“Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” Phil. 3:8-9
So we begin at this time by reminding ourselves that in our coming into the Lord Jesus and receiving Him, we have been introduced into an inheritance far, far beyond our present knowledge and experience; and it is not only to be entered into hereafter. Do not immediately mentally relate it to the hereafter. If our Christian lives are not characterized by a continuous apprehension of greater fullnesses in Christ, there is something very seriously wrong with us. The inheritance is to be known now. Its fullness will extend beyond all time – it must, for life is far too short and limited for the apprehension of the ‘all things’ of God’s fullness, in Christ. Nevertheless it is all ours now for our discovering, for our knowing, for our experiencing progressively and continuously now.
Firstly, it is the spirit of renunciation. “What things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ”. Yes, those which were gain – not bad things, not evil things to be put away, not wrong things to be given up, not things upon which the Divine veto rests to be let go, but good things to be renounced for the best. That spirit has to characterize us that we will never be satisfied with good that is less than the best, a measure that is less than the fullness. Renunciation yes, of good things and things which in their measure and in their way may have been gain to us; renunciation of these for the best. Devotion of heart is breathed here. Oh, how this man’s heart is set upon all that has come to him in Christ! What a heart Paul had – to exploit all the profound and unsearchable riches of Christ and to turn them to account! Devotion of heart.
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