Matthew 13:44 is a 1-verse parable by Jesus that, I think, sets us up very well for our passage in Philippians 3 today.
The parable goes like this. Jesus said:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
This little parable assumes that until this man found the treasure of the kingdom he was enjoying “all that he has.” Then something happens. He discovers a reality that awakens within him what the Puritan Thomas Chalmers would call a “new affection.” This new affection (for a treasure in the field) expels the old affections (all that he had). His previous enjoyment of “all that he has” lost its power over the man’s life because of what Chalmers called “the expulsive power of a new affection.”
Have you ever tried getting the air out of a jar? The best vacuum is created by replacing the air altogether with water. Expulsive.
Our passage today is effectively the personal testimony of a man who, like the man in the parable, got rid of all he had once he discovered Jesus, the treasure.
7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. (Philippians 3:7-9)
The first thing that I’d like you to see in the text comes directly from v. 7, and that is this: Anything that we depend on to be right with God other than the life and work of Jesus is a liability, not an asset.
Look at v. 7a.
7 But everything that was a gain to me
So, what had Paul considered to be a gain?
We’ll explore this in our next post.
Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.