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Knowing Christ and making Him known

“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtlessly, 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”. Philippians 3:3-8

 

In this passage, Paul the apostles speaks of His former conversation before his encounter with the resurrected Christ. While he was in religion, there are things which he had learnt and propagated to the point of persecuting the Jewish remnant that placed their faith in Jesus as the Anointed One. Paul thought that the fanaticism of the Jews needed to be exposed for the “shame” that it was. But while on his way, on the road to Damascus, he encountered the glorified Son of God, who, unknown to Paul, had chosen him for a very special mandate (Acts 9:1-19).  During Paul’s encounter with the Christ, he asked two questions which helped him to unlearn the presumptions he had of the gospel and of God: Who are you? What do you want me to do?

The sum of life and ministry is knowing Christ and making Him known. No matter your vocation, whether you are involved in an ecclesiastical office or not, your primary calling is knowing Christ and making Him known in whatever sphere of influence that has been accorded to you.

To know Christ, you must first unlearn what you have presumed to know of yourself. This is because we cannot add the knowledge of Christ to what we held previously. When Saul of Tarsus, who was an expert in Judaism under Gamaliel, encountered the Lord, he was willing to start all over, although he had greatly profited in the Jewish religion.  He had to decide to lose in order to gain. He chose to suffer the loss of all things that he may win Christ. 

It is possible to possess Christ and not win Him.  To win Christ means to derive the full value of Christ.  When Paul saw who Christ was in comparison to what he knew, he understood that if he held on to what he knew previously, he would not know Christ in His true value. We do not just win Christ by professing Him. Apostle Paul gives the Church in Philippi an autobiographical summary of his experience of Christ. He states that what he had to count as loss for Christ was his own self-righteousness (Philippians 3:1-6). He said the sum total of his religious pilgrimage amounts to nothing in comparison with the Person and work of Christ. He dissociated himself from every type of self-righteousness. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He brought His audience to the awareness that they must renounce their self-righteousness.

Christ is your righteousness. As a minister of the gospel, until you lose your self-righteousness, you cannot gain Christ. This is the radical change that must take place in your life. The term used is the Greek word “heuriskó”; it means to search oneself in Him. There are many crises on our planet but the major crisis above all else is the identity crisis. Most people do not know the answer to the question, who am I? So, they search for themselves in all the wrong places. There is a vital link between identity and inheritance. Unless you know whose you are, you cannot know who you are. Until you know who you are, you cannot access what belongs to you.  When you search yourself in Him, you will discover that there is nothing of your own that is left. Paul searched himself in Christ and found himself in Him without any righteousness of his own. Once you find yourself in Him, there is a disclosure; you come to the realisation that it is not about you. You are co-revealed in Him; the real you is linked in Him, indissolubly.

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For more on this subject, please purchase the teaching “Losing to Gain” by Dr Shawn Smith, from gcmonlinestore.com