More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.
— Philippians 3:8-9
To count all things loss is one thing, and to actually suffer the loss of all is another. I would like to have asked Paul, “Have you really suffered the loss of all things? Don’t you still wear clothing? Do you not have a place to sleep and food to eat?” And he might have replied, “Yes, in fact, many times I have had better than average clothing, nice places to stay, and good food to eat.” How is it then that he could say that he had suffered the loss of all things? I believe Paul would reply, “I have many things, but in all these things the Lord has the right to say no. I am not caught by anything other than Christ.”
Besides counting all things loss and suffering the loss of all things, Paul also told the Philippians that he desired to be found in Christ (3:9). This is very high. Most often, we are found in our naturalness. We are often found in things far from Christ. If not for His mercy and restraining hand, I am afraid that we could even be found in many sinful things. But commonly we are found in the things we find comfortable, or in things that are for our self-interest. Paul says that to substantiate this oneness, we should be found in Christ. Paul’s desire was that he would always be found in Christ. When you touched him, you would touch Christ. It would not even be that he would be found in the Bible, for you can be in the Bible and still not be in Christ. His intent was to be in Christ. Then when the saints were in his presence, they were in Christ’s presence, for he was found to be in Christ.
Adapted from Oneness and the One Accord, pages 66-67.
Tomorrow: “To Know Christ”