#632 (4/7/22) THE GOAL TEACHES THE VALUE OF THINGS
(During the summer, I will not be producing our usual daily devotionals. Each week, I will only produce one group study based on the Sunday message. Daily devotions will resume - God willing - on Monday 5th September)
I don’t know if you are anything like me, but at any time, my pockets (exchange for bag if you wish) contain both rubbish and important things; old tissues, tickets, fluff… is alongside my phone, a wallet etc. Why am I so lax at clearing out the rubbish?!
On Sunday, we looked at Philippians 3:7-11 where Paul teaches us to consider what is rubbish and what is of true worth. We read:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 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. I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:7-14)
In Philippians 3:7-11, Paul uses the idea of a balance sheet. He is like an accountant balancing profit and loss in light of knowing Jesus; in light of Christ what things are now a loss (are worthless) and what things are a gain (are valuable) to me. Knowing Jesus turns our profit and loss - our values - on their head! Here are three areas, included in this text, where we must ensure that we are using the new value system that Jesus gives to us:
1. THE GOAL TEACHES THE VALUE OF THINGS!
If we want to consider what’s rubbish and what’s of gain, we must have the right goal in mind. Knowing Jesus is to be our goal. Everything that helps us in this is gain; everything that detracts from this is rubbish and is loss. Paul writes:
‘But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…’ (Philippians 3:7-8)
2. TO KNOW JESUS IS TO VALUE HIS GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
If our goal is to know Christ, we must not reject His gift of righteousness. Self-righteousness, which Paul was very good at, does not lead to knowing Christ - it’s a rejection of Him! Self-righteousness - performance-based salvation - is loss; righteousness through faith alone is gain. We read:
‘I consider them garbage, 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 on the basis of faith.’ (Philippians 3:8-9)
3. TO KNOW JESUS IS TO VALUE HIS POWER
Self-sufficiency is an enemy to knowing Jesus; Knowing Christ is to rely on His ‘resurrection power’ each day and to look forward to our hope of resurrection by that same power which is now at work in us:
‘I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’ (Philippians 3:10-11)
Did God speak to you about anything from Sunday’s message and what do you plan to do about this?
How would you summarise Philippians 3:7-11 in your own words?
From this text, what does it mean to know Christ?
If knowing Christ is to be our greatest goal, how would this be demonstrated in our lives?
In what practical ways can we consider the gains of knowing Jesus each day?
SIV - How does this text help us in our mission to reach our community for Jesus?
SIV - Do you have any non-believing friends that you would like to pray for?