Philippians 3:1-14 (NIV)
1Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 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 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.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
What do you want? It’s a question we get asked a lot in life. From questions like, what do you want to do with your life? To questions like, what do you want to eat for dinner? We get asked these questions all the time.
In this passage, we see Paul telling the church at Philippi, and telling us today, what we should be wanting--and it’s completely opposite of what the world tells us. The world tells us we should want power, money, fame, material possessions, and other such things. It also says that if you don’t get or have these things, you will never be truly happy. But this couldn’t be further from what the Bible tells us we should seek after. Paul tells us in verse 7, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” So what should we be seeking after?
1. Knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord. “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (10-11) When we seek after God we will find Him. God has given us the best way of knowing Him by sending us the physical person of Jesus, who was both fully God and fully man. Today we can know Christ by reading about Him in the Bible and seeking Him out in prayer. We can’t just think we have knowledge because of what we have been told, we have to seek out Jesus for ourselves. This is why personal devotions are so critical for a Christian’s life.
2. Faith in Christ. “I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (8b-9) Faith when defined, is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Did you catch that? Complete trust in--not just a partial or limited trust, but a complete trust. This is the kind of trust that we need in to have in Christ. Even when we can’t see the full plan… have faith in Christ. Even when we can’t see why something would happen to us… have faith in Christ. This is a faith that is unshaken when the worst things happen to us. This is a faith that will not crumble when faced with all of life.
What do you want? As Christ followers, we should be seeking after these things in life. So ask yourself, what do you want and what are you seeking after?
Pastor Levi's thoughts on Christianity and Christians. I will try to update this every Monday.