Philippians 3:1-8 (JDV)
Philippians 3:1 From now on, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this causes no trouble for me and is a safeguard for you.
Philippians 3:2 Watch out for the dogs, watch out for the evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh.
Philippians 3:3 You see, we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Breath of God, brag about Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh –
Philippians 3:4 although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
Philippians 3:5 circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew from Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee;
Philippians 3:6 regarding zeal, persecuting the congregation; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.
Philippians 3:7 But everything that was a plus to me, I have considered to be a minus because of Christ.
Philippians 3:8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a minus in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered losing all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ
Paul was able to think clearly about his past, and focus on staying true to the gospel in the present, because he recognized the principle of the new math. All of his former accomplishments registered as a minus on the ledger. All of his respectable pedigree that he inherited, being born at the right time in the right place, to the right parents — that accounted for nothing as well. In fact, it too was a minus, because if he trusted in it, it would keep him from trusting Christ. The gospel of grace does more than just put us all on a level playing field. It makes us all losers, and totally dependent on God for deliverance. But the good news is that God takes losers, and introduces them to his Christ. Knowing Christ turns our losing into winning, because gaining him has surpassing value.
Father, thank you that we are losers, who have found the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.