“I count all things to be loss in view of the SURPASSING knowledge of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… and count them but RUBBISH so that I may gain Christ.” – Philippians 3:7-9
The word, “SURPASSING” refers to, “something of INCOMPARABLE worth”… it means such that comparison is impossible.
All the things Paul had considered “gain” in his column of seeking though his own religious merits to be pleasing God, he had now come to the conclusion it was “ rubbish” the word can be translated, “dung,” “manure,” “excretion.” How graphic is that! Chasing or trusting anything other than Jesus Christ for salvation is “dung, manure, excretion!” No matter what the “religious “label be, all trust in human effort , “religion, self- effort” whatever its name as a means of merit to offer God as a means to salvation is “manure, excretion!” Such is man’s religion, and Paul’s conclusion about his trust in his own efforts which were commendable and so far better and superior than other men’s, but in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ as risen LORD to him- his life changed completely around to head in a different direction and he had a new perspective-life to him was now a Person. “For me to live is Christ…” He had been converted and consumed by and with Jesus Christ! And Paul said thirty years after first coming to know Him, his master passion in life was knowing the beauty, attractiveness, supremacy and desirability of the Lord Jesus was his life pursuit!
So let’s look at 5 BENEFITS OF SALVATION. –
Life “in Christ” for the believer. Salvation’s benefits…
1.- INCOMPARABLE KNOWLEDGE; – v 8-9
The word, “Know” speaks of a deep experiential, personal knowledge, It is not facts about someone but intimately acquainted with someone. The word was used in the Old Testament to convey a physical relationship between a man and woman. This intimate, personal experience of Knowing Jesus Christ begins at salvation. Jesus said Eternal Life is knowing Him; “This is life eternal to know You the One true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John wrote ,”And we know the Son of God has come, and given us understanding SO THAT WE MIGHT KNOW HIM who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and Eternal life.” – 1 John 5:20.Paul wrote that he PRAYED for the believers, “that … the Father of glory may give you, a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the KNOWLEDGE of Him.”- Eph 1:17
Surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ , which is intimate, experiential, knowable. personal. concerning Jesus Christ and His people. There is nothing comparable, it is Surpassing,Incomparable Knowledge- Intimacy, of a life changing personal relationship and a love bond, which surpasses mere intellectual facts-knowledge about Him.
2. – INCOMPARABLE RIGHTEOUSNESS; – v 9
Righteousness is to be in right standing with God and accepted by Him. This gift from God to Paul and all believers who repented towards God and put their trust in Jesus Christ alone, His sacrifice on their behalf. At the moment of conversion believers have a new eternal standing with God! At the cross God judged Jesus as if He was the One who was the sinner, He bore the believers- all- of their sin and took the punishment for every sin the believer will ever commit in though , word or deed. Each and every sin judged and punished, As a result, God now treats the believer as right and acceptable before Him, and because He bore your sin now accredits you with the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. Think on this! God treats you as if you have lived the sinless life of Jesus Christ- you are now treated as sinless, blameless before Him and have an eternal standing of such before Him- clothed in the righteous of Jesus Christ !
A.“SELF -RIGHTEOUSNESS.” – People in their own strength seeking to be right with God through human merits to appease God. This they attempt to do through religious rituals, self effort, external morality. All such self effort fails miserably according to – Rom 3:23. The arrogance, blindness, that we believe we can match God’s standard of perfection in righteousness through human efforts is spiritual insanity! Romans 10:3 speaks to this, “seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”
B. THE LAW – Paul said he would not have known sin apart from the Law. The Law kills. It exposes sin and is merciless. It’s standard is perfection and there is no chance of anyone lining up to its perfection. Both “self righteous” efforts and the keeping of the Law are impotent to save or empower a righteous life. Only Jesus Christ can do this. Paul said Surpassing righteousness indeed compared to human effort which is impotent, it is incomparable. “By God’s doing you are in Christ Jesus who has become to us… Righteousness… to Him be the glory forever and ever.” 1 Cor 1:30-31. Paul in addressing the church at Galatia said, “May it never be that I should boast EXCEPT in the cross of Christ my Lord.” His surpassing work of righteousness extended to Paul and embraced by him by faith in the good news of the Gospel- Rom 1:17- is a “Surpassing righteousness.”
