PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭3‬:‭7‬-‭11‬ ‭‬‬

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭7‬-‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When the rich young ruler confronted Christ with his own merit, he went away dejected because his merit was both not enough, and something he didn’t want to part with. Paul approached his pre Christian life with an admirable fervor. He built a reputation and a status upon his persecution of the fledgling church. Yet, upon his conversion, and afterwords, we find Paul relinquishing these things. He left a career, a social circle, comfort and clout to be beaten and live destitute. Here we see Paul’s admission as to why. To live without Christ is without value at best and damaging at worst. Paul is the rich young ruler revisited in this sense. It is better to live in the dregs of life with Jesus than to be a king without him. This is not only a major premise of Christian conversion but it is the driving truth of spiritual maturity. Acknowledging this in this life prepares us for the inevitable loss of it and the transition to the next one. This transition will be faced by all people regardless of their security in salvation. Jesus gives us the ability to live with that security in both eras of our reality. Paul’s treatise on the profundity of Christian living is profound and sobering, but it is also empowering to our now and our futures.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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