Jesus Is Worth More
Read Philippians 3:8-9a (ESV)
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him…
Has your faith in Christ ever cost you anything? Do you consider it worth it?
Do you remember the “righteousness resumes” we wrote up yesterday? We tallied up all of our religious activities and good deeds then gave ourselves points for being “good Christians.” But when we added a sin column, we recognized our need for Jesus. No amount of good works can cancel out the debt of our sin. So take the list, wad it up, and throw it away. It is trash.
In yesterday’s verses, Paul listed off his own righteousness resume but said he counts those things as a total loss. In today’s verses, Paul explains further. He says his attempts at righteousness are utter rubbish, garbage, waste, filth. You see, Paul had considered a third column on his resume. An “In Christ” column. And in that column he found worth that surpassed his accomplishments and overwhelmed his sins.
To Paul, being found in Christ was great gain. He had lost so much for the sake of the Gospel. But the things that he lost were like garbage when he compared them with how much he gained in knowing Christ. Not just knowing about Christ. But having a personal relationship with Him.
If we were to add an “In Christ” column to our list, what do we gain just by knowing Him? First of all, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul says that in Him we gain Christ’s righteousness (a righteousness that far surpasses our feeble attempts): “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” If you are in Christ, when God looks at you He sees Jesus’s perfect record, not your tarnished one.
In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul lists several more things to add to our “In Christ” column: “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” When we are united to Christ, we inherit God’s wisdom and truth, we get His imputed righteousness, He begins to sanctify us (or make us holy), He redeems us (or buys us back). We have already established that we cannot boast in our own righteousness because it is useless and cannot save us. Here, Paul says, we can boast in the Lord!
Friends, I could go on and on listing the promised benefits of being in Jesus Christ. You are a new creation, you are no longer a slave but free, you are being conformed into His perfect image, you have the everlasting hope of heaven, you can look forward to eternity and Jesus’ return with great joy and not dread, etc. The benefits of being found in Christ far surpass anything He may ask us to temporarily sacrifice. If you know Jesus, then you know what He is worth—everything. What would you add to your “in Christ column?” We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Jesus, Your worth far surpasses anything of this world. I lay it all down at Your feet just for the honor and privilege to know You. I boast in You alone. Help me know You more and more. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!Discipleship Tip: Sharing is discipleship. Invite a friend to join you each day for a morning coffee and conversation about God. Click the sharing button below to get the conversation started.