ALL THINGS LOSS
Phil. 3:7-8 ¶ But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
The Apostle Paul had a total life change that he said began with his encounter with Christ on the Damascus Road. He was filled with anger and hostility toward the young Christian movement and was determined to do all that was within his strength to eliminate Christianity before it got entrenched in the world. He was on a trip to root out the Christians in Damascus when his whole life was permanently changed. Paul was swallowed up by the love of God with his radical encounter with Christ. Jonathan Edwards said that this love for God effected all that Paul said and did.
“Another instance I shall observe, is the apostle Paul; who was in many respects, the chief of all the ministers of the New Testament; being above all others, a chosen vessel unto Christ, to bear his name before the Gentiles, and made a chief instrument of propagating and establishing the Christian church in the world, and of distinctly revealing the glorious mysteries of the gospel, for the instruction of the church in all ages; and (as has not been improperly thought by some) the most eminent servant of Christ that ever lived, received to the highest rewards in the heavenly kingdom of his Master. By what is said of him in the Scripture, he appears to have been a person that was full of affection. And it is very manifest, that the religion he expresses in his epistles, consisted very much in holy affections. It appears by all his expressions of himself, that he was, in the course of his life, inflamed, actuated, and entirely swallowed up, by a most ardent love to his glorious Lord, esteeming all things as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of him, and esteeming them but dung that he might win him. He represents himself, as overpowered by this holy affection, and as it were compelled by it to go forward in his service, through all difficulties and sufferings.”
Our Christian world today seems to be satisfied with a surface level, hip version of Christianity. Rather than having a life changing encounter, slick Christian empowerment slogans are peddled off as solutions to problems that clearly can only be changed by divine intervention. Surface level answers can never penetrate to the depths of our souls where all the issues lie. Paul was changed when he was knocked from his horse by the power of God. He found himself face to face with the King of Glory, He was looking into the face of the Eternal One, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. One moment in God’s presence and Paul was a new man. From that day on Paul counted all of his possessions and accomplishments in this life as nothing in comparison to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.