3. – INCOMPARABLE POWER; – v 10
Surpassing Power to change. Paul saw this Divine Power work out in two ways. First – THE POWER TO SAVE, that is able to convict of sin and rescue and deliver from the bondage of sin, satan and into a loving relationship which is an intimate, vibrant relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. The POWER TO CHANGE a person’s heart where once they were dead in sin- without the life of God and no hope, now their hope is Christ and the power to save is a personal reality and testimony. Secondly, this power is seen in SANCTIFICATION. The Power to progressively change to lovingly and by faith trust and obey, the power to say no to temptation and yes to God’s Word. Surpassing power over the flesh which cannot save, nor serve God. Self is impotent to do these, and Christ’s power in the believer life is INCOMPARABLE POWER!
4. – INCOMPARABLE FELLOWSHIP; – v 10
Paul is speaking about knowing Him intimately and one of the ways is through suffering. Jesus as our High Priest understands, empathizes as He Himself suffered in the spiritual realm, having been separated from His Fathers fellowship through sin upon the cross. The horror of it for Him when He cried out, “My God, My God why have you abandoned Me?” Jesus understands suffering, and Paul spoke of the “fellowship of His suffering.” Suffering is a gift-Phil 1:27; Suffering has a goal- 1 Peter 1:5-7; Suffering is a means to spiritual growth; 1 Peter 5:10; Suffering drives us to the Lord and in Him we have companionship, comfort, perspective and a Friend who understands. This fellowship was deeper and more desirable than all other fellowships- not for suffering sake but because of the intimacy of experientially communing with Jesus Christ in it. It is deep and intimate and compares to all other fellowships this one with Jesus is Surpassing Fellowship. – SURPASSING FELLOWSHIP; – A FELLOWSHIP THAT SURPASSES ANYTHING KNOWABLE TO A HUMAN BEING!
5. -INCOMPARABLE GLORY; – v 11
“When we see Him we shall be like Him… to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD.” Such wonderful truths, we as His people are going Home! There is the blessed assurance we are going Home because of the resurrection.
“The resurrection from the dead.” It literally means, “THE OUT RESURRECTION FROM AMONG THE CORPSES.”
What a picture , what a truth, what hope, what a SAVIOR. What Surpassing Glory… what can top that at the end of our lives we are outta here into His Presence where we will be presented before the Throne, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,”-Jude 24. Cross references:
- Jude 1:23; Amos 4:11; Zech 3:2, 1 Cor 3:15
- Jude 1:24; Rom 16:25
- Jude 1:24; 2 Cor 4:14
- 1 Peter 4:13
Jesus prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me,…”John 17:24. And with the death of each believer the Father answers the Son’s prayers and believers and only believer s are transported immediately into His presence to see Him and all His glory- we are Him with God for all eternity- safe and secure with Him! Paul wrote, “… even, we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies,”-Rom 7:23. Paul looked at his works of righteousness and his man made religious zeal and his own human merits an counted them all, “rubbish- manure- excretion” in light of the Surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ intimately, experimentally in a personal saving relationship! He is the SURPASSING One”- None comparable and He is the desirable One of all true believing hearts.
Consider the, “5 BENEFITS OF SALVATION.” – For you this day Because of Him who Surpasses all- and thank Him for Himself and each benefit, blessing bestowed upon you. Think on Him, worship Him and pass along the five benefits of being, “In Christ.” –Surpassing Knowledge, Surpassing Righteousness; Surpassing Power; Surpassing Fellowship; Surpassing Glory; Surpassing Savor Jesus Christ my LORD!
JESUS CHRIST SURPASSES ALL- HE IS “THE INCOMPARABLE CHRIST!”-
Thank Him today!
Rest in Him today!
Testify of “THE INCOMPARABLE CHRIST.”