Philippians 3:8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Many times we will see people attempt to put a face on Christianity to help it make sense to a lost world. Prosperity gospel preachers will tell people that, if they will just pray the prayer and give some money, God will give them back all the earthly things they could ever want. Family focused folks tell others that if they will just pray the prayer and follow the principles, Jesus will make their families love each other and the chaos will end. Social gospel folks tell others that if they will just pray a prayer and take some action, God will use them to alleviate the problems of the world.
I, however, think that Philippians 3:8 might be a very good face to put on genuine, biblical Christianity. Try it on, and see if it fits. In the light of who God is, everything on this earth—money, fame, relationships, technology, status, etc.—is nothing in comparison to the person of Jesus. This is not to say that we impoverish ourselves or turn away our families, but it is to say that we count nothing that this world has to offer us as having value in comparison to knowing Jesus. The Christian would gladly let go of anything and everything if only to be in the glorious presence of Jesus.
How in the world could that work? It’s simple, really. God created us in such a way as to only find heart satisfaction when we experience him and his glory. Thus, it is silly to seek satisfaction in anything that this world has to offer. It is worth trading everything that this world has, all the wealth, entertainment, and opportunity, to find the soul-satisfying joy of knowing and experiencing God.
If the above is the biblical picture of Christianity, then those who call you to faith in order to strengthen your marriage, fix your finances, or feed the hungry are not presenting biblical Christianity. We do not come to Jesus in order to get something other than Jesus. We do not want to go to heaven to find something there other than God. No, if we are to understand biblical Christianity, we will understand what Paul has presented to us: Jesus is worth more than anything that this world could ever offer. All is loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.