Philippians 3:8-9 “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 inChrist—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
One of the great understatements of the Bible is found in Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” The fact is, once one has “tasted” of the Lord, i.e., turned to Him and received from Him what He has offered us, we find everything else we have known in life, as Paul said in Philippians 3:8-9, by comparison – garbage.
So maybe Paul’s words are as much an overstatement as is the psalmist’s words an understatement? Surely, Paul couldn’t be serious. But he was, indeed, serious. Here was one who had hated Christ, had hated Christians, and had hated the gospel so much that he had persecuted believers to the death. He thought he knew what was most important in life – his education, his heritage, his religion, his relationships, and his own sense of self-righteousness – and what the Christians were preaching was a threat to all this. Yet, when he finally turned to the Lord after Jesus confronted him personally on the Damascus Road, everything changed. His eyes were opened and he had new “tastes,” new desires, a completely new value system. His world was turned upside down.
And that’s how it is for anyone who comes to really know Christ. When one meets the One Who is, in His very nature, Love, Peace, Power, Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, and every other good quality that exists – then everything else, which by comparison is infinitely less than Christ, pales in comparison. In Christ, we find a “surpassing worth.” He surpasses everything we have known in the past.
So, if you don’t know Him, if you’ve never met Him, wouldn’t you want to “taste” of Him. If you turn to Him and have just the faith of a mustard seed, little, weak, but sincere, He will meet you there and prove to You that He is indeed Who the Bible says He is. He is as great – actually far greater – than anyone who has met Him has ever said about Him. We don’t have the words to fully explain Him. We don’t have the capacity to fully understand His beauty. His very name is “Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6).”
So, what are you holding on to that you find superior to Him? Have you ever wondered why those who truly turn to Him don’t ever want to turn back? Have you ever wondered why most of the apostles, and millions of people since the time of the apostles, would rather give their lives than to deny Christ and turn away from Him? Do you ever wonder why they “loved not their lives even unto death (Revelation 12:11)?” It’s because they now knew the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ.”
And the truth is, in the end, “to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Matthew 25:29).” In other words, those who have (Christ) and all the benefits they’ve realized in this life from knowing Him, will realize much more in eternity. Indeed, He is infinite in his being, and the Christian will be His “joint heir” time without end (Romans 8:17). However, for those who counted life with Christ as less than what they possess in this world, all of those things that they do possess will be taken away for all eternity at some future point in time. It is those who have chosen this broad way that so many are on who will, sadly, realize “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul (Mark 8:36)?” Of course, the answer to this question, is absolutely nothing, nothing at all.