But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)
1. Paul says he “suffered the loss of all things”. What were the “all things?” It was how people identified him. Therefore, it was the core of who people THOUGHT he was. He was known as being an intellectual. He was seen as being “elite” in his society. He was affluent and well taken care of in all physical aspects of life. He gave it all up.
2. It is not only that he lost everything, but he counted all of these things as rubbish (dung would be the translation, if you are looking for an interesting word picture). It was not just that these things were lost, but he was glad that he wasn’t identified by these things anymore. He did all of this for ONE REASON…
3. He wanted to be found in Christ not having any type of righteousness that he brought to the table, but only by saying that Christ’s righteousness was now his righteousness! He left everything behind for the exact reason that he truly wanted to gain everything, which was Christ.
4. Paul wanted to be found in Christ, not having any type of thinking that he “worked” his way into right standing with God, for the following reason: “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
To know the resurrection power of Jesus costs us everything, yet allows us to live in true eternal gain. Therefore, to think we have made any type of sacrifice in dying to our self would be to misunderstand the true abundance of the Kingdom. No one who has given up $1 would talk about his “great sacrifice” of giving up his $1, if he was given $1 Million every day for the the rest of his life! He would lose himself in the abundance of the current provision, not take time talking about the $1 he gave up at one time and also how great of a person he was for giving up his $1. It just doesn’t make sense.
Die to live so that you can live to Life.