I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ ~ Philippians 3:8
Paul says these words after an extensive listing of his credentials, the training and breeding that made him the pick of the litter. Paul was the poster boy for what it meant to be a “Hebrew of Hebrews.” Trained at the feet of a respected rabbi, zealous, pious, and faithful to the letter.
In our Christian world today there are those (me for sure…maybe you) who want to hang on to our credentials. We grip tightly to those things we think make us a good Christian. We think saying and doing the right things make us somehow more spiritual.
Like Paul, we must come to the end of those things, that we might know Christ.
Do you get the contrast? There is not a middle ground, we cannot have it both ways. It’s either hang on to the religious qualifications and traditions, or know Christ. I can either clutch to my rules and religion, the things I think make me qualified…or I can know Christ.
All that other stuff…it’s rubbish. It’s worthless. It won’t get me one step closer to knowing Him. And if I don’t know Him, then I’m no better off than Paul. I’m every bit the Pharisee he was in his former life.