Thursday, October 08, 2009


We see in Philippians 3 that Paul’s passion was knowing Christ. This included a personal knowledge of Christ (v8-9). Compared to knowing Christ, Paul counted everything else as “loss”. The word “loss” meant worthless. It was used by Paul to describe his shipwreck in which the cargo was thrown overboard. In comparison to saving their own lives, everything else of value on the ship became worthless and expendable.

Paul also uses the word “rubbish” to describe everything other than knowing Christ. This is a word literally used to describe dung or to describe what remains after a flood. Both would be seen as useless to the normal person. Think about it. You could accurately say that Paul was describing anything and everything this world considers valuable as nothing more than a giant pile of “CHICKEN POOP” in comparison to knowing Christ. Now if you live in Lancaster County, PA then you realize that few smells seem worse (at least to this mid-westerner) than the smell that permeates when they clean the chicken coops. Think about what Paul is saying (using my very loose translation):

A million dollars? CHICKEN POOP!

A promotion at work? CHICKEN POOP!


Popularity? CHICKEN POOP!

Winning the Power Ball Lottery? CHICKEN POOP!

Rather than pursuing all of these things, Paul wanted to know Christ; gain Christ; be found in Christ; and receive the righteousness of Christ. Anything else besides these was just CHICKEN POOP!

Paul also desired to have a practical knowledge of Christ (10-11). He wanted to know his person. The word “know” means to know by experience. He wanted to have an intimate knowledge of Him much like Peter, James and John would have had at the transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9).

He wanted to know Christ’s power. He wanted to know by experience the power of His resurrection which results in power over sin and power for service (Acts 1:8) just like Peter, James and John would have seen when they were with Jesus when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5).

And he wanted to know the pain of Christ. He wanted to know by experience the fellowship of His sufferings through complete obedience in spite of persecution just like Peter, James and John witnessed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14).

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