I wrote a few days ago about how we are to follow the example of Christ.
In looking at Paul’s words here in this chapter talking of himself, it struck me that a lot of what he said could be seen in a different perspective, particularly in light of chapter 2.
Paul said that whatever he had once considered profitable to him, whether it was his status as a Jew and a Pharisee, or all he had accomplished in following the law, he considered loss for the sake of Christ. In fact he considered everything a loss compared to having a personal relationship with Christ.
He considered them all garbage in order that he might gain Christ and be clothed in His righteousness. And now his chief desire was to know Christ, to know the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and his death, and ultimately, to rise with Christ someday.
In the same way, whatever had been to Christ’s profit, he considered loss for our sake. He considered all that he had in heaven a loss compared to having a relationship with us. He considered it garbage that he may gain us and that he might clothe us with his righteousness as we put our faith in him. He wants us to know him, to share in the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and to be raised in glory just as he was.
That’s why he went to the cross. That’s why he suffered for us. And if he did that for us, how can we not do the same for him? If he gave up everything for us, how can we not give up everything for him?
May we all follow his example each day.