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GAINING FROM LOSS

June 13, 2017

Tuesday

 

Philippians 3:7-8

 

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, 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 so that I may gain Christ,

 

 

LESSON

 

Paul had formerly regarded all these “things” he listed that he possessed, and  others, as contributing to God’s acceptance of him. Yet he had come to learn on the Damascus Road, and since then, that such fleshly “advantages” did not improve his position with God.  Rather, they constituted hindrances because the more of them that Paul had, the more convinced he was

that God would accept him for his works’ sake. Each of his fleshly advantages strengthened his false hope of salvation. Furthermore, they were liabilities because he had to unlearn much of what he had previously boasted in.

 

Paul had regarded his advantages over other people as what put him in an especially good position with God. However, he had come to realize that absolutely nothing apart from Jesus Christ’s work on the cross was of any value in his gaining God’s acceptance. No good works improve our standing before God. They are all like filthy rags. Consequently Paul came to regard them as “rubbish.” From then on, he continued to take this view of things.

 

What he had learned to value was Christ Jesus his Lord. Consequently coming to know Christ, entering into a deeper and fuller appreciation of His person and work, was of primary importance to Paul. This knowledge is the kind that one obtains only by personal relationship.

 

Memory Verse:  John 12:24

 

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

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