Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #64
Posted: October 28, 2005

A Study of Positional Truths

Let us study another IN CHRIST thought from Philippians 3:7-9 which says, But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

In verse 7 Paul is taking inventory and stock of all his gains mentioned in verses 5-6.  One of Paul’s considerations of gain was that he was of the ‘stock of Israel’. (Vs. 5)  The phrase ‘stock of Israel’ tells us he was not out of Esau but Jacob.  He was of the tribe of Benjamin, a tribe that was looked upon with high regard by the nation of Israel.  He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, a Hebrew of Hebrews and concerning the law he was perfect, righteous, and blameless.  Paul was in the high cotton of what the world considered as religious and moral gain.

The word ‘gain’ in verse 7 is in the plural and speaks of ones assets.  Paul looks at all his gains and sees them as a loss.  The word ‘loss’ is in the singular.  Both of these words are in a past action tense which guarantees a present result.  Paul has with serious consideration and settled conviction piled all his gains in one pile and come to the conclusion that they equal a loss.

In verse 8 Paul uses the phrase, “Yea doubtless,” The phrase means indeed or surely.  The word ‘count’ means after serious consideration and pondering.  Paul after serious consideration has come to a sure conclusion.  He counts all things not only a loss but dung (refuse, waste that comes from the body destined for the sewer) as well. 

Let us remember what Paul is considering as refuse and waste.  Paul was born and raised in Tarsus.  In order to be a Tarsian citizen you must be extremely wealthy and highly educated.  Don’t forget Paul has lost his religion, money, and his family.  He counted all these as dung in order to have three things.

Two of these things mentioned in verse 8 were ‘the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:’ and ‘that I may win Christ’.  The word ‘excellency’ means to exceed all others.  Paul speaks of a knowledge here that exceeds all other knowledge.  This knowledge speaks not of the all-knowing knowledge of Christ, but speaks of the knowledge Paul gained through intimate communion with our Lord.  Paul’s overwhelming desire has always been, “That I may know him,” (vs. 10) 

The second thing that causes Paul to see all his earthly gains as dung is mentioned in verse 8 with this phrase, “That I may win Christ”.  The winning of Christ does not speak of knowing Him as Saviour but in His sanctifying work as Lord.  This winning speaks of the perfecting work within Paul that releases the fragrance of the person of Christ through his life.

The third thing that caused Paul to see all earthly gain as dung is our IN CHRIST truth mentioned in verse 9 when Paul says, “And be found in him,”  The word ‘found’ means to turn out, to actually be or clearly observed.  Paul desired for it to be clear to those around him that he is IN CHRIST.  This position would tell those around Paul that he has no righteousness of his own. (Vs. 9)  He is done with the moral righteousness he had from keeping the law of religion.  Isaiah said ‘that all his righteousness was as filthy rags in the sight of God’.  Paul wants it clear that the author of faith has moved inside of him and has declared him the righteousness of God.

Let us take our net worth.  Let us take everything we have given to God of material worth over the years.  Let us take every moral act of religious service we have performed.  Take all of these and pile them at the foot of Calvary’s tree and compare the two.  We will see our gains, when compared to Calvary, came to nothing but loss and dung!  Let us say with the song writer, ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”