Summary: This message centers on the one driving force behind the Apostle Paul's ministry and work--to know Christ
That I May Win Christ
Philippians 3: 7-8
• This morning we take a look into the mind and the motivation of the Apostle Paul.
• His life’s goal and calling can be summed up in Phil. 3
What Things Were Gain—
• Things—Hostis (Hahs—tis) In Greek means, “Whoever and Whatever.”
• Paul’s list of “things that were gain” is in verses 5 and 6:
o Circumcised, according to the Law of Moses, on the eighth day of his life.
o Born into the Tribe of Benjamin—the tribe that gave Israel its first king
o A picture of a devout Hebrew—his bloodline was pure Hebrew
o A Pharisee—a religious leader from the strictest order of the Jews
o More zealous of his religion than others
o Blameless according to the law of Moses
• This is Paul’s list of proud accomplishments in life.
o Note that he said “What things were gain.”
• Were—This is a past tense word. It is the past plural tense of the word “Be.” All the items listed in verses 5 and 6 once had great meaning in Paul’s life, they used to ‘be”--but are no more.
• Gain—The Greek word means—“Advantage.”
o They are no longer of any advantage to Paul.
• What things do we count as “bragging rights?” What list of accomplishments and attributes do we want to proudly display before others? If Christ isn’t in it….
• Those I counted as loss for Christ—
o Counted—Greek word means, “To have authority over.” Things no longer have authority over me, I have authority over them.
o “To rule and command”—Things are no longer in charge—Jesus is.
• Doubtless—no doubt, but rather I count all things but loss
• Different Greek word used here for “things”—Pas--each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
o Paul is saying—I have looked at everything individually and as a whole. Anything that stands between me and Jesus has to go and I count it as loss. (Something I no longer have that I can live without)
• In exchange, I’m receiving the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
o Excellency—superior in rank, authority, and power. That which is higher and better.
o I gave up the insignificant for the superior. I traded the worthless for the priceless.
• Now, Paul gets really down to earth and blunt.
o Anything I’ve given up for Christ, I count it as dung.
o Dung—The Greek word is “Skubalon” (Skoo-ba-lon) that which is worthless and detestable. It is in reference to human or animal excrement.
o We train our children to let us know when they have to go to the restroom (they have something in them that needs to come out) and to tell us if they need to do #1 or #2.
o Paul says anything I’ve given up for Christ-- needed to come out-- and I count it as #2.
o The world is very blunt and bold and we have been passive too long--we need to get this concept and how important this is.
• All this for one thing—That I may win Christ.
o Win—to gain, to gain Christ’s favor and fellowship, to be victorious
The Price for Victory
• “The price of victory is high—but, so are the rewards.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
• “Winning isn’t everything—it’s the only thing.” Vince Lombardi
• “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.” Winston Churchill
• Victory demands:
o Dedication—to set aside for a specific purpose
o Commitment—devotion to, allegiance to
o Sacrifice—to let go of, to give up
o Perseverance—to continue on in spite of the level of difficulty
• Paul renounced all obstacles in his way in order to win Christ.
• What do you need to do to win Christ?