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Daily Devotion

Philippians 3:7

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READ:

Philippians 3:7

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

EXHORTATION:

Once Christ becomes the most cherished desire of a soul, everything that was dear and profitable till then would quickly fade in its appeal and significance to his thoughts. The apostle Paul was such a person. Since his soul has embraced Christ as his Saviour and Lord, he has been totally captivated by the glory of Christ. Nothing has ever fascinated his soul as much as Christ’s love, grace, truth, glory and His person. Everything he once considered “gain” became worthless and unappealing. And all that impeded his single-minded devotion to Christ were utterly repulsive and rejected right away as “loss”. The word “loss” (zēmía) was used in Acts 27:21 with reference to the valuable goods which the mariners threw out into the sea, for the sake of people on board the ship who were imperilled by a great storm. Like those mariners, for the sake of his life with Christ, Paul cast off everything that was once utterly important to him.

In the previous verses, Paul listed the things which were once of great importance to him and in which he had placed all his confidence in the past: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (vv. 5, 6). Seven advantages were listed. The first four in the list constitute his prestigious heritage which the apostle inherited by birth – circumcision he received as the sign of the covenant, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, and a Hebrew son of Hebrew parents. Those things were very important to him for they gave him great confidence about his rights, position and prominence.

But he tells us in our text that he has renounced all those fleshly confidence in order to gain Christ. Once he thought them to be of gain, for they brought glory to him personally. However, they were of no profit in the spiritual realm; they did not bring glory to God who sent His Son to be the Saviour of His people. Hence, he counted the past gain as loss so as to gain Christ, who alone could grant him the righteousness of God. Nothing else really mattered to him any more. Having Christ as his Saviour and Lord far surpassed the reputation and everything else he had in Judaism.

Jim Elliot, a great missionary, once said: “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”