“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:7–14)
The impacts of knowing and pursuing Christ:
1. We will consider everything other than Christ as complete loss and mere garbage (v. 7-8).
After we really know Christ, when we compare Him to everything, everything is like mere garbage. We are always worried about lacking and ended up losing Christ, that’s why we must keep looking for and pursuing Him and not everything.
2. We will live according to Christ’s righteousness and not our self- righteousness (v. 9).
We no longer live by our self-righteousness, but rather live by the righteousness which is of God by faith. Therefore, we will value people and everything from the righteousness which is of God by faith, not from self-righteousness.
3. We will experience Christ’s death and resurrection (v. 10-11).
We don’t preserve our life anymore, but surrender it to God. When we die to self, then Christ lives in and through us! Therefore die quickly: die from self-righteousness, die from sin, die from evil, die from extravagance, die from self! We will not die until we put ourselves on His altar and the fire of the Spirit burns our entire being!
4. We will live in Christ’s calling (v. 12-14).
Paul lived in God’s calling: Romans 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1 and he did not deny his calling, but he kept his calling, and he lived in his calling until he died.
Initially, Paul (previously named Saul) was a killer, he killed Christians who believed in Jesus. However, why did Paul in the end consider his actions as complete loss? Because the knowledge of Jesus Christ is far greater than all of that. How could Paul think like that? Previously, he was sure that he had done the right thing, but actually the truth that should be done was to know Jesus Christ and fulfill the heavenly calling for him.
Here are some excerpts from Paul’s letter, most of them begin with the following sentence:
- “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” (Romans 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,” (1 Corinthians 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:” (2 Corinthians 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” (Galatians 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;” (1 Timothy 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,” (2 Timothy 1:1, KJV).
- “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” (Titus 1:1, KJV).
Even in these letters, Paul wrote himself that his calling in life was to be an apostle, do God’s will, and of course, preach the gospel.
Let us surrender our whole life into God’s hands. Give ourselves to be willing to be used by Him so that what we achieve are not our own needs and wants, but Christ who is our primary pursuit, Amen!
Also read: The True Pursuit