“circumcised when I was eight days old, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews [an exemplary Hebrew]; as to the [observance of the] Law, a Pharisee; as to my zeal [for Jewish tradition], a persecutor of the church; and as to righteousness [supposed right living] which [my fellow Jews believe] is in the Law, I proved myself blameless. But whatever former things were gains to me [as I thought then], these things [once regarded as advancements in merit] I have come to consider as loss [absolutely worthless] for the sake of Christ [and the purpose which He has given my life]. But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him--a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” PHILIPPIANS 3:5-9 AMP
Paul's genealogy, his impeccable religious background, and his service record was impressive. He was, by human standards, the best of the best. He came from the "right family line" (Israel, tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew), was "correctly" reared as a child (circumcised the eighth day and taught in the law of Moses), was accepted among the religious "elite" (Pharisees - the most respected religious sect), and was found blameless in observance of that religion (Judaism). Now, he recognizes it's absolute worthlessness compared to who Jesus is, what He has accomplished for us, and what He has done in us (those who have truly trusted Him). No matter what our family heritage, our religious background, or moral observances, it is all a waste apart from truly knowing Jesus Christ!!! We must remember that Paul was making this statement while in prison awaiting trial and sentencing. He was absolute convinced of, and surrendered to, Jesus Christ!He was ready to live or die! Are you?? NOTHING IN LIFE COMPARES TO THE SURPASSING KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS THE LORD!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris