Something worth knowing
The great Apostle Paul said, "...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."
These are days when we hear a lot about "values."
In the past several years, the phrase "family values" has become very familiar.
Often we hear the phrase "value system," which has to do with one’s systematic way of determining what has real value in one’s life.
When the Apostle Paul penned his epistle to the believers in Philippi, he spoke of that which he considered to be of "surpassing value."
There was something that was to him of such value it surpassed all other things which might be of some relative worth. He considered knowing Christ to be of surpassing value.
He did not just grab that statement out of thin air.
As we examine the context of his statement, we will see the Apostle was motivated by some dangers which were prevalent in his day.
The was the danger of false teachers.
Phil 3:2 "Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.."
There were those who were trying to mix faith and works.
These false teachers were saying, "It is fine to trust in Christ, but there must also be compliance with the ceremonial law in order to be saved."
The Apostle Paul refers to them as "dogs" because they were rending and tearing the simplicity of the gospel to shreds.
There are false teachers in our day who are guilty of doing the very same thing.
The Apostle intimates that there were those who were putting "confidence in the flesh."
There were many who were placing their confidence for salvation in one’s religious attainments.
Paul had his own list of religious attainments.
"Circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless."
There was a time when he highly valued all of these things.
But that changed drastically.
He was miraculously converted in the way to Damascus.
That gave him an entirely new perspective about his religious achievements.
His new perspective was expressed in these words, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ."
When the reality of the person and work of Christ gripped his heart, all else became worthless.
Nothing else could have brought Paul to renounce his "religiosity."
There are multitudes who are very religious, but they have no saving knowledge of Christ.
Only one thing will bring them to abandon confidence in mere religion and cause them to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior.
The reality of the person and work of Christ must grip their hearts.