“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 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 and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:7–9, NIV84)
If life were measured like an accountant’s spreadsheet with profits (good works and social status) on one side and losses (bad works and social shortcomings) on the other side, Paul would have had a lot of stuff on the profit side. At least from an earthly perspective. He was a biblical scholar. He knew many languages. He knew Hebrew and Greek history as well as anyone. He was a religious zealot who was climbing up the ladder of success and was a sure thing for the Sanhedrin (the Jewish supreme court). His external life was disciplined and consistent. Truly, he was what every Jewish boy would dream of becoming. And to all this Paul says, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Paul left behind all that he had accomplished and all that he was going to become. He realized that none of those things would make him right with a holy God. As one throws away trash, Paul threw away everything so that he might receive Christ. He spent most of his early life trying to be righteous for God, only to find out that God sent His Son into the world to make him right with Him.
So, have you let go? Is there anything you are clinging to in this world that is standing in the way of your receiving the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ? If so, let it go! Throw it away! Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we obtain the righteousness that God offers. It’s not about us getting right with Him! It is about His redeeming and saving us. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “I resolve to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Everything else is trash because it is incomplete and insufficient. Only in Jesus is sin defeated, righteousness earned, the price paid, eternal life assured, and hope secured.
May we, today and always, know that nothing compares to the surpassing greatness of Christ Jesus our Lord!