PAUL’S REASONS FOR LIVING FOR JESUS CHRIST
5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
3:5 Paul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, a heritage greatly esteemed among the Jews. From this tribe had come Israel’s first king, Saul (1 Samuel 10:20-24). The tribes of Benjamin and Judah were the only two tribes to return to Israel after the Exile (Ezra 4:1). Paul was also a Pharisee, a member of a very devout Jewish sect that scrupulously kept its own numerous rules in addition to the laws of Moses. Paul explains for these mostly-Gentile believers that his Jewish credentials were impeccable. 3:8 After Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, he decided to write it all off as “garbage” when compared with the greatness of knowing Christ. We should value our relationship with Christ as more important than anything else. To know Christ should be our ultimate goal. Yet how do we know him better? (1) Study the life of Christ in the Gospels. See how Christ lived and responded to people (Matthew 11:29). (2) Study all the New Testament references to Christ (Colossians 1:15–2:15). (3) As you worship and pray, let the Holy Spirit remind you of Christ’s words (John 14:26). (4) Take up Christ’s mission to preach the gospel and learn from his sufferings (Matthew 28:19; Philippians 3:10). To do these things, however, may mean that you must make major changes in your thinking and in your lifestyle. Are you willing to change your values in order to know Christ better? Will you fix or rearrange your crowded schedule in order to set aside a few minutes each day for prayer and Bible study? Will you change some of your plans, goals, and desires in order to conform with what you learn about Christ? Whatever you must change or give up, having Christ and becoming one with him will be more than worth the sacrifice.
3:9-10 Paul gave up everything—family, friendship, and freedom—in order to know Christ and his resurrection power. We, too, have access to this knowledge and this power, but we may have to make sacrifices to enjoy it fully. What are you willing to give up in order to know Christ? A crowded schedule in order to set aside a few minutes each day for prayer and Bible study? Your friend’s approval? Some of your plans or pleasures? Whatever it is, knowing Christ is more than worth the sacrifice. Tyndale. Life Application Study Bible NIV.
ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS and know that the real reason for living in the faith of Jesus Christ is that only Jesus blood paid the price for your salvation.
onthewayhomeministries.org by RICHARD DEAN BROOKS