over sin always follows, never precedes, faith in Jesus. In verse 10 Paul speaks of knowing Jesus first, and knowing the power of His resurrection and death to sin second. The ultimate conclusion we must arrive at is that Righteousness comes through knowing Jesus.
Still Seeking His Face,