But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More 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, (3:7-8).
Paul knew a lot of things about his religion and the Law, for he had been trained by the most notable and respected rabbi of his day.
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people… (Acts 5:34).
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today,” (Acts 22:3).
But in the light of the truth of Jesus Christ, all of Paul’s bragging rights paled into insignificance.
for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless, (3:3-6).
Paul knew works of the flesh have no value; all the training the most notable teacher can supply has no value; birthright has no value; adhering to every rule and law has no value; and all the zeal for a worthy cause has no value. For all that the world may place value on is eclipsed by His Surpassing Value.
5242. ὑπερέχω huperéchō; fut. huperéxō, from hupér (5228), above, over, and échō (2192), to have… to be over, be prominent, extend over or beyond… In the NT figuratively meaning to hold one above, superior or better than another, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
65.4 ὑπερέχωa: to be of surpassing or exceptional value—‘to be exceptionally valuable, to surpass in value, to be better,’ Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament.
Surpassing Value is one word in the Greek; one word to express the incomparable, indescribable worth of the Living Word; Jesus Christ, above and over everything, prominent and superior to everything. Every bit of every longing and aspiration we may deem as worthwhile in this world, fades into rubbish in light of His Surpassing Value. And Paul knew, unequivocally and experientially, there was nothing at all worth pursuing above Jesus.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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.
Consider His Surpassing Value
I imagine we could meditate on His Surpassing Value until Jesus comes again, and we still would not have begun to even scratch the surface. But for today, three incredible attributes are highlighted in Paul’s unquenchable desire to truly know His Surpassing Value.
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, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
- The Surpassing Value of His Righteousness
- “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 5:20).
- But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; (Romans 3:21-22).
- He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- The Surpassing Value of His Sacrificial Death
- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith… (Romans 3:23-25).
- For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18).
- and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls, (1 Peter 2:24).
- The Surpassing Value of His Resurrection
- The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said…” (Matthew 28:5-6).
- Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
- concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:4).
- He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification, (Romans 4:25).
- knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him, (Romans 6:9).
- But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you, (Romans 8:11).
- Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us, (Romans 8:34).
- Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power, (1 Corinthians 6:14).
- For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus, (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4).
How do we respond to His Surpassing Value?
Yesterday, our attention was brought to His Surpassing Value as we considered the Activity of His Attitude.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:9-11).
And when we consider this Jesus, this highly exalted Lord Whose Name is above every name, this Jesus Who will receive homage and be acknowledged as Lord by all and before all, this Jesus, in all His Surpassing Value, Who gave all His Surpassing Value for us; how can we not desire to know Him above all else?
Oh, may our heart’s desire be to truly know Jesus, unequivocally and experientially.
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead, (3:10-11).
Let us refuse to give up. When life tries to convince us that there are other more pressing needs deserving of our time; when circumstances attempt to dissuade our passion, let us press on to take hold of what He has already achieved for us in the Surpassing Value of His holy calling, knowing Christ as our life and growing in His image until we come into our eternal reward with Him for all of eternity. Now, that is Value that Surpasses everything!
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, (3:12-14).
God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (2 Timothy 1:9-10).